What do Alexander Hamilton, General Colin Powell and Sidney Poitier have in common? They are all Caribbean Americans. June was National Caribbean American Heritage Month, and to celebrate this diverse culture Pete and Nancy Toppan invited the Wine Stewards to a Caribbean Summer Celebration. Caribbean Americans account for almost 10% of America’s immigrants. Wearing festive, colorful summer attire, the Wine Stewards were greeted at the door with a refreshing glass of tropical champagne lime punch. Inside members feasted on Island Lime Chicken Wings with Sweet n Tangy Caribbean dip and sweet Jamaican Rice. One does not usually consider the Caribbean a place for wine—rum and rum-based cocktails, of course. The hot humid climates do not typically grow good wine grapes. Even without a homegrown connection there are plenty of wines that pair well with Caribbean food. The Wine Stewards sampled four perfect pairings. Riesling wines work well with spicy food since they usually have a sweet element that puts out the fire and brings out the allspice side of a jerk seasoning. New Zealand’s Sauvignon Blancs also co-exist well with spice and heat. They are generally quite crisp and can have that ‘cocktail affect’ with their passion fruit and pineapple aromas. Barbera from northwest Italy is naturally low in tannin and pairs well with Caribbean spices. It typically has lots of cherry and raspberry flavors that keep it refreshing. California Zinfandels, although not as low in tannins as Barbera, do favor that direction with aromas like boysenberry, raspberry and chocolate. It can be a good balance with typical Caribbean foods. The evening was a welcomed alternative to greet the upcoming hot days of summer.