Rapper turned winemaker in Portland defies 'cork dorks' – kgw.com

Teresa Blackman, KGW.com Staff 5:21 p.m. PST February 9, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. – The rapper turned winemaker known as E40 visited Portland Monday to tout his newest vintage.

E40, previously known as Earl Stevens, has a new wine label which was released in the Northwest on Monday.

He made special appearances at two Portland Fred Meyer stores where the wine is now sold. Fans met E40 at the grocery store chain’s Providence Park location from 1 to 3 p.m. and the Hollywood location from 4 to 6 p.m.

E40’s new wine label is called Earl Stevens Selections, and includes a “Mangoscato,” which is a mango-flavored Moscato, a more traditional Moscato and a Cabernet/Zinfandel blend. He tweeted about the Portland promotional event and offered to sign bottles for fans.

In a recent Q&A with Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Stevens said he’s always enjoyed going to wine tastings and a 2011 visit to Napa, Calif. got him thinking about how he could combine his entrepreneur skills with his love of reds, whites and blends.

He also offered some special rapper-style advice for people who want to try his new Mangoscato, which is 18 percent alcohol.

“Most Moscatos are so low in alcohol that you might as well just go sip a smoothie. The kind I make tastes like delicious mango, and it has enough alcohol to get you where you need to be,” he said. “You do have to be careful though. It tastes so good that you might start out drinking in moderation, but end up drinking in ignoration.”

As a Hip Hop artist, E40 first hit the charts with his rap group, The Click. Then in 1995 he went solo. But his rise to fame really began to get noticed after 2006, when he released a single called “Tell Me When to Go,” according to his online bio.

As for his wine, it may never top the charts for wine experts, but that’s not what matters to him.

“I enjoy fruity wines that pack a punch. I know that may not be what certain cork dorks are looking for, but I don’t always like everything they praise either,” Stevens told Wine Enthusiast. “It’s the same thing with music: nothing makes everyone happy, so make yourself happy first.”

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