There are some things we’ve learned we can live without during the pandemic, like our mother’s tuna casserole or the L train’s mystery funk. But frankly, wine is an essential household item, right up there with toilet paper and password-protected wifi. So in honor of Black History Month, we put together a list of Black-owned wine shops where you can stock up.
Sure the bodega under your apartment carries a small selection of adult beverages, but Happy Cork in Weeksville has a huge selection of wine and spirits, including a wall that’s entirely dedicated to Black-owned beverage companies. That includes options like Maison Noir chardonnay from the owner of & Sons and grande réserve brut from the Stuyvesant Champagne team. Among the bottle shelves, you’ll find flower bouquets, fancy candles, wooden coasters, and marble wine glasses inside this laid-back spot on Buffalo Ave.
Bottoms Up wants to make wine shopping accessible for all. That’s why they’ve organized their entire shop by price point. They’ve even marked all bottles from women winemakers with a “W”, to make things even easier. This Prospect Heights shop also also delivers from 1-9pm everyday, and you can shop their full selection on the shop’s website.
Located in the heart of Bed-Stuy, Wine-O was one of the first wine shops to carry organic and biodynamic wines in the area. It’s a small shop with a striped awning on Marcy Avenue, and while it’s packed with options from winemakers based in countries all over the world, you can also order to-go cocktails and locally-distilled spirits in-store or for delivery through their website.
O & F Wines & Liquor
O & F in Fordham only opened up within the last year, making it the newest wine shop on this list. In addition to wine and spirits, they even sell their own glassware (all of which costs under $20). You can place your order for in-store pick up and local delivery online (they deliver to 10458, 10467, 10460, 10468, 10453, 10457), and use the code “5%OFF for a discount on two bottles or more.
Vyne Yard Wine Shop
Even if you’re not within walking distance of this Prospect Lefferts Garden wine shop, Vyne Yard’s online store makes it easy to filter for the kind of bottle you’re looking for - whether that’s by price (they have a great $25 and under section) or grape varietal (and its accompanying tasting notes). They also sell wine packs with two and four bottles that are perfect if you don’t have anything particular in mind. Vyne Yard is run by the sommelier and owner of & Sons Hospitality Group, so we’d recommend shopping under the section of Dre’s Picks.
& Sons and Vyne Yard share the same owner. The difference here is that you can buy ham with your wine (since this place is first and foremost a Ham Bar). There’s a wide selection of bottles to choose from, all of which are produced in the United States.
If you want to learn more about wine, you should follow Liquid Assets on Instagram. This Bed-Stuy wine shop regularly shares staff picks, food pairings, and wine school lessons in caption form, making the process of understanding flavor notes and wine varietals easy to understand. It’s also a great place to go for natural, orange, and pet nat wines for you next big night in.
Harlem Wine Gallery
Another Central Harlem wine store to save in your phone is Harlem Wine Gallery on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd between 124th and 125th Streets. In addition to focusing on New York-based wine, Harlem Wine Gallery sells wines by Black winemakers and Black-owned wine companies. They also have gift certificates that make for an excellent present you may have accidentally overlooked ahead of time. We won’t tell.
Bedford Nostrand Wine
For a more straightforward wine selection in Bed-Stuy, try Bedford Nostrand Wines. It’s from some of the people behind liquid Assets, and a staple in the neighborhood for Black-owned wine and spirits. They offer local delivery Tuesday-Saturday, but they’re also open seven days a week for walk-ins.
This Bed-Stuy-based Champagne brand isn’t exactly a store (although they are currently shipping their bottles all over the city), but it’s still something to spread the word about. Before the pandemic, Stuyvesant Champagne hosted tasting experiences where New Yorkers could try their two Champagne varieties. They grow their Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes in seven different villages in the Ardre and Marne Valleys in France. Check out their bottles and place your order here.