Curtis Green: The African American Wine Consumer Market, A Retrospective
Twenty years ago, I launched my first enterprise, Tasting, Education and Networking Folks (TenFolks), predicated on my love for wine and the perception that the market comprising African-American Urban wine consumers was underserved when it came to information that reflected their wine/lifestyle interests but was also culturally sensitive.
TenFolks established a new model for engaging African American wine consumers by introducing monthly wine tastings, seminars, and co-sponsored events, in many cases partnering with cultural institutions and civic, professional and fraternal organizations in major metropolitan markets throughout the U.S. This event format appealed to those who aspired to create enhanced cultural lifestyle options for not only for their entertainment, but also for social and business networking that was commensurate with their appreciation of wine.
My practice of advocating a model to educate, inform, and enlighten African American and Urban market consumers on wine trends and fundaments continues today through my digital publication, Slitelychilled.com, sponsored Brand Marketing events, and the forthcoming launch of my proprietary wine and food pairing platform, which will introduce the first-ever wine pairings for Soul Food.
These outlets continue to be based upon my core business principals that began with the creation of Tenfolks: my intention of demystifying the wine culture for a broad market, my belief in the importance of an education about wines as the basis for empowering African-American and Urban consumers, and my determination to use digital formats to present engaging articles with regularly updated and original content around a range of wine/lifestyle topics as a means of spurring consumer engagement. In essence, my mission has been to make wine culture accessible to everyone and to dispel archaic-but-widely-held notions that was for only those of certain classes, settings, or cultural backgrounds.
I believe that the growth of the African American and Urban wine consumer market has been largely influenced by the work I began when Tenfolks was launched and offer as evidence my list of unique and loyal subscribers, not a small number of whom feel that I helped to make it cool to drink wines.
And I am not done yet…stay tuned!