Hip-Hop Embraces All Things Wine

As hip-hop culture matures, its taste in liquor continues to evolve. In the past, malt liquor, cognac and champagne were among the drinks of choice. But today, wines like Merlot, Moscato and Chardonnay are emerging as favorites of rappers like Maino, Waka Flocka Flame and, of course, Drake.

“[Wine is] differ- ent from drinking vodka and drinking Hennessy, where sometimes you drink too much of that and you’re out of control,” says veteran MC Sadat X, who hosts the You- Tube series “True Wine Connoisseurs.” “It gives you a nice buzz, but a good buzz—something you can control.”

Despite the head of Cristal, Frédéric Rouzaud, infamously dismissing urban audiences’ affinity for its brand back in 2006, others in the vino industry have welcomed hip-hop’s newfound interest. “The wine community embraces all types of people because they want to sell more wine,” says Becky Sue Epstein, connoisseur and author of Cham- pagne: A Global History. “They’re really happy to see people in their 20s and 30s getting into wine.”

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