Wine lovers who look to Netflix and chill while social distancing are in luck: the streaming service has a new movie just for them.\r\n\r\nUncorked, written and directed by Prentice Penny, premieres today and tells the story of a young man named Elijah (played by Mamoudou Athie) who aspires to become a master sommelier. Standing in his way, however, is the family business, a barbecue restaurant, started by his grandfather and now run by his father (Courtney B. Vance).\r\n\r\nThe film starts with the two men at odds, but hints at the similarities between the worlds of wine and barbecue as it follows the father and son's journeys toward better understanding one another.\r\n\r\nAlongside the dramatic story line, picturesque chateaus and geeky wine facts sprinkled throughout, what makes the movie particularly noteworthy is that it features a predominantly Black cast. In doing so, the film gives a new generation of prospective wine lovers the chance to see themselves reflected on screen.\r\n\r\n"When you see someone who looks like you, engaging in something that you never thought was for you, it's a game changer," says sommelier and winemaker Andr\u00e9 Mack.\r\n\r\nRepresentation is vital in altering consumer demographics and growing the wine industry, adds Mack. "When I first started, there weren't really any Black wine professionals\u2014spotting one was like seeing a unicorn. Mac McDonald of Vision Cellars quickly became a person that I gravitated to."\r\n\r\nAnother long-standing member of the Black wine community, DLynn Proctor, was one of four sommeliers who appeared in Netflix\u2019s 2012 documentary Somm. Proctor, an associate producer of Uncorked, also makes a cameo in the film as a wine instructor.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u201cLow-key, not a lot of Black folks in my school,\u201d Elijah, the protagonist of Uncorked, tells his cousin in one scene. Writer-director Penny didn\u2019t intend to create a movie explicitly about race; in an interview with the\u00a0San Francisco Chronicle, Penny says he simply\u00a0wanted\u00a0to be true\u00a0to the realities of the wine\u00a0business.\r\n\r\nUnfortunately, there are few published statistics about the racial demographics of the wine industry. In a 2019\u00a0Eater\u00a0article, sommelier Victoria James\u00a0shared her own\u00a0research\u00a0pertaining to\u00a0the demographics of New York City\u2019s fine dining restaurants.\u00a0The results were staggering. Of the buyers at NYC\u2019s 75 Michelin-starred restaurants with wine programs, 83% were male and 71% were white. Zero were Black.\r\n\r\n"We are now aware of and have access to our Black peers in this community,\u201d\u00a0says\u00a0Krista Scruggs of\u00a0Zafa\u00a0Wines, and a\u00a0Wine Enthusiast\u00a040 Under 40 honoree. She didn\u2019t see anyone who looked like her when she started out. Now, she says, there\u2019s a vast community of Black wine professionals to highlight.\r\n\r\n\u201cPeople like Julia Coney, Andr\u00e9 Mack,\u00a0Ashtin\u00a0Berry, Cha McCoy, Janine Copeland,\u00a0Brenae\u00a0Royal, Femi\u00a0Oyediran, Derrick Westbrook, Felicia Colbert, Bianca Sanon, and Robin and Andr\u00e9a McBride.\u00a0I list and say all these names because that's what representation can do... I wasn't able to list all those names when I first entered the industry\u00a0ten\u00a0years ago,\u201d says Scruggs.\u00a0\u201cIt doesn't mean they weren't there, it just means they weren't seen."\r\n\r\nFortunately,\u00a0things are changing\u00a0for the better.\u00a0"There's a lot more people of color, younger people, and women," Mack says. "I'd like to believe all of that has brought this new approachability and swagger to wine.\u201d\r\n\r\nThis concept is explored in Uncorked. In one scene, Elijah teaches a customer about grape varieties by likening them to rappers. Chardonnay is the Jay-Z of wine because it's "versatile, smooth, and can kind of go with anything,"\u00a0he says.\u00a0Pinot Grigio is akin to Kanye West as\u00a0it has\u00a0a little bit of spice and\u00a0is\u00a0likely to surprise you. And Riesling is best represented by Drake for being "crisp, clean, [and] usually kind of sweet."\r\n\r\nIt\u2019s a powerful moment, demonstrating the size and breadth of wine\u2019s potential. A new generation of wine professionals of all shades and stripes is working to make wine more inclusive and accessible, and this film aims to inspire the next crop.\r\n\r\n"I think Uncorked will be a beautiful reminder that we are out there,\u201d says Scruggs. She hopes it will \u201cinspire Black folks that are aspiring, curious, and/or currently working their asses off in this industry...to keep on going."\r\n\r\nMack agrees.\u00a0"I'm super excited to see what the long tail brings."