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Something to Wine About

What is The Exclusive Blacklist?


The Exclusive Blacklist is a first of its kind in Richmond, VA. Hosted by The Vine Wine Club, the event features six African-American wineries and wine brands that have not quite enjoyed mainstream exposure in the area. From each of the six wineries and brands represented, our guests will be able to taste 3 of their superior wines. Heavy hors d’ oeuvres and live jazz will cap off a phenomenal experience. The Exclusive Blacklist will be held on February 12, 2015 at Richmond’s picturesque Virginia War Memorial. Tickets are $75.

Why The Exclusive Blacklist?

I’ve been to lots and lots of wine tastings and expos. I’ve attended Virginia wine festivals, Italian Wine Festivals, Napa festivals, and many others. After leaving those events, I sought out many of the brands that I had tasted and identified new favorites over the years. So back in November, jazz great Marcus Johnson was a guest on my show “Off the Vine with Benita and Terricinia”. During the show, he shared with us that he was in Minneapolis meeting with the corporate offices of a chain of well-known stores. He was trying to get his wines on the shelves. We continued the conversation to talk about the various obstacles to getting a brand on the shelf. Money is the biggest barrier because advertising and marketing make it easier to get a store to carry the brand. And with states having varying laws that regulate the sale of alcohol, it may be a challenging finding distribution in that particular state. So this idea of an expo was born. But we wanted this event to be celebratory. We wanted to “toast” to the brands and shine a spotlight on phenomenal artisan wines, with a backdrop of great food, music, and fellowship. The Exclusive Blacklist is a marketing event. It is a wine tasting with an up close and personal meet and greet with some of the owners. Marcus Johnson of Flo Brands and Gwen Hurt of Shoe Crazy Wines will be there to meet the guests and discuss their wines. We will also introduce Felicia Cosby, an aspiring urban winery owner, who is already making wines that will sure to develop a cult following.

Other featured wines are Wisdom Oak of Charlottesville, VA, Mouton Noir of Oregon, and Seven Sisters from South Africa.

Our event sponsors are The Law Offices of Alex Taylor, Speak to Your Spirit, Boss-Chi Catering and Concessions, Inc., Main Street Spa and Wellness Center, May We Help You Radio Network, Dr. Charles Sutton, Moore’s Auto Body and Paint Shop, Taking Flight, and Haywood’s Photos.

Our goal is to make this an annual event by introducing six new wineries each year. The objective is to grow awareness organically by introducing the owners to the people who will support the brands. The Exclusive Blacklist will be our signature event.

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