Will Hagle will lock you like a Sluricane.
When you type “Earl Stevens Selections” into Google, Chrome suggests finishing your query with “in Kansas City” or “in Arizona.” The next two search suggestions are “Instagram” and “Facebook,” in that order. Those four searches encompass the allure of the Northern Califoolyan wine company. It’s only available in select areas of the nation, yet it’s desired in hella other places.
The popularity of Earl Stevens Selections coincides with two things America is currently experiencing: a burgeoning wine renaissance and a crippling social media addiction.
The wine renaissance is not dissimilar to the craft beer craze that swept the nation a few years ago. It seems like everyone is drinking wine these days. Craft breweries are being bought up by Big Beer, but craft wineries are thriving.
The social media addiction is not dissimilar to the television craze that swept the nation a few decades back. It seems like everyone is on their phones these days. JFK won after the first televised debate; this election cycle Twitter wars are thriving.
E-40 has an excellent social media presence. To truly love the gram, following him is law. Almost every post is, in some form, an ad for one of his many beverages. The Earl Stevens wines, Sluricane, and E40 Beer all make frequent appearances, alongside the occasional Warriors propaganda.
Despite E-40’s universal broadcasts, the company’s supply is geographically limited. Fans living in areas not covered on the store locator map can only like and comment on posts with envy. It’s the In-N-Out Effect—in which people who’ve never been near the West Coast crave the burgers—amplified by E-40’s influence.
The appeal isn’t just that the drinks are made and endorsed by E-40. It’s that they’re rarer than a polar bear willing to let you get close enough to gauge the temperature of its toenails. It’s the same reason people whose entire conceptualization of Brooklyn comes from GIRLS are suddenly craving bagels and lox from Frankel’s. There is a Forbes article with the headline “I Flew 2,500 Miles to Buy a Bottle of E-40’s Slurricane.”
Even in Los Angeles, however, procuring each of Earl Stevens’ selections proved difficult. L.A. Liquor on Washington and La Brea only had the Moscato. The Glendale Bevmo had the Mangoscoto and the Slurricane, but were sold out of the Function Red Blend. So much for everybody having choices.
Over the course of a few months, I’ve been slowly tasting each of the E-40 beverages. The original plan was to sample each of the drinks on the same day and have my roommate, who’s training to become a sommelier, give a detailed review. Due to the rare nature of E-40’s drinks, things didn’t work out as planned. Like E-40’s vocal fanbase in the pockets of the country where Earl Stevens Selections doesn’t reach, I can only guess what Yellowbird and Blue Lagoon Sluricane taste like. Here’s the rest:
The drink is called Sluricane, but you can call it delicious. There’s not much to say, because the most accurate review was written long ago: Sluricane is strong enough to start an engine.
The drink is a pre-mixed, New Orleans-style Hurricane in a bottle, transfused with a splash of that brisk Bay Area breeze. One sip might cause your eyes to close and your face to scrunch, but that just puts you in prime giggin position.
That’s how my night ended after consuming one-half of the bottle’s contents. It poured nice, one bottle emptying equally into two pint glasses. While that’s the most convenient way to enjoy the drink, it’s best served on a booty big enough to put a red cup on it.
Overall, Sluricane is tangy, tart, and so damn serious. Just be sure you have a bottle of 40 Water ready to replenish your body in the morning.
Sluricane’s name comes from the hook on “Hurricane,” from The Click’s Game Related. But it tastes best with My Ghetto Report Card blasting in the background. The overwhelmingly sweet taste will transport you back to the days when your Friday nights were spent sucking down masked alcohol, stumbling through the party trying to locate either a booty or a monkey. My Ghetto Report Card has the hits, and Sluricane will put you in that mindset.
Pairs best with: My Ghetto Report Card
Earl Stevens Selections Mangoscato
Mangoscoto is a name only E-40 could have invented. The drink combines a mango flavoring with Moscato, the white sparkling wine made from Muscat grapes. Moscato has been a popular drink amongst rappers in recent years—the lighter fizziness a substitute for heavier types of Champagne.
Mangoscato, though, is as heavy as Earl Stevens himself. A bottle contains 18% alcohol, but you won’t notice until it’s consumed and you find yourself on the way to the function screaming “Alcoholism! Alcoholism! Alcoholism!”
A friend lucky enough to share the bottle with me, in town from Oakland, accurately described the taste as “peach Yoplait.” Perfect excuse to pour this into a plastic white cup.
If you’re planning on perkin off some top of the line wine, try Mangoscoto instead of Carlos Rossi. Drinking Mangoscato while listening to this will only make you feel better about yourself.
Pairs best with: “Carlos Rossi”
Earl Steven Selections Moscoto
I poured a glass of this, sniffed it, put on In A Major Way and sat down ready to write my review. I took two sips, poured the bottle down the sink, and questioned my entire existence.
It’s all bad.
Pairs best with: “It’s All Bad”