Why Aren’t There More Black Americans Making Wine?
Olivia Pope, the heroine of Shonda Rhimes’ hit show Scandal, is the first black heroine to grace the small screen in 40 years. But the importance of her performance has had a ripple effect beyond just increasing diversity in the television industry. Magnificent in her mastery of all those around her, Olivia Pope is also unique for her love of red wine. The glass she drinks from—the Camille Red Wine Glass—is now a Crate and Barrel bestseller, flying off the shelves at 20 times their pre-Scandal weekly volume.
And yet, even though Olivia Pope’s wineglass has become a household item, the wine that’s in it is still somehow not making it into those abundantly purchased glasses—at least, not in African American homes.
Only 25% of African Americans drink wine, as opposed to 34% of their white counterparts, and they are more likely to purchase sparkling or sweet wines, rather than the deep red vintages Olivia Pope imbibes. This may be due to the way wine is marketed—or rather, not marketed—to them. Though African Americans are 12% more likely to shop for wine online than their white counterparts, wine sellers and their marketers continue to refuse to reach out to the African American consumer.