Black-Owned Wine Brands To Try Out, According To Wine Experts

Whether you prefer red, white, rosé or Champagne, we talked to wine experts who have a new brand for you to try.

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The next time you want to cheers, you can check out one of these Black-owned wine brands.
fizkes via Getty Images
The next time you want to cheers, you can check out one of these Black-owned wine brands.

No matter what you’re buying, where you spend your money can make a big difference — especially now, when so many small businesses have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

That’s true of the wine industry as a whole, too. Despite a boom in booze sales, wineries and wine retailers are trying to stay in business.

If you’re a wine lover, it’s important to check out the labels on your cabernets and chardonnays and seek out smaller businesses whenever you can. That includes supporting Black-owned wine brands and winemakers who have often been overlooked by the overwhelming white wine industry.

“The spotlight on Black voices in the wine world is overdue but so welcome,” TJ Douglas, owner of Urban Grape in Boston, wrote in an email to HuffPost Finds. “My hope, however, is that when this spotlight inevitably dies down — and it will — that the media and customers will still seek us out. Not to talk just about the Black experience in wine, but to utilize our expertise and knowledge about wine itself.”

In addition to buying from Black-owned wine brands, you can make sure these brands are stocked on store shelves in the first place.

Robin McBride, one of the owners of the McBride Sisters Collection, recommends telling your favorite wine shops, restaurant and bars to carry Black-owned brands in their stores and online. It’s one of the ways to make sure this is “a movement and not a moment,” she said.

If you want to stock your wine rack with a few bottles by Black-owned wine makers but aren’t sure about where to start, we asked wine experts — including sommeliers, owners of wine stores or those with their own wine lines — for their recommendations of Black-owned brands that everyone should try out.

Check out these expert-recommended Black-owned wine brands:

Bodkin Wines
Bodkin Wines
Tonya Pitts, a sommelier and wine director at One Market in San Francisco, called Bodkin Wines one of her "go-tos."

The label has lots of offerings, including this sauvignon blanc called "The Victor's Spoils" for $18 and a chardonnay called "Oakliss" for $25.

Check out Bodkin Wines.
Maison Noir Wines
Maison Noir
Maison Noir Wines was recommended by Pitts, as well as Brianne Cohen, a certified sommelier and event producer, and Jordan Salcito, the founder of RAMONA, a line of sparkling wines and spritzes.

Cohen called the label "exciting, dynamic, and unbuttoned," adding that "these aren't your grandma's wines."

Salcito said owner André Mack, a longtime friend and a sommelier at famous New York City restaurant Per Se, sells wines that "are all Oregonian in origin ... with clever, eye-catching labels."

You'll find options like a "Knock On Wood Chardonnay" and this "Love Drunk" rosé.

Check out Maison Noir Wines.
Longevity Wines
Longevity Wines
Douglas recommended Longevity Wines, and said founder Phil Long makes "more traditional wine."

Long says on his website that the label "handle[s] everything from bin to bottle." The brand's shop includes this sparkling wine with "crisp citrus notes."

Check out Longevity Wines.
Theopolis Vineyards
Theopolis Vineyards
Pitts, Salcito and Cohen recommended Theopolis Vineyards from founder Theodora Lee, who spoke to HuffPost in early June about being Black in the wine industry.

"What she’s accomplished as a trial lawyer and winemaker is incredible — no wonder she’s affectionately dubbed 'Queen of the Vineyards,'" Salcito said.

Theopolis Vineyards has an affordable assortment of pinot noirs and a "Petite Sirah" wine that Cohen called a "standout."

Check out Theopolis Vineyards.
Okapi Vineyards
Okapi Vineyards
Pitts recommended Okapi Vineyards, which is based in Napa, California, and has wines for just about anyone — including this cabernet sauvignon that has notes of raspberry sauce. Prices range from $30 to $125.

Check out Okapi Vineyards.
Armand de Brignac
We thought you'd want to know about Armand de Brignac, which has a Beyoncé connection. Jay-Z bought the brand — which is French for "Ace of Spades" and has been around for centuries — in 2014.

Salcito said the brand "represents one of the most interesting Champagnes available right now." However, bottles are pretty pricey, like the top-rated Brut Gold that's $300, so you might want to save them for when you really feel like celebrating.

Check out Armand de Brignac
Zafa Wines
Zafa Wines
This wine label was recommended by Douglas and Coly Den Haan, owner of L.A. wine shop Vinovore.

Douglas said the brand by Kristen Scruggs — who was profiled in Bon Appetit last year — has "natural and experimental wine."

Den Haan said Zafa Wines is among her favorite brands, but warned the "wines are very hard to get your hands on." That's definitely true — all of the wines in the line are currently sold out — so you'll want to bookmark the brand for when the shop's stocked up again.

Check out Zafa Wines.
La Fête du Rosé
La Fête du Rosé
Salcito and Douglas recommended La Fête du Rosé. As the name gives away, it's a rosé wine label.

Salcito described the line as having options that are "bright, fruity and [at] an accessible price point." The brand's namesake bottle, La Fête du Rosé, starts at $25.

Check out the La Fête du Rosé.
McBride Sisters Collection
McBride Sisters Collection
Salcito recommended the McBride Sisters Collection, a label that was started by two sisters who were raised separately (and didn't know each other) in New Zealand and California. They found each other and went on to start their own wine label with offerings like "She Can."

You'll find offerings like this sauvignon blanc in a can and dry rosé spritzer on the site's shop.

Check out the McBride Sisters Collection.
Aslina Wines
Aslina Wines
Salcito and Den Haan recommended this wine line from Ntsiki Biyela, South Africa’s first Black female winemaker. Aslina Wines includes this cabernet sauvignon that's been in barrels for more than a year.

"Her wines are very clean and fresh and total people pleasers," Den Haan said.

Check out Aslina Wines.

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