A few days ago, I saw a video posted on Instagram that bothered me quite a bit. It showed a man responsible for one of the country’s most popular rosés making some blatantly wrong assertions about rosé—namely, that the lighter the color, the better the wine. (You can watch the original video, from Viceland, here.)
Aside from his statements simply being untrue, the context made it even more awkward: It was for a contest run by Viceland, with the rapper 2 Chainz hosting the winners in Miami. Here was a white Frenchman lecturing (incorrectly) three people of color about how lightness was better—in rosé, although it was hard to ignore a different context—all while serving them a $1200 bottle of wine.
I found many things wrong with this, and reposted the video snippet with a bit of my own commentary.
A wine professional posted what I thought was a good, witty response to the video. I liked it enough that I reposted it here.
A number of people enjoyed this repost. Some did not. And some of my readers, including people of color (and some white folks too) questioned not just the post, but my repost—in particular the implications of me reposting sentiments originally authored by a person of color.
None of this crossed my mind at the time. Obviously it should have. A number of friends and colleagues pointed out that what might seem like an oblique reference to racism has the power to trivialize very real problems. So I truly apologize to anyone who saw in this post a message of exclusion, because if anything I’ve been vocal about trying to make the wine world more inclusive.
I believe that happens first and foremost through conversation—but also crucially when those with influence do their work with not only with inclusion, but also representation, in mind. That’s been a part of my work, and will continue to be.