Lewis Black arrives at Brooklyn Winery a little after two P.M. on a Tuesday. I introduce myself and explain that we’ll taste a flight of some of the urban winery’s best products, get his thoughts on each, and perhaps learn a thing or two about him in the process. “Yeah, you’ll learn that it’s too early for me to be drinking,” he mutters as he removes his coat. “And that spitting thing is bullshit.”
The Grammy Award–winning comedian, New York Times best-selling author, and Daily Show contributor has one résumé credit few are aware of: amateur wine connoisseur.
“I drank cheap [wine] in college, and then I went to Scotch,” explains Black of the first steps of his journey. “By the time Scotch took off, I was done with it. ‘Oh really, the Glenmorangie that was $12 a bottle is now $50? Fuck you.’”
Disillusioned with the brown stuff, Black found wine again when his brother—who had lived in France for five years—started buying French wine by the case. “He bought a quarter barrel of this Bordeaux from Saint-Émilion. And to us, it was like, ‘What, are you fucking kidding me?’ Literally, like a hundred bottles came to his apartment in New York.”