Recipes and Food Stories from the African Diaspora
By Angela Terry, Co-Owner of Therapy Wine Bar
Therapy Wine Bar opened its door in Bedford-Stuyvesant in September 2009. Since then we have been providing our customers with an eclectic variety of wines, events and music. As you look for the finishing touches to your end of the year celebrations—celebrate it with our top Top Five Wines by African American winemakers… Salut!
M’hudi, South Africa
The Rangaka Family are the founders of the M’hudi brand and the main characters in the M’hudi Boutique Wines adventure. Having left their successful professional careers they settled down to learning new and specialized skills of viticulture and winemaking to establish the now blossoming M’hudi Brand. Every member of the family has heeded the call of M’hudi to come and do something to advance the brand.
Therapy’s Favorite is the Pinotage. This medium-bodied red wine is a rich purple color with a youthful edge, subtle oak spice, plums and vanilla on the nose with silky tannins on the palate.
Seven Sisters, South Africa
The seven sisters behind this label of the African Roots Wine Brands portfolio are biological sisters and hail from Paternoster, a picturesque fishing village on the Cape’s West Coast. The Brutus sisters, along with their baby brother John, had to leave their home when the family was evicted after their father lost his job of over 20 years with a local fishing company. Each wine was carefully selected and styled to match the personality and character of each sister to celebrate their bond and devotion to one another, a fitting tribute to sisterhood indeed.
Therapy’s Favorite is the Odelia Bukkettraube. It’s a naturally sweet, white wine rich in honey flavors yet perfectly balanced by high acidity and floral aromas. Enjoy it on its own or with a light salad.
Indigene Cellars, California
Born and Raised in Oakland Ca. Raymond worked as a Ship Joiner and Grocery Clerk. In the late 1980s, Raymond moved to the small town atmosphere of Paso Robles California. It’s where he quickly acclimated himself to the many aspects of the wine business. Shortly thereafter he helped build and eventually owned and operated a small fleet of mobile wine bottling lines. After building many good relationships with both growers and producers he decided to further challenge himself and create small combinations of what he believed are great wines.
Therapy’s Favorite is Parenthesis Syrah. It has a deep garnet color and aromas of honeycomb and berry cobbler. Its silky, fruity-yet-dry medium body and tangy, with hints of chocolate raisin, apple, and a spice finish. A delicious vibrant sipper or pair with spicy Latin meat dishes.
Mouton Noir, Oregon
Despite having a successful career with Citicorp Investment Services, André Hueston Mack decided to leave his “desk job” to pursue his passion for wine. While working as a sommelier in San Antonio, Mack discovered the joys of introducing guests to the little known vineyards that first attracted him to the business and “the instant gratification of a guest’s reaction.” While still in Texas, Mack was awarded the prestigious title of Best Young Sommelier in America by the highly regarded Chaine des Rotisseurs. This recognition propelled him into the opportunity to work as a sommelier at Thomas Keller’s world-renowned The French Laundry in Yountville, California. Mack went on to accept the position of Head Sommelier at Keller’s equally famed Per Se in New York City, where he managed a 1,800 selection award-winning wine list and consulted with Chef Keller on menu and pairing development regularly. Winemaking has always been a dream of his and came to fruition when he set up shop under the moniker of Mouton Noir Wines.
Therapy’s Favorite is O.P.P. (Other People’s Pinot). It’s a classic Oregon Pinot earmark Willamette Valley. It is accessible, a great value, and stays true to the character of the vineyards from which it was born. Earthy, spicy, floral, herb-framed flavors of cherry with gingery wood spice tones great with all foods.
Esterlina Vineyards & Winery, California
The Sterling Family has been making wine for several generations. As California farmers with over 30 years of experience, they have carefully selected each of their vineyards. Esterlina’s careful vineyard selection is the start of exceptional wines. Special attention is paid to the climate, soil conditions and geography of each vineyard site. They prefer the “small quantity, high quality” style of winemaking, and use fruit from premier appellations—appellations well-suited for growing the various wines they offer. Unique to Esterlina Vineyards is their 253-acre Cole Ranch appellation—the smallest appellation in America. There, they grow Riesling, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes. This vineyard is the sole vineyard in this unique appellation.
Therapy’s Favorite is the Elegancia. We love this elegant, fruit-forward style of chardonnay, and most of you do, too. There are plenty of tropical flavor and aromas—pineapple, lemon, a bit of mango. When combined with great acidity, its presents an appealing bottle of wine.