This marks the first time that our weekly wine down and chill column has landed on Juneteenth. The last few months have ushered in unprecedented change. Here at Grit Daily News, we’ve been publishing content for weeks to broadcast Black voices and raise awareness plus understanding.
We’ll continue to offer affordable suggestions for music, wine, dinner and movies with a different wine down and chill theme each week. You can also follow me on Instagram for wine art and photography @WineDownAndChill. We’re here to help you sit back, wine down and chill. If you missed an article, fret not! You can find every article here.
If you like podcasts, well, wouldn’t you know, we’ve got those, too! Three of them, in fact: 1) Women-in-Tech Like a Boss with snappy insights; 2) wine down and chill” and 3) Monday motivation. All three are available on all streaming channels including Apple, iHeart Radio, Spotify and more. Tune in!
Theme: Black lives matter
If you haven’t tuned in, what rock …? Juneteenth marks the 155th anniversary of the emancipation of Black slaves in Texas on this day in 1865 at the end of the Civil War. There’s a long way to go but raising our nation’s consciousness of how freedom is for *all* peoples is a step in the right direction which is what is being celebrated by wine down and chill.
Music and sports may be the only industries where all nationalities are well represented. Given today’s wine down and chill theme, it made sense to look back at the music that changed the listening landscape and helped establish the scene that we have today. Spotify has assembled the Top 100 Motown Songs on this playlist that will have you jamming all weekend long.
Learn: wineries owned by Blacks
It’s not a big number. The number of women that own wineries is already pretty small – the number of Black female wine owners is even smaller. I was surprised to learn how low it is: fewer than 1% of the 8,702 wineries in the US are owned by Blacks (men or women). According to Essence, one of the most popular Black winery owners is affectionately known as, “Theopatra – Queen of the Vineyards.”
Otherwise known as Theodora Lee, she retired as an attorney in the upscale Yorkville Highlands of the Anderson Valley and transformed her hobby into a business. Lee took viticulture classes at UC Davis then began selling her wines in 2003. It wasn’t long before her grapes and wines were being recognized with scores in the 90s by afficionados, her Petit Syrahs in particular.
This varietal is commonly grown in Australia, California, France and Israel. The grapes are dark and inky. Flavors are bold and tend to suit palettes that like a drier wine.
Wine: Theopolis 2017 Petite Syrah
I haven’t tried the wine down and chill selection that I’m about to feature, but it’s on my list! All the grapes are grown on the Theopolis estate. This 2017 Petit Syrah is designed to be aged for decades. Its characteristic notes of chocolate, cola, toasted oak and raspberry are directly aligned with the flavors that make my mouth happy. The wine is said to be fruit-forward and well balanced for a smooth finish. Priced at $37 per bottle, it’s worth breaking out for a special occasion like Juneteenth or Father’s Day.
Dine: Father’s Day BBQ
This is also a wine down and chill celebration of Father’s Day. Nothing says “Father’s Day” quite like BBQ. Here’s an easy, nearly goof-proof recipe that’s sure to please. Use large portabella mushrooms as your veg option or medium-sized chicken breasts.
Slice up (chunky style) a huge red onion, one jalapeno pepper plus a few orange or red peppers. Marinate the chicken and veggies in Italian salad dressing. Wrap everything in a heavy-duty tinfoil (double-wrap) and cook for about 1 hour with every burner turned on low heat. Serve over a bed of rice for a terrific wine down and chill with Dad.
Watch: Da 5 Bloods
Typical of the intense storytelling style of Spike Lee, Da 5 Bloods delivers a powerful performance highlighting the battles (literal and figurative) fought by Blacks in the Vietnam War and upon their return. Four vets return to Vietnam to retrace the steps of their fallen squad leader – and to hunt for the gold they hid 50 years earlier. The New Yorker says that Lee “pulls the traumas of black men’s experiences of the Vietnam War out of obscurity and puts them in the forefront of political consciousness.” It’s a wine down and chill thriller with 2.5 hours of non-stop drama and thought-provoking narratives.
It’s the weekend. Time to wine down and chill. Cheers and Happy Father’s Day to my Dad and all the #girldads and dads out there!!
Lead photo by Mwabonje from Pexels