Support Black-Owned Wine Labels

Many businesses are struggling right now, but the necessary shutdown of communities have taken the greatest toll on smaller, independently owned, or more local businesses. Businesses that do not have the luxury of maintaining a budget that would allow them to pay rent and expenses without being able to fully operate. And, among those businesses, there are some facing additional disadvantages due to centuries-old obstacles and biases stacked against them before they had to reckon with a pandemic on top of it: Black-owned businesses.

Now, with an issue as systemic as racism, and especially anti-Black racism, there is no industry of business untouched. The wine industry is no exception. Whether you’re opening a wine bar or a vineyard, there’s an amount of capital and community support that is needed. Due to the ongoing effects of racism in this country and abroad, it is much more difficult for aspiring or established Black entrepreneurs to access those resources.

Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen of Forbes’ Food & Drink section recently explored racism in the wine industry in an article featuring a short interview with a few Black Americans working in the industry today. It provides only a small window into the challenges the wine industry needs to work to solve, but is a good read. Awareness and education are always a useful step in understanding and eliminating issues.

As for the average consumer? Well they can start putting their dollars towards Black-owned wine labels and businesses. As DeSimone and Jenssen write in their article, “there has been a slow-growing but very active movement within the food and wine sector to recognize black-owned businesses and highlight black entrepreneurs and workers, and the past week has seen a lot of positive movement in that regard.” 

Positive movement is great, but actual action is better. So, courtesy of Wine Enthusiast magazine, here’s a list of black-owned wine labels in the United States:

For more information on these labels and to explore black-owned wine labels abroad, visit Wine Enthusiast’s article. They have also recently run guides for black-owned distilleries, breweries, and a general directory of black-owned food and beverage businesses.

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