NPR Article on Moscato Sparks Racial Controversy

Staff Writer
The news outlet published the article "Moscato Finds A Younger, Hipper — And Browner — Audience" to backlash

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

An article that discussed the rise in Moscato sales and attributed it to people of color and rap music created a controversy.

Is it true that only African-Americans and people of color like moscato? An article published on NPR  discussing the recent ride in moscato sales, and the wine’s relationship with race and rap music, has sparked some major controversy.

The article by Sam H. Sanders attributed an “astronomical” rise in moscato sales in the past ten years to a “much more African-American, much more Hispanic, much younger, much lower-income, much more female” crop of wine drinkers. The article also cited instances in rap songs where the sweet wine is mentioned, and even went as far as suggesting that taste for different types of wine in people of color will depend on what is rapped about next. "If we could build a time machine and go listen to a Drake song three, four years from now, I would be willing to bet you that he's long since moved on from Moscato and he's singing…about Napa cabernet or burgundy or something like that," said Eric Arnold, an editor at Tastingroom.com to NPR.

Following the article, Gawker quickly posted a response, which was re-published dozens of times on different blogs. Gawker’s post criticized the article for, among other things, making claims that Drake could decide what people of color drink next. “Black people be like: ‘this is truly an historic day, for we have finally developed the technology to facilitate travel across dimensions and through time. Let's go to 2017 and listen to Drake songs so we know what dranks to drink,”’ author Caity Weaver wrote. Weaver also brought up the point that many wine experts declined to be interviewed for the NPR article because “wine experts be like: ‘I don't want to be like 'Black people love Moscato.' That's racist.’"

The debate has even been sparked on—who could’ve guessed it—the comment thread below the original article, where NPR has deleted several comments to “rein in the classism.” 

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