19 Red Wines Perfect For Juneteenth

Planning to host or attend a proper Juneteenth cookout? We’ve got a wine for that.

Juneteenth was finally deemed an official federal holiday four short years ago, but the celebration of emancipation was conceived by Black Texans in 1866. One of the major traditions of this holiday is serving and eating red-hued food and drinks, a custom adopted in part due to the connection with the red hibiscus and cola nut drinks West African enslaved people smuggled with them to America. 

For your Juneteenth cookout menu—from red hot links to red rice and okra to red velvet cake—we’ve put together a stellar lineup of Black-owned red wines representing a range of styles and grape varietals from regions all across the nation.

Bodkin Wines “Light Skinned” 2022 Light Red Wine/Dark Rosé — 100% Zinfandel (Mendocino County, CA); $32

This wine gets its clever moniker from winemaker Chris Christensen, who made this chillable, light-bodied red via a technique known as “light (grape) skin contact,” giving the pressed juice a distinctive color and flavor profile. 

PAIR WITH: charcuterie & cheese boards, grilled pizza, barbecued pork ribs, burrata and strawberry salad

Theopolis Vineyards 2021 “Theo-Patra’s Cuvée Cerise” Red Blend — 31% Petite Sirah + 25% Mourvèdre + 25% Syrah + 19% Grenache Red Blend (Yorkville Highlands/Anderson Valley, CA); $36

Theodora Lee, also known as “Theopatra,” is the daughter of a Texas farmer who inspired her two-fold love for farming and winemaking. She founded Theopolis Vineyards in 2001, producing wines that have garnered numerous medals and awards.

PAIR WITH: smoked chicken, grilled zucchini and eggplant, roasted yams

2020 “Dirty Radish” by Chevonne Ball — 100% Pinot Meunier (McMinnville, OR); $55

This winemaking collaboration between Eyrie Vineyards and Wine Enthusiast “Top 40 Under 40” Sommelier Chevonne Ball was created to evoke Ball’s memories of a rustic, sensory-laden, home-cooked dinner experienced during a 2009 trip to France.

PAIR WITH: roasted chicken and mushrooms, smoked pork belly/bacon, Gruyere cheese, French onion soup 

Maison Noir 2022 “Bastardo Jackson — 100% Trousseau Noir (Willamette Valley, OR);  $30

Industry OG and Maison Noir founder Andre Hueston Mack continues to bring his special brand of genius to wine. Trousseau Noir, also known as “Bastardo,” is a lesser-known grape cultivated in the Jura region of France, with the beguiling quality of being light-bodied yet powerful in profile. 

PAIR WITH: smoked ham, duck terrine or paté, cheesecake with blackberry sauce

Boyd Cru Wines “Living Legacy” Red Blend — 70% Barbera + 10% Cabernet Franc + 10% Malbec + 10% Merlot (Poolesville, MD); $35

Boyd Cru, which opened its doors in 2023, is the first Black family-owned, federally-permitted, state-licensed winery in Maryland. Named to “symbolize the robust ancestry” of Boyd Cru’s owners, “Living Legacy” is the embodiment of being their ancestor’s wildest dreams. 

PAIR WITH: roasted decadent meats (duck, pheasant, ribeye roast), pizza, blue cheese, truffle fries

Wade Cellars 2020 ”Three By Wade” — 100% Cabernet Sauvignon (St. Helena, CA); $28

Sports superstar Dwyane Wade crossed over from b-baller to full-time businessman, vintner and wine brand owner, creating both everyday sipping wines and special occasions bottles while bringing more inclusivity, access and enjoyment to wine.

PAIR WITH: beef ribs, lamb chops, cheddar cheese grits or polenta, lasagna

J. Moss Winery 2018 Merlot — (Napa Valley, CA) 100% Merlot; $64

Moss is serious about the art of winemaking, evidenced by their transparency on wine production: “The grapes were hand punched down three times a day until dry…pressed to barrel for malolactic fermentation, racked off and put into 100% new French barrels for 28 months to ensure their complex flavor.” The result: perfection in a glass.

PAIR WITH: salmon, fried chicken, collard greens, red beans and rice, prosciutto

Domaine Curry 2021 Founder’s BlendCabernet Sauvignon + Petite Sirah + Malbec + Zinfandel + Syrah (Napa Valley, CA); $85

With Domaine Curry, now part of the Constellation Brands portfolio, Sweet July’s very own Ayesha Curry and her sister-in-law Sydel Curry-Lee are on a mission to “make more space for women of color in the luxury wine landscape.” They’ve also worked hard to ensure their wines (from the labels to what’s inside the bottle) reflect their story.   

PAIR WITH: cherry-glazed seared duck breasts, spiced beef and chicken kabobs, roasted chicken with mushrooms

Abbey Creek 2019 “Funkdafied” — 100% Syrah (Portland, OR); $40

Faustin became the first recorded Black winemaker in Oregon in 2008 after being inspired by his immigrant father to build a legacy for himself. He created a brand designed to welcome wine lovers with “love, magic, and moments.”

