6 Wonderful Black-Owned Wine Brands

I am an avid supporter of small businesses, as it has a huge impact on the local economy and often offers me an opportunity to try rare or interesting goods that may not be offered at larger companies. It is equally as important to support black-owned and minority businesses. In many cases, the profits of these businesses can have a positive influence in our communities, as well as many other benefits.

Some time ago, I read an article that presented a short list of black-owned wineries and wine brands. As an avid wine drinker, I was pleasantly surprised and intrigued by many of the brands listed. It was enlightening to see how these often small operations have made a big impact in their communities and in tandem made history. 

Fitting perfectly into "28 Days of Soul" here are 6 wonderful black-owned wine brands (located right here on the east coast) that  cater to a  variety of pallets and each offer unique experience. 

1. Flo Brand Wines (Washington, DC)

LO Brands’ mission is to enhance customers’ lives and make each day a little better one sip and sound at a time. Everything that the company creates is about improving that segment of [their] consumer’s life, especially when products are combined like music and wine. FLO Brands’ products include FLO CD series, FLO Wine, FLO Fest and more.

GT's Pick: Flo Moscato

 

2. Wisdom Oak (North Garden, VA )

Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Wisdom Oak once began as a hobby for founder/owner Jerry Bias. Formerly known as Sugarleaf Vineyards, Bias began with the planting of 375 vines in 2001. Almost fifteen years later, Wisdom Oak is still one of the only African-American owned and operated vineyards on the East Coast.

GT's Pick: Cabernet Franc Rose

 

3. Edelheiss Wine  (Washington D.C)

Chic, innovative, yet traditional European wine, which has never been packaged or branded, to the United States.  The Edelheiss Wine Team has plans for expansion to other countries after its initial launch in North America.

 

4. Mouton Noir Wines (Harlem, NY)

Founded by sommelier Andre Hueston Mack in 2007, Mouton Noir incorporates a trademark attitude and personal perspective to wine subculture. The wines are unique and distinctive garage wines, initially created for some of New York's best restaurants for whom Mack was a sommelier and now are available nationwide. - From the Mouton Noir website

GT's Pick: "O.P.P" Noir-  Other People's Pinot Noir

 

5. Serendipity Wine (Washington, DC)

Located in the Washington, DC Metro area, Serendipity Wines was founded by CEO Brenda Williams. Her vision was to create a brand built on the memories shared over glasses of wine. Serendipity offers three types of wines: Chardonnay - Tempation, Curvee Blanc (White Blend) and Carbarnet Franc - Seduction.

GT's Pick: Chardonnay - Temptation

 

6. Shoe Crazy Wines  (Chesterfield, VA)

Shoe Crazy Wines offers delectable recent vintages for your enjoyment and pleasure. The brand was birthed in 2006 when, Founder Gwen Hurt, was given a wine-making kit for christmas. After making and bottling over 120 bottles of wine, she decided to turn her passion into a career. In 2013, Shoe Crazy Wine, LLC was founded. Shoe Crazy creates signature and proprietary blends that are beautifully balanced wine.

GT's Picks: Cabernet Superior

GT Picks: Outdoor Fun for Early Fall

GT PICKS will be a recurring feature that will provide insight on a collection of restaurants, bars or food-themed events that I feel are worth giving a try. The places included in each collection will be tied to a common theme or category. My first GT PICKS features my recommendations on outdoor spaces you should visit during the early part of Fall. Enjoy! 

With the last days of warmer weather quickly slipping from our grasp,  I encourage all of you to enjoy the longer days, radiant sun and lightweight attire.  To make these days and nights a little more bittersweet, here are my picks for outdoors spaces (with food and beverage, of course) you must take some time to enjoy before the weather grows cold OR the venues close for the season!

Independence Beer Hall - Located right across the street from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, Independence Beer Garden is a must-see for tourists and Philly natives alike. An open and airy venue serving a sizable list of beers on tap, and a decent selection of food, you won't be disappointed spending your last nights of warmer weather here.

PHS Pop-Up Beer Garden - Each year the Philadelphia Horticultural Society renovates an empty lot (or two!) turning the open space into a seasons beer garden. This year PHS gifted us with TWO spaces (one at 15th and South Streets and the other at 9th and Wharton). Enjoy a carefully curated draft lists as well as food trucks and food options at each location!

Spruce Street Harbor  A newer Philadelphia attraction that welcomes visitors of all ages. Complete with an eclectic mix of stands serving a variety of carnivalesque fare (including Waffle Ice Cream Sandwiches, Funnel Cake and, of course, BEER! ). If the food isn't enough to entice you, lounging in one of the spaces many hammocks, playing a game life-sized JENGA or looking out onto the Delaware River may be just enough to hold your attention! 

Silk City Diner Bar & Lounge - Nestled on the corner of 4th and Spring Garden Street, Silk City is a restaurant that is close to my heart boasting a menu of hearty comfort food and new-takes on old favorites. Warmer weather makes this spot even more delightful, as patrons have the opportunity to partake in their libations and cuisine in an outdoor patio and bar. 

The Continental Mid-Town - This list would not be complete without a rooftop deck! The Continental Mid-Town ( a Stephen Starr favorite!) has a beautiful sky lounge and rooftop patio complete with a mix of futuristic and Mid-Century decor. It also serves a list of out-of-this-world cocktails and appetizers. As an added bonus, heat lamps scattered across the outdoor patio make this place enjoyable well into Fall.

Do you have any other recommendations of places we must get to before the weather breaks? Leave a comment below!