Written by Alexis Collins
Artwork by Cindy Nguyen
As Black people, we have a unifying spirit of magic, gumption, and resourcefulness that is difficult to duplicate. During the pandemic, many Black entrepreneurs managed to thrive by modifying their standard routines in the absence of normalcy. Founder of the subscription service, A Taste of the Culture, Sean McCloud has developed a one-of-a-kind catalog that features Black-owned wine and spirits. The Philadelphia native is a spirits connoisseur, having long-term experience in marketing and selling spirits and wine products across a spectrum of brands.
“I’m a veteran of the industry and have worked for some of the bigger wine and spirits brands. Some stuff you definitely know, I won’t name drop,” he proudly stated.
McCloud soon realized his calling was greater after the murder of George Floyd and the ground-breaking support given to Black-owned everything during the BLM movement. In an effort to educate himself on Black-owned wine and spirit shops, he discovered several new wine and spirit brands to patronize, including Uncle Nearest Whiskey, LS Cream Liqueur, Ten To One Rum, and La Fete Du Rose. McCloud wasn’t aware of how many spectacular and delectable Black brands existed and wanted to encourage others to join the movement.
“I wanted to put my experience to good use and I started doing video reviews of different brands, and people started asking me where they could get these items,” he shared. “I realized that people trusted my opinion when it came to stuff like that, and I wanted to come up with a way to help people get what they wanted. That’s how a Taste of the Culture was born.”
During the Spring of 2020, McCloud’s brainchild came into fruition, with the very essence of his enterprise being education and approachability. At “A Taste of the Culture”, McCloud and his team’s desire is to highlight underrepresented Black-owned spirit and wine brands while fostering a sense of community among brand owners and customers. He strongly embodies the ideology of generational wealth and keeping Black dollars circulating in the community.
One of the ways McCloud decided to tackle Black alcoholic beverage discovery was to actively promote their products through a curated monthly box. He kick-started his business by launching his first subscription box, featuring Buble Champagne in December. This opening showcase stemmed from McCloud falling in love with Buble’s brand and concept on Instagram. His collaboration with the company has led to this fresh and creamy sparkling wine selling out his debut box.
Additionally, his dedicated team of professionals has applied their eight-plus years of liquor brand marketing experience to bolster an unforgettable, interactive experience. Each month, the team gets creative and spice things up with a rotation of Black-owned products. The subscription package is decked out as members receive a Black-owned wine or spirit, mixers, recipes, suggested servings, and a home bar accessory (i.e., a bar spoon, glassware, or shaker).
McCloud wants people to cherish Black-owned spirits and wine and give them the same reverence as larger brands. He gives site visitors the option to choose select brands, emphasizing the importance of visibility and preference. His dream is to see people of all complexions, specifically, BIPOC, purchase Black-owned brands first when filling their shopping carts, not just because of the owner’s race, but because of the unmatched quality of the brand.
“Black-owned spirits don’t really have the shine and the publicity and the sales that they should have,” Sean explained. “There are so many brands that people don’t know about, so I kinda took it as a mission to do what I could to add to that.”
Get 20% off the 1st month of your membership, use our special promo code: UNCORKED.