February is more than the month where love is in the air, it’s also the start of Black History Month! This annual celebration begins February 1st and ends March 1st. Black History Month isn’t just a time for temporary support, nor should it be reduced to a mere hashtag. It is a movement—a recognition of how African Americans have impacted culture, tech, science, pop culture and so many other facets of our collective history.
For the second year in a row, we are featuring Legacy in the Bottle. The goal of this campaign is to highlight some fantastic Black-Owned brands. Throughout February, participating brands will donate a portion of their proceeds to the United Negro College Fund. UNCF has been providing financial support for students since 1944!
For the first time, we partnered with artist Niki Dionne, a Dallas-based illustrator and fiber artist, who created a commissioned piece that will be donated to the UNCF as our gift to them. Her curated piece draws the connection between the artist and the enjoyer, similar to the experience that these Black-Owned wine and spirit brands create for their audience. Watch the video below to follow her creative journey for this piece of artwork she titled "Jackie and Bertie."
UNCF Mission Statement:
“UNCF envisions a nation where all Americans have equal access to a college education that prepares them for rich intellectual lives, competitive and fulfilling careers, engaged citizenship and service to our nation.”
This mission is something we can all get behind and we could not be more proud to be involved with this fantastic giveback organization for the second year in a row! Now that you know a little bit about the organizations involved, get to know the brands and the faces that help make the Legacy in the Bottle campaign possible. Keep reading for the stories of Black Irish, Intercept Wines, Brough Brothers, Longevity Wines, Uncle Nearest, J-Harden Wines, Gran Coramino, Indoggo, & Ten To One.
What is your cause for celebration? Black Irish asks this of its customers because, well, what better flavor profile elicits celebration like an Irish cream liqueur? It's perfect for the holiday, but quite frankly, it's perfect for any celebration.
Mariah Carey's no stranger to success. This record-breaking solo artist puts her heart and soul into her music and now most definitely into her new endeavor, Black Irish, named after her mixed heritage. This delicious new liqueur is one everyone can get behind. Made for every man, woman, and lamb!
Wine and football. At a glance, it seems like these are two completely polarizing interests. For Charles Woodson, football was the hot route that led him to wine and his love of it. Woodson is an 18-year NFL vet who spent the earlier part of his career playing for the Oakland Raiders. While playing for Oakland, Woodson got the opportunity to experience Napa Valley during training camp. From there, his love of wine only grew. He and his teammates would share a bottle and bond over it, initiating the connection between his two passions: football and wine.
Intercept is a love letter from Woodson to his fans. He wanted to produce high-quality wine, while still making it affordable, and has accomplished just that. The quality of the wine has even received scores in the 90s in wine publications such as Wine Enthusiast, the Beverage Tasting Institute, and the Ultimate Beverage Challenge. Intercept also nods to Woodson's noteworthy football career and 65 interceptions. The passion for wine and football is inherent in every bottle bought and glass shared.
The Brough team consists of three brothers; Victor Yarbrough, Bryson Yarbrough, and Chris Yarbrough. Together they strived to produce something greater than the sum of its parts — Kentucky’s first Black-Owned distillery. Brough Brothers not only produces flavorful whiskey but also brings diversity and economic growth to the brothers’ community.
Brough Brothers whiskey is already starting to garner recognition via leading beverage magazines such as Imbibe, who recently selected Brough Brothers Distillery for the Imbibe 75.
From the design on the bottle to the flavors and notes, this whiskey will provide you with a new whiskey experience. Brough Brothers Whiskey has notes of green apple and pear with subtle hints of ginger and nutmeg. The notes are accompanied by a bouquet of red roses, apples, and nutmeg.
Phil Long and his late wife, Debra, moved to Northern California and quickly learned that wine is woven into the fabric of the new location that they called home. They spent nearly every weekend immersed in wine: talking about it, tasting it, and experiencing it.
Anyone can taste wine, but not everyone can make it. In 2003 Phil and Debra decided to take their love of wine and put it into their own, thus creating the first batch of wine in their garage and sowing the seeds that would eventually be Longevity Wines. When winemaking outgrew their garage, it went from a couple's hobby to a career. And just like that, Longevity Wines was born. "It was just an enjoyment and a love of spending time together and learning something together," Phil said when discussing the inspiration behind their wine.
Phil and Debra have made their mark on the California wine community, so much so that in 2018 they were recognized as winery of the year in Livermore Valley. They’ve even been featured in major news publications such as CNBC!
Fawn Weaver has been a serial entrepreneur for more than 25 years. As the CEO and founder of Grant Sidney, Inc., Weaver is a popular TED speaker, as well as a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author. Fawn Weaver is the CEO of Uncle Nearest, Inc., which she founded in 2016, becoming the first African-American woman to lead a major spirits brand with an all-female executive team. Uncle Nearest has become the fastest-growing American whiskey brand in U.S. history and the most-awarded Bourbon of 2019, 2020, and 2021.
