Seattle Wine Blog

This blog is dedicated to commentary on all aspects of wine, especially short entries to help you find the best wines without the usual hype and spin. These are my frank, independent opinions, usually based on tasting wine at a public event, off the shelf or at the winery. "All creative acts must arise out of a specific soil and flicker with a spirit of place" -D.H. Lawrence

Monday, January 19, 2009

African Americans and Wine

What better way to celebrate Martin Luther King Day, than the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama tomorrow. With all the violence in the world it is easy to lose track of the non-violent successes. The civil rights movement of the 1950s in a major example. Roughly fifty years from MLK to an African American president. Wow! Awesome! Totally Cool!

What's wine got to do with it? Wine is one signifier of middle class success in our society, to say nothing of the pleasure derived from it. While still relatively small in number, more and more African Americans are drinking and tasting wine. According to MFK Research, 9.8% of wine drinkers are African American compared to being approximately 12% of the general population. I see African Americans buying wine all the time in Total in Tucson.

In the past ten years or so, there are more and more African American wine writers, sommeliers and vintners. Dorothy Gaiter may be the most prominent wine writer, while black winemakers have formed themselves into the African American Vintners Association in the Napa Valley. In 2002 the African American Wine Tasting Society was formed and they report significant growth.

What wine will Obama and Michelle serve in the White House?
Like wine, people come in many different colors.
Let us celebrate diversity!


  • At 9:31 PM, Blogger Renie said…

    I hope it's okay to beat my own drum, but I'm an African-American wine writer, and lovingly tend the Vegas Wineaux blog. Admittedly, my blog is, by design, race neutral. Thanks for the nod towards us who are trying to make a difference. It does not go unnoticed or unappreciated.

    Irene King

  • At 6:03 AM, Blogger SeattleWineBlog said…

    Definitely, okay to beat your own drum. Love your blog's name - wino with a French flair. Thanks for your comment. Gene

  • At 11:00 AM, Anonymous Gregory Copploe said…

    Wineries Have Partnered up with Local Artists to Bring you an Evening of Wine Tasting and Art Viewing

    (SEATTLE) June 11, 2009 – Alicia Hansen announced Wednesday that Woodinville will host an evening of art and wine tasting on July 16, 2009 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. “Wine and art go hand in hand, and we are excited to support our local wineries and local artists and host what will be a yearly event in Woodinville”. It’s such a mellifluous mix, art and wine, and we expect a huge turnout”.
    This year we have several wineries participating in this event, and we are proud that they will be giving back to the community by hosting a local artist in their winery. The participating wineries are: Des Voigne Cellars, Alexandria Nicole, Anton Ville, Chatter Creek, Covington Cellars, Cowan Vineyards, Edmonds Winery, Gordon Brothers, Page Cellars, Patterson Cellars, Red Sky Winery and William Church Winery. “William Church Winery is proud to host an artist this year. This exposure is great for both the artist and the winery, so it’s a win win for all”, touted Leslie Balsley owner of William Church Winery.
    Two featured artists, Gretchen Michaels and Gregory Copploe are part of this year’s festivities. Ms. Michaels has partnered up with Red Sky Winery and Mr. Copploe has partnered up with William Church Winery. Gretchen Michaels’ actual paintings are done in "reverse" as she paints on the back side of an acrylic panel. Unlike painting on canvas where the first painted layers get covered with each additional layer of paint, you see her first layers, then less of each additional layer. When the artwork is mounted using her custom built frames, you are looking at the paint through the acrylic panel. Many layers of paint create the final effect. Gregory Copploe’s unique oil style has been compared to Amedeo Modigliani, as he captures the delicate and passionate soul of the woman, her nose elongated, her lips pouting, and her eyes soulful and wanting. His style evolved from painting faces in the clouds, to creating thick oils in spatula, and eventually painting portraits of classical women in a Modiglianic style. Greg and Gretchen both believe that “showing your art in this setting where wine and art are paired together is a winning and sensual combination”.
    Come and taste at twelve of the wineries in the Woodinville Warehouse District for only $20 (cash only). Each winery will feature two wines along with art from a local host artist. Tickets can be purchased at the Woodinville Park North ticket tent (located at 19501 144th Avenue NE just across from Building A at the entrance to the park), Chatter Creek (18658 142nd Ave. NE and Covington Cellars (18580 142nd Ave. NE
    For more info go to


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