Wine Down CT Raises the Bar (and a glass) on CT Nightlife


Thema Haida and Loren Jefferson, creators of Wine Down CT, photographed at their second event, which took place on April 16 at State House in New Haven, CT.

Inspired by the hit TV Show Insecure, Wine Down CT is an evolution from “Wine Down Wednesdays” providing pure vibes, bottomless wine, and quality entertainment in BIPOC centric spaces.

Written by
Katrice Claudio

Photography by
Maza Rey Photography



Chock full of brunches, day parties, and festivals, Connecticut runs the gamut on daytime events. However, it’s no secret that Connecticut’s inconsistent nightlife is in desperate need of revival. Greater Metropolitan areas demonstrate a lack of confidence in their ability to safely entertain historically excluded populations within their city, making social hubs for young, BIPOC populations between the ages of 25-40 few and far between. If they do exist, they’re monotonous with silly restrictions loaded in fear of its own community and respectability politics. Through the drought of accessible experiences, Connecticut natives Loren Jefferson and Thema Haida created an oasis to have a great time, while showing up as your most confident self through their latest pop-up event - Wine Down CT.


Inspired by the hit TV Show Insecure, Wine Down CT is an evolution from “Wine Down Wednesdays” a weekly kickback where various friends get together for a little “Cru Love.” Echoing the environments of culturally diverse, queer, and gender-inclusive events like AfroPunk and Everyday People of New York, Wine Down CT provides pure vibes, bottomless wine, and quality entertainment in BIPOC centric spaces right in our backyard! Thema, a holistic healer by day, merges her current practices with previous experiences as an event coordinator. She provides not only attention, but intention to every detail. Loren, a DJ and entertainer known as DJ Too Much, assures the marketing and entertainment lineup flows as well as the vino.





"Feeding a society deprived of interpersonal engagement from the pandemic, this gathering provides a much needed sense of belonging. Freedom, and care-free connection is the common ground the dancefloor is built on."


Aside from the eclectic and gorgeous crowd, Wine Down CT’s atmosphere is a main character in itself. Each event has a different theme, the most recent event in April was designed with warm welcome in mind. You’re greeted by the room with a grazing board, flowers draping from the ceiling, and a backdrop of episodes from Insecure playing via projector. A photobooth is set up for anyone looking to immortalize a drip that shouldn’t be missed. Several DJs and live performers round out the wave with a soundtrack to keep you moving. The party isn’t just entertainment, it’s self care, catering to the body, mind, and spirit, but also feeding your confidence generously!


Marian Andoh, Co-Founder of Hip Hop Card Game, “University of Dope,” was a vendor at Wine Down CT and reflected on her experiences with Aislin Magazine:



“I don’t want to be cliché and say ‘It was Black Girl Magic!,’ but it really was a safe space for Black people to JUST BE.… It’s a banging after-date-night, sip and chill spot! If you’ve had dinner, head over to Wine Down CT afterward, and finish your night out there. It was absolutely a party, but it was intimate enough to woo your date!”


If this proves nothing else, this dynamic duo of culture curators have noticeably plugged into an untapped vein. Feeding a society deprived of interpersonal engagement from the pandemic, this gathering provides a much needed sense of belonging. Freedom, and care-free connection is the common ground the dancefloor is built on. Through word of mouth and social media marketing, they’ve tripled their attendance numbers since their inaugural event in November, 2021. Having two epic events under their belt, the FOMO is real for their highly anticipated third event. Still, Wine Down CT hasn’t even peaked. After creating unique opportunities to socially luxuriate Connecticut, we couldn’t help but ask, “What does the future look like for their growing, must-attend event?” According to Loren (who is pretty mum about the next pop-up date), “Expect a more interactive, immersive, full-sensory experience unlike anything we’ve done so far.”


If the vision is on par with the trending growth in notoriety, I’m sure we can’t expect anything less.



The next pop up date has been announced! Saturday, September 10th, 2022 at a secret location in New Haven, CT. To purchase tickets and learn more about Wine Down CT, visit winedownct.com or follow their Instagram at @WineDownCT.









Katrice Claudio is a writer, photographer, and producer whose work centers around food and food centric events throughout the state. Updates on her latest works can be found via IG at @TheBrutallyHonestCook.

Explore more work by Maza Rey Photography at client.mazareyphotography.com and on IG at @mazareyphoto.