The 5 Best Wines to Drink This Winter

Welcome to The Pour, a monthly column about what we’re drinking right now.

Just before the pandemic I took over a bar and wine shop in Chicago’s West Loop with two partners. Juice@1340 is what Chicagoans call a “slashie”: part bar, part shop. Buy something and take it home or drink it here. We’re a neighborhood joint and definitely a stylish one. What we sell is a reflection of what we like.

I rotate by-the-glass pours that reflect what I’m currently excited about: an unexpectedly sweet Malbec, say, or a skin-contact Pinot Grigio. Typically, when you build a wine list, you’re beholden to making the highest margin or finding wines with the broadest appeal. By-the-glass options give me freedom to be whimsical, unbound by the barriers of business.

If distributors lead with the fact that a wine is Black-owned or woman-owned, I get annoyed. I don’t want that to be the barometer. I didn’t decide to sell Black-owned wines; I decided to sell really dope wines. The highest show of respect you can pay a wine is to judge it on the merits of yummy or nah. These five bottles fall into the yummy category—and just so happen to come from Black winemakers.

This earthy, dry blend from Napa Valley was the first Black-owned wine that reflected my palate and love for bold Napa reds.

Beverage director turned winemaker André Mack is the gold standard for sommeliers. His much-anticipated “New Noir” takes skin-contact wine to another level.

This wine was the first sparkling Sauvignon Blanc produced in the U.S. It’s everything you’d want from a dry sparkler.

This screams Black boy joy! Many think rosé is just for the summer, but this one works year-round—its acidity and brightness cut through hearty meals.

This easy to drink gem from South Africa underscores simplicity as a pillar of quality.

Disclosure: André Mack hosts a video series for Bon Appétit on YouTube. Maison Noir was chosen independently for this story.

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