Black women continue to disrupt the status quo and make HERstory, in every industry. For Brooklyn native and HBCU grad Marvina Robinson, she chose to do so within the champagne industry. As the owner of B. Stuyvesant Champagne, she becomes part of the less than 2% of Black men and women in the wine industry as a whole. Yes, even in 2023.

Robinson's journey starts on the stoops of Brooklyn brownstones, where she and her girlfriends would put their money together after a long work week, to buy a bottle of champagne. Her palette, adjusting to the sparkling wines purchased from the local bodega, eventually matured to the point that she wanted to know the ins and outs of the industry—and what it took to really own your own brand.

"While working on Wall Street, I realized liquor was just too strong for me, and I always resonated with champagne. It was also just classier. I started researching it and I realized that I needed to get to Champagne, France to get actual hands-on experience," Robinson shares. "So I started traveling back and forth to really understand how it's made."

After truly learning the intricacies of the beverage, she began gifting unique varietals and bottles to her closest friends. Seeing the conversations that it sparked, it was a sign for her to launch her own brand and champagne bar. So, in 2020 B. Stuyvesant Champagne was born—while also paying homage to her beloved Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood.

"COVID hit, and I wasn't able to open the champagne bar during that time. But I had all this inventory that I needed to sell. We started with two cuvées in 2020, and now as of 2023 we have 8 in our portfolio, with three new ones coming on this year."

The bubbly is now being sold online via the brand's website, and can also be found across New York, with more states coming very soon. Robinson has also gotten the champagne into hotels and private clubs in California, Costa Rica as well a London. Often doing much of the groundwork on her own—or with a small team—she shares that one of her biggest obstacles along this journey has been locking in distribution—especially as a small champagne company.

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B. Stuyvesant Champagne
Premier Cru

Price: $99

Shop at Stuyvesant Champagne

"They want high turnovers, so they prefer the bigger brands. Although many distributors love my flavor profiles, they just like the popular houses instead," she says.

Despite fighting the odds, the champagne brand owner continues to push her brand forward and was recently a vendor at the Charleston Food and Wine Festival. Her tasting room has officially opened in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and she's thoroughly enjoying educating visitors not only on the B. Stuyvesant Champagne profiles, but her favorites from other brands, too.

Stuyvesant Champagne

Price: $34

Shop at Stuyvesant Champagne

We asked the bubbly aficionado to share tips for the EBONY audience on how to properly take our champagne like a pro. She shares the step-by-step process below.

  • Loosen the wire cage (muselet), but don't take it all the way off.
    • Keep your thumb over the wire cage so the cork doesn't fly off. Contrary to popular belief, you aren't supposed to just let the cork fly off.
      • Twist your bottle from the bottom, not from the cork. This allows you to control the pressure. It shouldn't give off a loud pop, but more of a fizzy whisper.
        • The perfect glass is a white wine glass. Champagne flutes prevent your bubbly from opening up fully. The bubbles are where the most flavor lives.
          • Tilt your glass and pour slowly. Once you fill your glass, then hold it upright.
            • Take time to study the color as well as smell your champagne. This adds to the overall tasting experience.
              • Sip and enjoy.