Rappers Love Moscato Wine

Say so long to the days of Cristal and gin and juice

Back in December, we predicted that moscato — that sweet, light, approachable white-wine varietal — would continue to rise in popularity in 2012. Sales of the so-hot-right-now wine grew an impressive 73 percent in 2011 (after doubling in 2010, no less), according to Nielsen. And now, it seems moscato has caught the attention of some pretty influential pop-culture tastemakers: rappers.

An article in New York Magazine this month noted that hip-hop stars like Drake, Soulja Boy, and Gucci Mane have been turned on to the easy-drinking wine  apparently California's fastest-growing varietal. What's more, rapper Nelly, who is shown drinking the wine in the video for one of his new singles, actually has his own brand of moscato: Freaky Moscato

So how to rationalize this blossoming relationship to those of us who recall the days of rappers anchoring rhymes around "gin and juice" and Cristal? Theorizes Willy Staley in the article, "As rap's concerns have moved from street cred to in-your-face opulence to sweatered preppiness, so too have its booze preferences shifted."

Naturally, this raises the question of what kind of effect the endorsement will have on the moscato industry. What do you think?