FLO Wine | Black-Owned Winery Series

Winery owners are an interesting bunch, and they exist in every color, shape, and gender. However, in 2020 people of color are still drastically underrepresented in the wine world. This mini-series is all about supporting and normalizing Black-owned wineries in order to help grow their businesses and create a supportive environment where they and others can thrive. The wines being reviewed in this series came from this list compiled by the Rosé Mansion – check it out if you’d like to see more.

In addition, I recruited members of a friends and family wine group based in St. Louis, Missouri, with additional remote members throughout the U.S., to help me taste and review these wines.

Cork from FLO Wine (Photo by Megan Vogel)

Meet FLO Wine
FLO Wine is a California-based winery owned by Marcus Johnson. In addition to being a talented entrepreneur, he’s also a famous American jazz pianist and producer.

One of the things that I liked right off the bat about the branding is that “FLO” stands for, “For the Love Of,” meaning for the love of life, music, happiness, joy… everything to remind us to “embrace life’s journey”.

Bottles of FLO Wine, from left to right: Red Blend, Chardonnay, Moscato (Photo by Megan Vogel)

FLO Red Blend
This is a 2015 red blend of 71% Merlot, 20% Zinfandel, and 9% Cabernet Sauvignon (yum!) from California. The aging of this five year wine starts to peek at you from the rim of the garnet-colored vino.

At first sniff I got a bit of a metallic aroma, but later picked up the scent of red fruit like cherries, as well as oak. Flavors of cherry and vanilla make this wine sound like it’s a cola product, but it’s actually an off-dry bit of jammy goodness in a glass!

This is a wonderful and well-balanced wine, and it paired well with my bacon and Provel cheese pizza. My rating is definitely a 3 of 3, which means I will buy this wine again. I’m partial to red blends and I love both Cab and Zin… so here we are. It’s masterfully crafted. Additional evidence: I shared this with my mom and she immediately ordered 6 bottles of it!

14% ABV | Price: $20 – You can buy it online at Revel Wine. Wish you could get it locally? Ask your local wine shop to carry it.

FLO Chardonnay
Reviewed by Michelle Marcus & Patience Scanlon

The FLO Chardonnay said Sonoma on the bottle, and the nose matched up to my expectations. A big citrus smell hit us right away, with a hint of oak in this 100% Chardonnay wine.

Our first sips of Flo were too cold and we got nothing but tart lemons when tasting the wine, making us pucker. But after the wine warmed up, we could appreciate the high acid, which would make it a good food wine to help cut through a piece of salmon or the tang of shrimp cocktail.

The finish was very short, so I would drink this more in the summer time when I don’t want anything to linger and let the food take the spotlight in any pairing.

Michelle would give it a 2 of 3, meaning she’d drink it if someone else bought it and there was plenty of aged cheddar to pair up with it. Patience gave it a 2.5 of 3, so she would go halfsies on a bottle with a friend.

13.5% ABV | Price: $20 – You can buy it online at Revel Wine. Wish you could get it locally? Ask your local wine shop to carry it.

FLO Moscato
Reviewed by Jennifer Bacon and Jessica Bacon

This 100% Moscato wine was the color of straw in the glass, with distinct floral aromas and flavors, rather than fruit. It was closer to off-dry than sweet and had an surprisingly high alcohol content, which is not a typical glass of Moscato by today’s standards and could shock the unsuspecting sweet drinker. Also, be sure to let it warm a little rather than drinking straight from the fridge in order to enjoy the wine’s nuances.

When pairing with food avoid salty, fatty dishes – actually the best was just sitting and drinking without food. Jennifer would give it a 2 out 3, depending on the meal, meaning she’d drink it if someone else bought it.

14% ABV | Price: $20 – You can buy it online at Revel Wine. Wish you could get it locally? Ask your local wine shop to carry it.


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