Cheers and welcome to the world post 2020!
Living in lock-down has forced many of us to re-examine not only the way we buy things, but also where we choose to spend our money as well.
As a result, the concept of "buying black" has come to have more meaning than just a trending hashtag on Twitter.
Supporting black-owned businesses might not change the world, but something as routine as buying a bottle of black-owned wine can have a greater impact than you may think.
But...you’re here because you probably know that already.
You want to buy black-owned wine, but you don’t know where to get it, or you might not know how to select a wine that fits your taste.
If you already know your wine preference, skip to the next section and begin browsing. Otherwise, we’re here to help you through the whole process.
Choosing your wine
Whether you are new to the wine scene or have a history of drinking the sophisticated drink, it helps to understand the difference between wine types. Having a more extensive vocabulary to describe what you are consuming helps your brain discern the subtler flavors.
The flavor profile is key when it comes to choosing the wine of your choice. Your wine palette can evolve to appreciate a wider variety of wines once you have a clearer understanding of them.
When choosing wines based on taste, you must take a look at the primary descriptors. Here are four key wine descriptors:
This one is simple and doesn't need a detailed explanation. Sweet is the opposite of dry. Wines can be described as medium-dry or off-dry; for example, they possess just a hint of sweetness but almost too light to move the needle.
Acidity is a significant factor when it comes to white wines. It makes them refreshing and crisp or "sour" if it is overdone. A lower acidity level makes a wine taste "fat."
Tannins are essential for red wines. They are a naturally occurring substance in grapes and fruits, and plants, like tea. Tannin is often described as bitter because it causes your mouth to feel dry and pucker. High tannin wines are astringent, and lower tannin wines are smooth and soft.
This description refers to the perceived "weight" and viscosity of the wine. A full-bodied wine feels thick as it coats the sides of the glass as you swirl. Light-bodied wine is compared to water, and medium-bodied wine lies in between the two.
In addition to the four descriptors, there is a fifth element to consider when describing win Flavor includes all descriptors and is more subjective. If you are unsure and avoid descriptors like graphite, barnyard, and other flavors you may have never tasted. You can focus on more relatable flavors, like fruity, earthy, spicy, smoky, and flowery.
Ok, now that we’ve gone over the details, Let’s find a Black-Owned Wine that best suits your needs.
(Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir)
Sparkling wine should not be seen as just champagne. The labels of sparkling wines will have terms that indicate their sweetness and dryness. Some examples of sparkling wines from driest to sweetest are Brut Nature, Extra Brut, Brut, Extra Dry, Extra Sec, Extra Seco, Demi-Sec, Semi-Seco Doux, Sweet, and Dulce.
ZAFA Wines - THE VISIONS OF GIDEON COLLECTION: "CARVER"
The "New American" wine revival is real, and Zafa wines is at the forefront. Zafa Wines is 100% woman owned and has intentionally maintained at minimum a 85% all-woman staff. Zafa was Founded by Krista Scruggs in 2018 with a primary goal to “make waves with traditional methods”. This concept can best be highlighted in their tagline “JUST F*CKING FERMENTED JUICE”.
The “Carver'' sparkling wine is a traditionally made sparkling wine consisting of hand-pick grapes and wild apples. In true Zafa fashion, the wine is described to have "no sulfur additions, fining, filtering, or funny business, just f*cking fermented juice".
More Black-Owned Sparkling wines:
McBride Sisters Collection - Black Girl Magic NV California Sparkling Brut
M’hudi Wines - Say Lovey Sparkling White Wine
Armand de Brignac -Champagne
(Sauvignon Blanc, Albarino, Pinot Grigio, and Gruner Veltliner)
Generally speaking, dry white wines or cooking wines don't contain sweetness and are preferred for cooking lighter dishes such as chicken, pork, veal, soup, seafood, and vegetables. Adding dry white wine as an ingredient in cooking provides a flavor to a bland dish. Despite this wine's lack of sweetness, the high acidity and citrus fruit flavors make it a drink that can be enjoyed year-round.
Featured Dry White:
Longevity Wines - Pink Pinot Grigio
Longevity Wines is an urban style winery located in Livermore, CA. Longevity Wines is owned by Phil Long, who happens to be the president of the Association of African American Vintners. Longevity was voted Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association Winery of the Year in 2018.
You can schedule a time to visit their tasting room if you’re ever in the area, find them in retail nation-wide, or check out their delivery options.
More Black-Owned Dry White wines are:
Aslina Wines - Sauvignon Blanc
Bodkin - Sauvignon Blanc - The Victor's Spoils
(Sauternes, Riesling, Vin Santo, and Tokaji)
Winemakers will use specific production methods to ensure the finished wine retains its sweetness. Sweet white wine is the opposite of dry white wine. This means that some of the residual sugar remains unconverted into alcohol. A common rule is the lower the alcohol by volume percentage or (ABV) a wine has, the higher the RS sugar will be.
Featured Sweet White:
P.Harrell Wines - 2019 Riesling
P. Harrell Wines was founded by winemaker and San Francisco native, Paula J. Harrel.
In 2015, After a long standing career in Real Estate & Mortgage Finance, as well as many years of civic endeavors with film and special events she decided to follow passion and turn long lived love for wine into her own label.
The Riesling is described to have subtle aromas of lime zest, pink grapefruit, bosc pear and white flowers suggestive of jasmine and honeysuckle. The palate has a small amount of effervescence, that reveals fresh and lively flavors of tart green apple, star fruit and lime followed by a subtle note of chamomile on the finish.