PAIR WITH: birria tacos, sausage pizza, oxtails, blue cheese, dark chocolate desserts

Corner 103 2020 “Moon Mountain” Cabernet Franc — 100% Cabernet Franc (Sonoma, CA); $65

Founder Lloyd Davis opened Corner 103 in 2015 to make wine lovers “feel comfortable” learning about wine and “sharing the joy of food and wine pairing.” Since then, the winery has won multiple gold medals and was named a “best winery” by USA Today.

PAIR WITH: pot roast, steak and potatoes, beef stew

P. Harrell 2021 “Three Fifteen” Zinfandel — 100% Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley, CA); $38

Paula J. Harrell, businesswoman, community leader and wine educator prides herself on being a woman, Black, Latina and Caribbean-owned wine company. She makes wines that are “an overall tribute to her family’s legacy: dedication to community, friendship, cultural heritage, and one another.”

PAIR WITH: pork ribs, cornbread, baked beans, blue cheese coleslaw, stuffed bell peppers

2020 Brown Estate “Chaos Theory” — 50% Zinfandel + 20.5% Merlot + 17.5% Cabernet Franc + 12% Sangiovese (Saint Helena, CA); $40

You say you’re not really into red blends? This just may be the bottle that changes your mind. Chaos Theory was originally created as a “one-off blend” that quickly became a permanent addition to Brown Estate’s portfolio. It’s a special one: “This 2020 vintage is officially our most chaotic—and possibly most miraculous…”

PAIR WITH: baby back ribs, burgers, smoked turkey legs, Bolognese pasta, woodfired pizza

Longevity 2019 Barbera — 100% Barbera (Livermore Valley, CA); $42

Phil Long was bitten by the winemaking bug after he created his first garage wine in 2002—and he never looked back. He launched Longevity Wines with his now departed wife in 2008 and is building a true legacy empire, as his son Phil Jr. prepares to have the wine torch passed to him.

PAIR WITH: prosciutto and mushroom pizza, grilled or smoked salmon, truffle cheese

Vision Cellars 2017 “Las Alturas” Pinot Noir — (Saint Lucia Highlands, CA); $65 

The son of an east Texas moonshiner, Mac McDonald was destined to make. He knew the moment he tasted Burgundy at the age of 12 that there was no going back. After finishing high school, McDonald moved to California and immersed himself in learning everything about wine before launching Vision Cellars in 1995 with his wife.

PAIR WITH: veal, roasted chicken, egg noodles, olives

La Fête du Rouge — 86% Syrah + 12% Grenache + 2% Mourvèdre (Miami Beach, FL);  $99 (3-bottle pack)

Since the French word “fête” translates to “party” or “feast” in English, it comes as no surprise that the goal of founder and CEO Donae Burston is to embody “the St. Tropez lifestyle and ethos.” Another mission is to “…revitalize wine culture by redefining who drinks wine and when.”

PAIR WITH: beef wellington, grilled portabellas, pork rinds, charcuterie boards, General Tso’s chicken

Frichette “Red Mountain” Petit Verdot — 100% Petit Verdot (Benton City, WA); $55

Wife-husband team Shae and Greg Frichette began producing wine in 2013 after moving to Washington, with a goal “to be a destination winery known for stellar hospitality, beautiful views, and premium wines…[and] to be good stewards of the land and contributors to our community.”

PAIR WITH: homemade mac and cheese, barbecued sausage, red beans and rice, lamb chops

Fifty Leven “Dulce Zaiya” — 80% Chambourcin + Amber Creek Vineyard + 10% Petit Verdot + 10% Petite Sirah (Loudoun County, VA); $45

Wine production in Virginia has recently garnered well-deserved notoriety for the wine quality, terroir uniqueness, the historical connections to winemaking and its native grapes. Black-woman owned Fifty Leven uses the unique Chambourcin grape to make Dulce Zaiya for palates that can appreciate well-made sweet wine.

PAIR WITH: braised short ribs, camembert cheese, grilled watermelon and feta cheese salad

Charles Woodson “Intercept” 2020 red blend40% Petite Sirah, 30% Zinfandel, 15% Petite Verdot (Paso Robles, CA); $20

Oakland Raiders legend Charles Woodson developed a passion for wine almost two decades ago that eventually compelled him to make his own. With Intercept Wines, Woodson brings the competitiveness and discipline developed in sports to the art of winemaking. 

PAIR WITH: grilled steaks, burgers, Spanish-style tapas

Chapelton Vineyards 2022 Malbec — 100% Malbec (Washington, TX); $55 

Michelle and Kurt Lyn, owners of Chapelton Vineyards, are exemplifying the excellence of Texas wines while making wine a lifestyle on their 75-acre property (14 of which are vineyards). The estate boasts a luxurious two-story tasting room, onsite restaurant and well-appointed private villas overlooking the vineyards. Chapelton’s commitment runs so deep that they also conduct a “Wine School Program” covering viticulture and winemaking.

PAIR WITH: barbecue and smoked meats, lamb chops, beef fajitas, mushroom and truffle pizza


Thank you!

June 21, 2024

An impressive list and I’ve only had 3. Let the quest begin ☺️

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Toi Clarke Jones

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