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Why Is the Wine Industry Ignoring Black Americans’ $1.2 Trillion Buying Power?

Cameron Glover muses about this exact topic in a piece she penned, “Drinking While Black.” “I typically prefer Moscato, a sweet, fizzy white wine, or sweet mixed drinks. But because I know about the cultural expectations of what a woman — and particularly a black woman, a woman of color — is supposed to drink, a feeling of self-consciousness prevails when I order the drinks I want to consume,” Glover writes.

Being a black woman from the South only complicates these assumptions, assumptions that the wine industry, and how they choose to market to black wine drinkers, reinforces. Assumptions that impact how and if they ever reach wine drinkers who look like me.

“People aren’t talking to us, period,” Tanisha Townsend, a wine educator and consultant, says. She’s speaking about the wine industry’s “old-fashioned” approach to consumer marketing — one that doesn’t aim to reach drinkers who aren’t white. The majority of wine advertising and marketing, and many of the industry’s cultural gatekeepers, don’t appear to recognize the diverse preferences or buying power of the black market. They aren’t invested in exploring “what we like, do day-to-day, or about our culture,” Townsend says.

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