Two vegan rappers, a masked man and a wine company might seem like an odd combination (or a very poor TV sitcom pitch), but in the case of St. Louis-based Freaky Muscato, that recipe's been making beautiful music for nearly a year.
Local entrepreneur Jeff Medolla (otherwise known as The Bachelorette's Masked Man) hatched the idea for Freaky Muscato after driving back to St. Louis from Springfield and hearing the word "freak" over and over again in hip-hop songs on the radio. After flushing out a business plan and bringing rappers Murphy Lee and Kyjuan of the St. Lunatics on board, Medolla was originally set on producing a vodka.
"[Murphy Lee and Kyjuan have] been sipping on wine for a long time," Medolla says. "The vodka was getting delayed, and we had access to all this wine. I had to make a judgment call and they were like, 'Jeff, we seriously should come out with a wine.' Muscato is very popular right now. It's the number-one selling wine in the country, and [it] is a certain kind of sweet wine that's being plugged more and more in hip-hop music by people like Drake and Waka Flocka Flame."
Freaky Muscato has a higher ABV (11.5%) than most muscatos (9%). Medolla explained that most muscatos are an afterthought for wineries, and Freaky was going against that trend by using corked bottles to ensure a quality product. The brand has grown steadily in its first year and is currently distributed in Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee. According to its website, Freaky Muscato has plans to expand to Arkansas, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Alabama and Georgia.
With its one-year anniversary approaching, Medolla says that Freaky Muscato might have a Halloween party. In addition to the expanded distribution, Medolla has plans to grow Freaky's offerings, including revisiting the original vodka plans.
"It's definitely sometime in 2012," Medolla says about Freaky V. "We were shooting for this fall, but there's just no way we can do it. We're working on a potential pink muscato called Freaky Pink...these are all things that we're working on now going into 2012. We've kicked around ideas...obviously we're gonna have Freaky V, which is a vodka. I wouldn't be opposed to Freaky G, which would be a gin. There's a lot of cool things we can do and plan to do."