America’s population continues to make the best out of staying inside. And with that comes more time to explore liquid libations curated for us and by us.
While a handful of cities have lifted their COVID-19 regulations, the majority of us are still quarantining. How much longer this will actually be a thing is unclear, but the goal is to make the best of this time by enriching our at-home experiences. One avenue that many have revisited is gastronomy and appropriate pairings to further advance how they feast. If you are serious about your eats, it’s a must that you are sipping something to match.
Often times, we select a bottle of wine we are familiar with in an effort of playing it safe, but there is a new world to explore. In the last ten years, a multitude of qualified and certified professionals of color have turned their love of crushed grapes into reputable wineries. This presents yet another opportunity to support Black-owned businesses during this economic crisis while keeping your bottle standards high. CASSIUS has compiled 10 pro melanin companies that deliver right to your home and are sure to keep your palettes pleased.
Photo: D Wade Cellars
1. Domaine Curry
The Curry name lives on beyond the basketball court thanks to Steph’s wife Ayesha. She has partnered up with her sister in law, Sydel Curry-Lee, for the critically acclaimed Domaine Curry portfolio that is celebrated by the who’s who in the wine industry.
2. Darjean Jones Wines
Black queens continue to rise and Darjean Jones Wines is a testament to that fact. As a Louisiana native and first-generation African-American winemaker, the love of good food and drink is coded in Dawna Darjean Jones’ DNA.
3. Love Cork Screw
Love Cork Screw offers sophisticated and novice wine enthusiasts a range of choices for any palate. Each sleek wine bottle is colorful, whimsical, and fun. Additionally, Love Cork Screw is a certified MBE (Minority Business Enterprise), so you should definitely show some support.
4. The McBride Sisters Collection
The McBride Sisters Wine Collection is a story of two sisters and their passion for wine. Now the largest African-American-owned wine company in the United States, the collection of wines represents a genuine sense of place. Both the New Zealand and Central Coast of California wines are true expressions of each region’s terroir and the McBride sisters’ signature style; a blend of old-world elegance with new-world finesse.
5. Maison Noir Wines
Maison Noir is a two-fold lifestyle project. Founded by sommelier André Hueston Mack in 2007, both ends of Maison Noir incorporate a trademark attitude and personal perspective on 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 are now available nationwide. And with wines named after a Naughty By Nature hit (Other People’s Pinot) how can you lose?
6. Abbey Creek Vineyard
In 2008 Bertony Faustin became the first recorded Black winemaker in Oregon. Proudly proclaiming his abstinence from alcohol when he started Abbey Creek Vineyards in 2008 and his course would not be like the rest. His work ethic and drive led him to claim his foothold in the Oregon wine industry and he continues to push it forward to the next frontier.
7. Frichette Winery
Frichette Winery is a family-owned limited production winery crafting wines that showcase the best of the Red Mountain AVA. Owned by Greg & Shae Frichette, they decided to go into wine and opened their tasting room in 2013. They offered their first vintage of 2011 with 650 cases of wine. Today, Frichette is a 2000 case winery hosting events for wine club members and guests from all over the world.
8. Charles Wine Company
Nestled in the Sierra foothills, the Charles Wine Company is located in the Lodi Appellation of California. Their Symphony and Cabernet Sauvignon thrives in the Mediterranean climate where they are immersed in golden sunlight, caressed nightly by cool Pacific breezes, and then harvested under starlight to protect their luscious flavor at its peak. Their other varietals are sourced from local growers in the same area experiencing similar optimal growing conditions, with the same devotion to caring for the land and producing a premium wine grape yield and quality wine products.
9. Theopolis Vineyards
Theopolis Vineyards is a small lot vineyard and hand-crafted winery located in California’s prestigious Yorkville Highlands of the Anderson Valley. Theopolis Vineyards is best known for its Best in Class, Double Gold, 95 Points 2013 Estate Grown Petite Sirah and its Double Gold 2014 Estate Grown Rosé of Petite Sirah. Additionally, the Sunset Magazine International Wine Competition has consistently given the Estate Grown Theopolis Vineyards Petite Sirah stellar Gold Medals.
10. D Wade Cellars
In becoming one of the most celebrated athletes in the world, Dwyane Wade has been exposed to the ultimate in living well, as well as some of the world’s greatest personalities. Dwyane’s love of the great wines of Napa Valley was fueled by the food and wine he enjoyed with his teammates Chris Bosh and LeBron James. Their friendship and mutual love of great wine sparked a passion in Dwyane. Two years ago, he decided to follow his heart and make D Wade Cellars a reality.