Ingrid Best Is Blazing Through the World of Winemaking And Bringing Other Black Women Along for the Ride

As the founder and wine négociant of IBest Wines, Best is blending wine, culture, art, and travel into one glorious experience.

From leading joint venture spirits partnerships for hip-hop icons to starting her own line of wines that brings South Africa to the forefront, Ingrid Best, aims to uncork a narrative of diversity and culture in the winemaking world that goes beyond traditional limitations, one glass at a time. 

She may look like a millennial, but Best is a veteran with over 20 years of experience in the wine and spirits industry. She started her career as a brand ambassador, carefully cultivating relationships with industry giants like Diageo, Moët Hennessy, and Bacardi before taking on an executive role, managing one of the biggest joint venture spirit partnerships.

In 2023, Best took a deep breath and launched her first independent venture, IBest Wines, which most recently debuted two white and red blends in October 2023.

IBest Wines

Courtesy of IBest Wines | Used with permission

IBest Wines are exclusively available at

"I was so fortunate to be exposed to every facet of the business, which typically, in an ambassador role, you aren't exposed to," Best said, speaking to "I believe it's my destiny to do what I'm doing now because the way I entered through the ambassador role gave me this crazy exposure to every part of the business."

Besides establishing herself as a formidable presence in the wine and spirits industry, she has also emphasized her profound and genuine connection to the wine culture and its intersectionality with the art world. She’s an avid art collector and includes her wine in those spaces and conversations as much as possible. When the two coincide, the combination is like great poetry.

"Not everyone likes every kind of wine. And that's okay. Your personal palette is your palette and art is the same,” said Best. “Some people love some forms of art, and some do not. So, I think there is this inherent relationship between art and wine."

According to the Harvard Business Review, 17% of Black women in the United States are starting or operating new businesses, but only about 3% reach maturity. Even though the odds are against her, failure isn't an option. She says she sees her business as a model for others down the road. 

"In five years, IBest Wines will be a case study that is revered as just an incredible business idea and dream that came to life and became one of the biggest new success stories in wine," she said. "I see IBest Wines as a brand that's celebrated, that's studied and that is influential in the direction that wine is going in...our goal is to help wine be viewed in this really common cultural celebration. And I don't think we've really seen that enough from the wine space."

Best truly believes that IBest Wine is indeed like no other and is carving out a space for vineyards and growers in South Africa's wine region, which is "sorely underrepresented" in the wine space. She first visited the nation with her best friend and quickly realized it was a place, not only with a rich history and culture, but ripe with opportunity. With the mission of educating consumers about stellar wines from South Africa, IBest Wines wants to diversify what's being sold to consumers.

"My goal is to see South Africa represented on shelves, South Africa represented on menus, and for people to really just celebrate the wine coming out of South Africa."

Ingrid Best is forging a path to experience global flavors in wine and then connecting that to a global taste in art and culture.

Courtesy of Jorge Mesa for IBest Wines | Used with permission

Ingrid Best is forging a path to experience global flavors in wine and then connecting that to a global taste in art and culture.

The IBest Wines brand offers solutions to wealth-related challenges confronting Black and brown communities. It achieves this by promoting art education and art collections as a way for the Brown and Black communities to build wealth and foster a pathway for diverse ownership in the wine and spirits industry, among other initiatives. And with a team of Black women helming brand strategy, finance, a professional sommelier, and brand management, Best is doing more than offering diversity and inclusion promises. She is actualizing change in an industry that needs it. 

"We have Black-owned wines, woman-owned wines, and I've also given members of the team equity. So, I think the problem that is being solved is that oftentimes, people are not offered the ability to be owners," Best said. "To me, it’s not always about focusing on the problem, but instead let’s focus on the solution and how I can help get to those solutions." 

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