The most popular kosher wine after Manischewitz and Mogen David is now the toast of the hip-hop world. Bartenura Moscato, the light, sweet white wine that is low alcohol and comes in a striking blue bottle is now one of the biggest sellers among African American and Hispanic consumers, when in the 80s and 90s, 85-95% percent of the consumers of the kosher wine were Jewish, according VinePair.
Lil’ Kim created a major trend when she incorporated Moscato in her 2005 song “Still over in Brazil sippin Moscato/you must’ve forgot though/so I’m a take it back to the block yo.” Of course, Moscato rhymes more easily than Bartenura, which is why the wine’s surname shows up in rap lyrics. Drake, who was raised Jewish, raps the praises of the kosher wine, which makes a perfect accompaniment for what else but shellfish: “It’s a celebration/clap clap bravo/lobster and shrimp/and a glass of Moscato.
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Crown Heights, where Bartenura Moscato had its place on many a Shabbos table, is well-loved by the African American population in the neighborhood as well, as signs featuring the big blue bottle with the map of Italy towers over pizza joints and check cashing places. Jay Buschbaum, Bartenura’s E.V. P of Marketing, says the attention from hip-hop music and the adoption of the wine by the black community probably saved the bottle and the brand. “We actually almost killed that blue bottle in the 90s, ” but not only were they able to keep the bottle with its signature blue tint but have enough demand to keep the wine on the shelves, “If you don’t have outside demand, it’s hard to stock a kosher wine in a small community.” Who thought hip-hop would come to the rescue of kosher wine?