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7 Great Alternatives to Sparkling Wines from BIPOC Wine Entrepreneurs

BIPOC wine entrepreneurs alternative wines

A toast to exceptional still-wine alternatives, from BIPOC wine entrepreneuers, that sparkle in every sip.  

By Candace Keeton

 

 

While the sounds of New Year’s Eve festivities are still ringing in our ears, the spirit of celebration doesn’t have to be swept away with the confetti.  In 2024, let’s redefine our toasts and make every win, big or small, a cause for merriment.  And why limit the joy to just Champagne and other sparkling wines when the world of vinification is a vast and diverse playground?  Sparkling wine is no longer the sole star of celebration.  

Whether you’re marking the start of a new chapter, popping bottles in the club, or commemorating a significant work achievement, the world of still wine offers a trove of delightful alternatives waiting to be uncorked.  We embrace the unconventional. Especially from BIPOC wine entrepreneurs. hat’s why we’re here to guide you through a list of exceptional still-wine alternatives that promise to elevate your celebrations beyond the expected. 

Exceptional Wines from BIPOC Wine Entrepreneurs

 

White Wines

Chardonnay: as the dominant white grape in Champagne, there should be no wonder why this grape is at the top of the list.  Chardonnay is versatile in that it produces both sparkling and still wines that can age in oak.  Known for its yellow apple, pineapple, or even buttery notes you’re sure to find a Chardonnay that pleases your palate. 

In the Wine Shop: look for wines from Burgundy (Chablis), United States (California), Australia (Adelaide Hills, Margaret River, Yarra Valley), and the emerging gems from South Africa (Stellenbosch and Elgin)

Sip On: Aslina Chardonnay from South African winemaker Ntsiki Biyela

 

Sauvignon Blanc: A white grape that offers crisp and refreshing acidity.  Known for its honeydew, grapefruit, and herbaceous bell pepper notes.  

In the Wine Shop: look for wines from New Zealand (Marlborough and Hawke’s Bay), France (Bordeaux, Loire Valley, Bourgogne), and the United States (California and Washington).

Sip On: McBride Sisters Collection Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough, New Zealand and Bodkin Sauvignon Blanc out of Sonoma County, California.

 

Chenin Blanc: A white grape variety known for its high acidity and range of styles from dry, sparkling, to sweet and luscious.  

In the Wine Shop: Look for wines from South Africa, where it’s called Steen (Stellenbosch and Paarl), France (Vouvray and Savennières), United States (California and Washington), and Australia.

Sip On: Wade Cellars Three by Wade Chenin Blanc.

 

Muscat Blanc: An aromatic white grape known for its intense floral aromas.  Notes of orange blossom, honeysuckle, jasmine, and citrus fruits.  Cool fact, Muscat Blanc is believed to be one of the oldest cultivated grapes.  

In the Wine Shop: Look for Italy (Piedmont, Lombardy, Veneto, Puglia), France (Rhone Valley), Spain (Andalucia), United States (California), and South Africa (Western Cape)

Sip On: Ward Four Wines Muscat Blanc and MadMarvlus Muskat Akari      

Red Wines

Pinot Noir: One of the world’s most popular light-bodied reds and also another found in Champagne, we couldn’t have a celebratory wine list without this grape.  Known for its red fruit, spice notes, and smooth finish, this grape is a people pleaser.  

In the Wine Shop: Look for wines from France (Burgundy and the Loire Valley), United States (Oregon and California), and Germany (Ahr, Pfalz, Baden) 

Sip On: All options from André Hueston Mack’s Maison Noir Wines out of Oregon.  Check out O.P.P. (Other People’s Pinot), Oregogne Pinot Noir, and Touché Pinot Noir

 

Zinfandel: A fruit-forward, red grape variety with jammy, smoky, and spice notes.  Note: If you see Primitivo on the label, that is the Italian name for Zinfandel.

In the Wine Shop: Look for wines from the United States (Lodi, Napa Valley, Sonoma, Paso Robles) and Italy (Puglia). 

Sip On: Brown Estate’s entire Zinfandel lineup

 

Mourvèdre: A red grape that produces bold, smoky, and medium acidity wines.  Found mostly in Spain where it goes by the name Monastrell.  Often blended with other red grapes like Syrah and Grenache. Make it your mission to find a single varietal bottle to enjoy this delicious gem.  

In the Wine Shop: Look for wines from Spain (Yecla, Alicante, Jumilla) and France (Bandol, Rhône, Provence)

Sip On: Kabayan Wines 2022 Mourvèdre.     

Conclusion

The quest for an alternative to the effervescence of sparkling wine leads us to a world of diverse options. From delicate Chardonnays, to vibrant Sauvignon Blancs, to bold Zinfandels, the options are limitless.  Cheers to celebrating your big accomplishments with these still-wine alternatives. Every bottle is an invitation to uncover the exceptional within the everyday. If you want other alternatives, you can check out our Sip Consciously Directory for other alternatives from BIPOC wine entrepreneurs. Here’s to celebrating your wines your way all 2024. 

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