From Jay Z’s Champagne to Snoop Dogg’s Cali Red to Post Malone’s Provence rosé to Raekwon’s Lambrusco to E-40’s sparklers, wine and hip-hop are fast becoming a classic collab. Now, legendary rapper, Run-DMC co-founder and comic book publisher Darryl “DMC” McDaniels is joining the party with his Darryl Mack Cellars collection, made by New Jersey’s Old York Cellars.
“Darryl views wine and food as part of his bigger vision of bringing people together,” Old York Cellars founder David Wolin told Wine Spectator via email. “[We] and Darryl share this passion for bringing wine to a wide range of people. We believe that wine should unite people and not serve as another division in society.”
DMC comics author Amy Chu is a member of Old York Cellars’ wine club, and she introduced McDaniels to the winery earlier this year; there was an instant connection. “Some of the initial concepts behind Darryl Mack Cellars can be traced back to that initial conversation,” said Wolin.
McDaniels launched his wine collection in October with three 2020 wines priced at $24 each; the grapes are entirely sourced from Old York Cellars vineyard in Ringoes, N.J. The red, sporting DMC’s signature hat and thick-framed glasses on the label, is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Chambourcin. An off-dry white blend of Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, and a semi-sweet rosé each feature iterations of McDaniels’ comic-book superhero alter ego on the label.
The wines are also available packaged with chocolates and desserts. “Darryl collaborated with our winemaking team to select from wines already in production,” Wolin said, “and together we paired them with some of [his] favorite flavors.”
But Darryl Mack Cellars isn’t just about the wine. Five percent of sales will go to the Felix Organization, a non-profit founded by McDaniels and Emmy-winning casting director Sheila Jaffe in 2006 to create inspiring experiences and opportunities for children in foster care. “The heart of this collection came from Darryl’s passion for philanthropy,” said Wolin.
This is Old York Cellars’ first celebrity collaboration, and Wolin revealed that his winemaking team is already working with McDaniels on their 2021 wines. “Darryl brings high energy and natural charisma into every project, so it has been a true pleasure to work with him,” Wolin said. “[He’s] also a tastemaker with a dynamic personality, so our winemaking teams have enjoyed working closely with him to understand and interpret his tastes and preferences and translate that vision into the wines.”
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