After nearly 20 years in hip-hop, and more than 20 albums to show off his music savvy, E-40, properly known as Earl Stevens, is living the good life as he joins the ranks of 50 Cent, Diddy and Ludacris with the launch of his new wine collection, Earl Stevens Selections. The collection, which opened up to World Wide Web consumers last Thursday (Oct. 31), has been two years in the making with ongoing planning and taste testing to make sure the exquisite Moscato brand was just right.
“From spitting in the bucket to clearing my mouth out with water so I could taste it again, all the flavors poked out,” says E-40. “[But] I’m a wine connoisseur. I done tasted all kinds of wines. So I wanted to make sure I was hands on when doing the tasting to make sure it was right. The one thing I always peep out when I’m drinking wine is how is the after taste, and the after taste of all three flavors that I [chose] was good.”
The veteran Bay Area MC sought the help of wine-tasting professionals to show him the ropes. And after days of swigging and spitting, the West Coast rapper decided to release Mangoscato, a mango-flavored Mascato with an 18% alcohol content; Function Red Blend, a different kind of Cabernet with “full body;” and a simple but savory original Moscato.
While E-40 is excited about his wine release, he notes that his want to embark on a new business venture was not done to compete with any other hip-hop artist that exists in the alcoholic beverage world.
“I’m trying to do it in a category of my own,” says Stevens. “I don’t know too many hip-hop artists with their own wine. I wanted to make sure I put my name on there. If they can have wines called Kendall Jackson, why can’t I have Earl Stevens Selections? I’ve been in the beverage business before. I had my own enhanced water, like Vitamin Water, except it was called 40 Water. I’m also the face of a Cognac called Landy Cognac. I get paid by the case of that, but as far as owning something…this Earl Stevens Selections is what I’m doing.”
Noting that wine is elegant and classy, E wants his collection to be something sipped while “eating steak and lobster Oscar style with asparagus and butter sauce.” The hip-hop legend points out that “[wine] don’t get you to the point where you’re very violent—but I think anything with alcohol can do that if you drink in ignoration, which some of us do.” He continues, “Sometimes when it’s time to have a good, great time, sometimes we might drink in ignoration, [but with] steak and lobster we might drink in moderation. Wine [just] gets better with time. Ain’t that a trip.”
“Each bottle of wine is finely crafted and produced in Northern California with only the highest quality of ingredients.”
And while Earl Stevens Collections only sits with three available flavors, E-40 is looking to expand the taste panel after the brand gets fully underway.
Currently only available online, the rapper-turned-businessman knows distributors will want to pick up his product, but like his rap career he wants to build his brand from the ground up.
“I’m just taking baby steps,” he says. “I wanna build up my online campaign real tough—get the sales up to par. When I get ready to holla at the distributors, they’re gonna be like, This is what it’s about?! I’m just trying to do it right.”
Although E-40 is focused on his wine launch, the MC’s been simultaneously hard at work in the studio as he gears up to release the follow up projects to his The Block Brochure trilogy, which is set to hit stores Dec. 10. The next three albums to come under the Block feature 2 Chainz, Chris Brown, T.I., French Montana and more.
For more information or to purchase any of the Earl Stevens Selections Moscastos currently available, please visit earlstevensselections.com. It’s worth the click!