The trend of celebrity wine had thus far skipped the hip-hop world. No longer. Last week, rapper Lil Jon debuted his wine label, called Little Jonathan Winery. The label’s three varietals—Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Merlot—will be made in California by client winemaker Alison Crowe.
“This is not no ghetto Boone’s Farm; this is some real wine,” Lil Jon told the Associated Press.
Sparkling wine, of course, has been hugely popular with hip-hop stars and fans, as has Cognac, but there hasn’t been much love for the varietals Lil Jon is promoting. I’m hoping this will inaugurate some lyrics that rhyme Chardonnay with “It’s your birthday,” Merlot with (what else?) “ho,” and Cabernet Sauvignon with … something.
In his 2005 piece on celebrity wine for Slate, Mike Steinberger wrote that “Clearly … wine is not an appropriate product for every celeb. A Paris Hilton merlot? It could make for a saucy tasting note, but the wine would probably be a tough sell.”
However it turns out that Hilton, too, is launching a wine, but Steinberger was right—it’s not a Merlot. Hilton will be introducing her flavored Prosecco to the United States sometime this year.