Since then, her accolades include being the first African-American featured on the cover of American Whiskey magazine and being named one of Food & Wine's Drinks Innovators of the Year in 2022. In addition to all of these achievements, Fawn also founded the Nearest Green Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization offering full scholarships to every descendant of Nearest Green, the world’s first known African-American master distiller. In 2021, Weaver created the Uncle Nearest Venture Fund to invest in minority-founded, owned and led brands with the greatest potential to grow into legacy brands.
The man needs no introduction, but we’ll give it a shot; 10-time NBA All-Star, gif, Olympic gold medalist, beard icon, and now winemaker! James Harden doesn’t just set out to be the most versatile player on the court, he’s also very multifaceted in everyday life. It seemed it was only a matter of time until he set out on a new, note-worthy endeavor. His latest one being J-Harden wine, in collaboration with J-Shed.
“I wanted to bring excitement to the wine industry and turn some heads, with a wine that you can drink anywhere – nice dinner & at home chilling – something that I would drink often. That was the kind of lane I was looking for… something real,” said Harden.
Not only did he say that, but he made it happen. All boxes have been checked for the type of wine Harden set out to make. His addition of swag to the world of wine has been so apparent that people are starting to take notice. Whether you’re trying the California Cabernet Sauvignon or his California Red Blend, this wine is sure to score and rank high in your wine selection.
Gran Coramino is a byproduct of two passionate people who are experts in their craft: Kevin Hart and Juan Domingo Beckmann. Kevin Hart is a name that needs no introduction. For the past decade, he’s entertained millions through the big screen. From comedy to action-comedy to his gut-busting specials, Hart is someone who is unmistakable when he’s on camera. But what most don’t know is that his passion for filmmaking has poured over into a new enterprise. Tequila. And not just any tequila, Gran Coramino. Hart has become something of a connoisseur in the field of tequila so it’s no wonder why he partnered up with tequila expert, Juan Domingo Beckmann.
The world of tequila has forever been influenced by Beckmann and his family. Beckmann and his family have been perfecting and distilling tequila for 11 generations on the same fertile fields of agave. Hart and Beckmann, masters of their craft have struck gold with this tequila. Gran Coramino, to no one’s surprise, was amongst the top scorers at The World’s Best Tequila And Mezcal: 2022 New York World Spirits Competition.
Gran Coramino brings so much to the table, and even the glass: abundant notes of cooked agave, ripened stone fruit, and oak, followed by vanilla bean, toffee, dark berries, and light spice to blanket the pallet. This tequila definitely has a taste that’ll raise eyebrows and many many cheers.
Let’s go back to our first time listening to the iconic hip-hop anthem “Gin & Juice.” It might’ve been in 1994, or maybe it was a more recent discovery. Either way, the perfect appendage for the first time listening to such a ballad should defiantly be the titular cocktail—gin & juice. This song serves as the inspiration behind Snoop Dogg’s flavored gin, Indoggo Gin. Snoop Dogg has had pop culture vibing with his music for over two decades, and now we get to do it again but this time in the form of his gin brand. He has had such an influence on the music industry, it was only a matter of time before he explored other creative outlets such as creating his own brand of gin.
Indoggo Gin is the result of seven botanicals and natural fruit flavors. Juniper isn’t the only botanical that’ll come through; orange, coriander, and cassia can also be found in every bottle as well as a citrusy, slightly sweet finish. If you’ve been blown away by Snoop’s music just wait until you try his gin. Indoggo goes beyond just another celebrity-owned spirit, it’s truly something to behold and a love letter to hip-hop, Snoop’s fans, and the laid-back California lifestyle. Take this as a sign to try Indoggo today—it’s nuthin’ but a gin thang.
Ten To One
According to the founder Marc Farrell, "celebration is more than an activity... it's an attitude, a frame of mind, and a way of life." If you're not sure what that means, a glass or two of this rum will give you a better understanding. The brand's goal is not only to create an amazing spirit that is "elevated but not exclusive," but also to provide something different and challenge rum's current perception. Catching the eye of celebrity investors was proof that Farrell was on to something. R&B singer, Ciara, was drawn in by Farrell's approach to rum; perfect for everyday celebrations and milestones. For Ciara, her milestone was planning her first cocktail after breastfeeding her son for ten months while in quarantine. There must have been something exceptional about it to have her excited to invest. Ciara has now teamed up with Farrell as an investor, co-founder, and director of Ten To One Rum. It comes as no surprise that Ten To One was awarded Double Gold Medal and 97 Points at the Proof Awards in 2020. It then went on to win Gold Medal at The Rum Masters in 2021. It’s time to disrupt the rum conversation and Ten To One has the floor. Enjoy rum reimagined.
Join us in celebrating these Black-Owned brands by stocking up on these bottles and exploring their uniquely crafted recipes in our Legacy in the Bottle Cocktail Book created by our Beverage Marketing Team.
Enjoy responsibly, Cheers!