TheBlackWiner.com is the idea of one Zachary M.C. Harris.

Like many Americans, I was exposed to wine by those around me, and they had the first influences on my tastes, not that those tastes even permeated or took hold in any way, shape, or form. The first people, of course, that I saw drinking wine, or other types of spirits would be my parents, and the people that were in their lives. The second set of people would of course neighbors, and this would be followed by friends and associates from my childhood, through adolescence, and spanning my 20s.

At some point, as I made my own way into the world, I would be exposed to wines and spirits through interaction with bartenders, waiters, patrons of bars and restaurants, more friends, and women that I would deal with (one woman introduced me not only to Beajoulais -- not one that I liked mind you --, but also Meridian Chardonnay, which was pretty good that year).

I came to recall all of this, firstly, while having a steak and a couple glasses of wine while sitting at the bar of the Capitol Grille in Philadelphia. Several friends of the bartender and I were engaged in conversation, and one of them was trying to empty out his wine locker that night. Our conversation included all of the old rotgut that we drank and/or were exposed to back in the day (this would of course be during the late 60s and during the 70s). Talks were of Mad Dog 20/20, Thunderbird, Night Train (not a wine), Tiger Rose, and the ubiquitous Boone's Farm. I remember drinking Mad Dog 20/20 when it only had one flavor! I remember the commercials for Thunderbird [and even Black Tower wine].

And do you remember the commercials where the guy has the jug of wine in the back of his expensive car, and utters "how do you think that I got, sooooo rich?"

We also can't forget Maneschewitz. And Boone's Farm, well, I was introduced to that during my freshman year in college; the guys in the dorm room next to mine loved the Strawberry Hill version, as well as they had a hankering for Rumplemintz.

But if you think about it, most of us weren't fortunate enough to be introduced to wine on a basic level of not getting something mass produced to established a quick buzz for a low price. For those that recall the 80s, that was the time of the wine coolers, which would then lead to boxed wine cooler (Matilda Bay), which would in turn lead to our current crop of boxed wines. And during that time, there was also the introduction and proliferation of the blush, White Zinfandels, soon to be followed by White Grenaches. And being around my aunt and uncle and their peers, whom I thought were all "with it," I would look to those wines as a standard.

Boy was I wrong!

So, for probably the past decade, I have been expanding my wine experience more and more, as well as sharing some of these forays with others, enlightening their palates and expanding their minds.


Our Mission: The Black Winer strives to expose African Americans [and others] to wines, without the flair, stuffiness, and airs of elitism and snobbery that you get from sommeliers and high level wine enthusiasts. We believe in finding something that you like the taste of, outside of the basic brands that you have been force-fed over the years through a combination of ethnically targeted advertising, and what people in your family have historically been drinking.

We welcome your comments and suggestions. Please click here to send us an e-mail.

© 2008 Ika, LLC Philadelphia, PA 215-474-1911 | Built & Designed by Zachary Harris

Sunday, July 21, 2024
12:07:15 AM