Inauguration Day Wine Picks

These last few years have been a culmination of countless what-in-the-actual-fuck moments from the White House. It truly felt (and still feels) like we’re living in “The Truman Show” with aliens watching down us in shock and awe. A social experiment gone bad. I started writing out all the appalling things President Trump has said or done since running for office and I became exhausted trying to recount it all (like the 2020 election ballots). Luckily, “The Atlantic” did the hard work for me with their The Daily Trump: Filling a Time Capsule—so enjoy!

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Photo by: Carolyn Kaster/AP

Anyway, I say all that just to illustrate how excited I am for a new presidency. A fresh start for our nation to face systemic issues head on and build unity. I’m also thrilled about the breadth of diversity that will be represented in the White house especially coming from KWEEN Kamala Harris—the first female (BAM), Black (BAM), South Asian-American (BAM) Vice President in our nation’s history! If that doesn’t make you proud to be part of the melting pot that is America, I don’t know what does.

To celebrate Inauguration Day, I gave my wine selection some thought and chose wines that highlight this new era. A big thanks to all who made suggestions and helped me craft this list.

Galen Glen Winery
The first pick on my list pays homage to Joe Biden’s Pennsylvanian roots. Galen Glen Winery, established in 1995, is located outside the hub of the Lehigh Valley. Their farm is near the tiny hamlet of Andreas north of the Blue Mountains. It rests atop a ridge at 1,000 ft with a commanding view of deep Pennsylvania’s rugged terrain. Their unique microclimate features limited rainfall, howling winds, and ancient glacially deposited soils.

Owners Galen and Sarah purchased the Troxell family double century farm from Galen’s father and now tout more than 25 vintages. Galen is an industry leading mechanical wizard and vine whisperer. Sarah is a noted tastemaker and was nationally recognized as best woman winemaker.

They have a variety of wine including special red blends, Grüner Veltliner, and Gewürztraminer. For the occasion, I ordered their Riesling, Fossil Vineyard, Vinology 2019 (Best Wine in State 2020 and 2019, PA Sommelier Judgment) and Riesling, Stone Cellar PA – Lehigh Valley 2019 (88 points, James Suckling 2017 Vintage and 91 points, International Wine Review 2017 Vintage).

Courtesy Galen Glen.

The McBride Sisters Wine Collection
My next pick—like Kamala—is fierce, full of femme power, and Black girl magic. Sisters Robin and Andréa McBride combined the love of their environments and their passion for wine to create The McBride Sisters Collection, a line of wines that reflect each of the Sister’s upbringing on opposite ends of the globe–Robin in Monterey, California and Andréa in Marlborough, New Zealand.

As the work began, so did their reality as two fierce, female and forward-thinking leaders in an industry historically defined by tradition and gender. But, like countless groundbreaking women before them, Andréa and Robin saw every obstacle as an opportunity to chart their own path rather than follow the standard formula. Over time, McBride Sisters has grown into what is not only the largest Black-owned wine company in the United States, but one of the most inclusive, accessible, socially aware and sustainable.

From sparkling to Zinfandel, the sisters have quite the collection. On Inauguration Day, I’ll be trying their McBride Sisters Collection 2019 Central Coast California Chardonnay.

Courtesy The McBride Sisters Wine Collection

Champagne Laurent-Perrier
You can’t have a celebration without some bubbly, so I have some Laurent-Perrier chilling for the occasion. Little known fact—Laurent-Perrier is the largest family and female-owned Champagne house (I’m bringing those first Madame Vice President vibes).  

The House of Laurent-Perrier was founded in 1812 by André Michel Pierlot and took the name Vve Laurent-Perrier when Mathilde Emilie Perrier, the widow of Eugène Laurent, combined the two family names after she decided to expand the business (of course a woman is behind the expansion). Her daughter Eugénie Hortense Laurent inherited the crumbling, near-bankrupt, and relatively unknown Champagne house in 1925 and sold it to Marie-Louise Lanson de Nonancourt in 1939. Nonancourt put her heart and soul into the house and made it a success. The current generation includes sisters Alexandra Pereyre de Nonancourt and Stéphanie Meneux de Nonancourt, who continue to maintain the brand’s reputation for excellence. Talk about girl power!

For the Inauguration, I’ll be sipping on their Brut. You can find the same adorable set at 305 Wines.

Courtesy Champagne Laurent-Perrier.

Signorello Estate
This Napa Valley pick is an ode to Kamala’s South Asian roots. Signorello Estate has the talented Priyanka French, a renowned Indian winemaker. A native of Mumbai, she worked in France and New Zealand as well as alongside Andy Erickson and Michel Rolland at Dalla Valle Vineyards before being named Signorello’s winemaker in the spring of 2019. She is just the third-ever winemaker to grace the property near Napa’s Silverado Trail, which comprises 100 acres, 42 of which are planted to a variety of red and white wine grapes.

Signorello Estate’s style of winemaking is based on the idea of “winegrowing” described by a French word “Vigneron.” It means that everything done in the vineyards is intimately connected to the winemaking. French is also the vineyard manager, and the entire winemaking team is responsible for growing and harvesting the grapes as well. I’ve yet to try their wines, but I’m very intrigued.

Priyanka French. Courtesy Signorello Estate.

Rock Wall Wine Company
Located in Alameda, California, Rock Wall Wine Company is a must-drink for Kween Kamala—she’s even a member of their wine club! The winery is located on the former Alameda Naval Air Base which was decommissioned in 1997. It was turned over to the community and to be converted for civilian use. The name Rock Wall refers to the defensive perimeter wall built during WWII in the San Francisco Bay to protect the base from Japanese air to sea torpedoes.

The Rock Wall Wine Company is founded on the philosophy of the right grape in the right place and are the result of many long-term relationships with acclaimed vineyards. Grapes are sourced from all over California which creates a diverse winemaking environment, complete with different grape varieties, styles and regional flavor profiles. PLUS, they have a female winemaking leading the charge. You can check out their wines here.

Shauna Rosenblum. Courtesy Rock Wall Wine Company.

If You Have More Time to Sip and Explore…
I received so many amazing suggestions for Inauguration Day wines, but couldn’t write about each and every one of them, so here are just a few more listed for your drinking pleasure:

  • Abbey Creek Wine | A small-batch winery owned by Oregon’s first recorded Black winemaker Visit
  • Bodkin Wines | Founded in 2011 by Black Winemaker Chris Christensen Visit
  • Brown Estate | Napa Valley’s first Black-owned winery Visit
  • Longevity Wines | Black winemaker/Founder Phil Long went from garage winemaking to more than a decade of experience and a list of awards to match Visit
  • Narmada Winery | A Virginia winery owned by Indian couple Pandit and Sudha Patil Visit
  • Sun Goddess | Mary J. Blige’s project featuring wines made in Friuli Venezia Giulia Visit
  • Theopolis Vineyards | Black and female-owned, it’s a small lot vineyard and hand-crafted winery located in California’s Yorkville Highlands of the Anderson Valley. Visit

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