In Chicago, Juice@1340, a wine bar and retail operation, highlights Black-owned vineyards. It was featured in the opening story of Bon Appetit’s February 2022 issue.
It was a splashy spread, back-lit wine bottles over two pages brushed with a marbled golden hue. These selected bottles were given the full Conde Nast treatment. As they should. And it’s about time winemakers from all backgrounds and genders get recognition from the pages of a glossy magazine to the cozy corners of one of DC’s newest restaurants.
Lyle’s, the stunning restaurant inside DuPont’s Lyle hotel by the Lore Group, is a study in contrasts. It’s a neighborhood spot decorated with such an elevated sensibility it’s nearly performance art. The menu is pure comfort, but with a chef’s touch.
And the wine list. Well, it could easily rely on favorites, no-brainers, easy sips. Instead, it’s just as lovely and varied as any wine bar, but the by-the-glass menu features wine exclusively made by women, BIPOC and LGBTQ+ producers.
For far too long, wine lists have not reflected the growing diversity of makers from all different backgrounds. It’s a correction of the past and a nod to future hospitality professionals. And, it’s exactly what wine drinkers want to see on a menu.
With nearly 20 by the glass options—from a cava by the descendants of the pioneering Catalonian winemaker of 19th century Spain Maria Casanovas, to Fantinel Vineyards’ Italian rose collaboration with Mary J. Blige—Lyle’s wine list reflects wine’s iconic heritage and its modern-day relevance.
Stars on Lyle’s list include the Black-owned McBride Sisters Collection, nominated by Wine Enthusiast for American Winery of the Year; Albino Rocca, where the youngest daughter now leads the 60-plus year old operation; and Bergevin Lane Vineyards, by Annette Bergevin, a fifth generation Walla Walla native, who says, “People shouldn’t be judged by who they love—who I love does not affect how your glass of cabernet sauvignon is going to taste.”
We’ll all drink—a glass of wine—to that.