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UK’s first ‘hip hop’ wine shop launched

Last week, the UK’s first “hip hop” wine shop popped up in Liverpool – keen to find out more, db caught up with its co-founder, Jake Crimmin.

The Hip Hop Wine Shop’s co-founder, Jake Crimmin

So what exactly is a hip hop wine shop?

The idea was to come up with a concept that made wine tasting less intimidating, so music played a key role on the day. The majority of the 350 attendees were in their twenties and thirties and had never been to a wine tasting before. There was a great atmosphere and we’ve had fantastic feedback so we’re going to make it a regular event – the next one is taking place on 16 May.

Who came up with the idea?

Myself and a friend, Michael de Palma, former operations director for the Gaucho restaurant Group put it together. We spread the word via a social media campaign and held the tasting at Camp and Furnace, an events space in Liverpool.

Joe Wadsack is whacked after his Rebel MC masterclasses

We made it appealing to young consumers via graffiti artists, BMX bikers, stands selling trainers and T-shirts and vinyl vendors – we even had a tattoo artist! On the wine front, Joe Wadsack ran a series of “Rebel MC” masterclasses on natural wines and food and wine matching.

What was on the decks?

Lots of old skool hip hop mixed up with everything from Pharcyde to Run DMC, Wu-Tang Clan and the Sugar Hill Gang.

Aren’t wine and hip hop a strange pairing?

Yes, but I think wine has always been hip. The majority of young influential folk are interested in wine but don’t know where to start learning more about it.

There aren’t many avenues for them to explore wine further aside from their local indie merchant and even these can be intimidating. The point of the show was to attract consumers that are usually uneasy with the idea of wine tasting and hip hop helped us do it.

Tell me a bit about the wines on pour… 

We teamed up with six local merchants, from R&H Fine Wines to Rodney Densem Wines who we gave carte blanche to pour whatever they fancied. The only brief was to sell at retail prices by the bottle or 125ml glass so it wasn’t prohibitively expensive for our attendees to try a few things out.

People could also buy the wines to take home. Among the wines on pour were Undurraga Terrior Hunter Riesling, Donnafugata Sherazade Nero d’Avola, Gonzalez Byass Dos Palmas, Lammershoek LAM White, Gran Codorniu Pinot Noir, Smoking Loon Old Vine Zinfandel and Domaine Wachau Federspiel Grüner Veltliner.

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