More Black-Owned Sweet White wines are:
McBride Sisters - McBride Sisters Collection Black Girl Magic 2018 California Riesling
Markell-Bani Wines - Demera Blanc- Sweet White Wine
(Oaked Chardonnay, Viognier, and Muscat)
Rich white or full-bodied white wines have a higher alcohol content at 13.5% or higher. They tend to have more complex flavors, too. Full-bodied white wines make good companions with rich, buttery foods, like lobster, smoky flavors, and pungent cheeses.
Featured Rich White:
McBride Sisters Collection - 2019 Central Coast California Chardonnay
After meeting and connecting over their shared love for winemaking in 2005, the McBridge Sisters have become a force in the industry. They strive to inspire and are driven to remain leaders in inclusive, accessible, socially aware and sustainable business. McBride Sisters has grown into the largest Black-owned wine company in the United States.
The McBride Sisters Chardonnay is described as ale golden color. Aromas of lemon curd and honey, pineapple and ripe pear. Soft and balanced texture, with a slight hint of toasty oak that balances the palate and persists with the fruit. Complexity and character without weight.
More Black-Owned Rich White Wines:
MAISON NOIR WINES - "KNOCK ON WOOD"
FLO Wine - 2016 Chardonnay
Charles Woodson’s Intercept Wines - INTERCEPT CHARDONNAY
(Pinot Noir, Grenache, and Barbera)
A light red wine will generally have a lower alcohol content of less than 12.5%. It also contains fewer tannins when compared to medium and full-bodied wines.
Featured Light Red:
MAISON NOIR WINES - 2019 "OTHER PEOPLE'S PINOT NOIR"
Maison Noir is founded by sommelier André Hueston Mack. Mack took the plunge into the wine industry after a successful career in investment services. Mack found joy introducing guests to the little known vineyards that lead to him becoming a well established sommelier and the launch of his label.
Maison Noir describes their “OPP” as classic Oregon Pinot—earmark Willamette Valley. It is accessible, a great value, and stays true to the character of the vineyards from which it was born. Earthy, spicy, floral, herb-framed flavors of cherry with gingery wood spice tones.
More Black-Owned Light Reds Wines:
Longevity Wines - Grenache 2017
Eunice Chiweshe Goldstein Winer- Pinot Noir
Theopolis Vineyards - 2014 ANDERSON VALLEY PINOT NOIR
(Merlot, Shiraz, Tempranillo, and Nebbiolo)
At a slightly higher alcohol content between 12.5% and 13.5%, medium-bodied red wines possess more tannins than light reds.
Merlot, Shiraz, Tempranillo, and Nebbiolo are some options for medium red wines. Medium reds give you a middle of the road option if you don’t fancy light reds or bolder red wines.
Featured Medium Red:
FLO Wine - FLO Red Blend
FLO (For the Love Of) wines are the project of Jazz Pianist Marcus Johnson. These wines, like music, enhance life’s experiences and remind us to enjoy the journey.
The Red Blend is an ensemble of three varietals: Merlot creates the silky palate, Zinfandel brings the ripe fruits, and Cabernet lends backbone and length on the finish. It is a definite crowd pleaser.
More Black-Owned Medium Reds Wines:
McBride Sisters Collection Black Girl Magic 2018 California Merlot
M’hudi Wines - Shiraz 2015
(Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Syrah)
Full-bodies or bold red wines have more complex flavors and a creamier mouthfeel. Their alcohol content is more than 13.5%.
Featured Bold Red:
Theopolis Vineyards - 2019 THEO-PATRA’S CUVÉE CERIS
Theopolis Vineyards is founded by Ms. Theodora Lee. In the wine world, Ms. Lee is known as Theo-patra, Queen of the Vineyards. Her passion for wine began upon her arrival to San Francisco from Texas in 1987 and blossomed into one of the most highly regarded vineyards in the Bay area.
Theopolis Vineyards describes the wine as delightful from first smell to last sip. Rich cranberry, dried plum, and elegant spice create a beautiful potpourri on the nose. Bursts of soft baking spice give way to notes of blueberry jam and sweet vanilla that transcend to a long, juicy finish.
More Black-Owned Bold Reds Wines:
Longevity Wines - Zinfandel 2017
Bodkin - 2018 Zinfandel High Rock Ranch
Aslina Wines - Cabernet Sauvignon
The Guilty Grape - Cabernet Sauvignon
Dessert wines tend to be on the sweeter side, hence its name. It typically comes after a meal. Like Brandy, alcohol is added to dessert wine to retain more of its natural sugars, which are used up in the fermentation process. Some popular dessert or fortified wines are Port, Madeira, Vermouth, Sherry, and Marsala.
Featured Dessert Wine:
Bodkin Wine - 2013 Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc Dessert Wine
Bodkin Wines was founded by Chris Christensen, an Iowa native, in 2011. Since then he and his business partner Andrew Chambers, have produced over 15 varietals of wine, eleven of which were scored at 90 points or higher by Wine Enthusiast.
This Dessert wine is Christensen’s favorite.Likely because of the notes of honey, orange blossom, candied hazelnuts and silage.
As you can see, there are a wide variety of options for you to choose from, whether you are a wine newbie or looking to try something new.
Searching for your choice of wine according to your taste can make it easier if you are not familiar with some terminology used by wine experts.
As you shop around for some of your other essential needs and products, choosing to "buy black" shows generous support for small and large black-owned businesses. Black-owned wineries are definitely in existence and selling some flavorful and sophisticated wines on a domestic and international scale.