Jermaine Stone from Wine and Hip Hop is hitting the streets in his new TV series, Street Somm, to pair wine with the foods of our culture.
By Sedale McCall
Jermaine Stone, aka the Wolf of Wine, is launching a brand new show, Street Somm, in partnership with Constellation Brands, streaming on Tastemade. In the show, Stone goes all across the country to learn and taste the foods of that area, then brings a wine that pairs well with them. Those who know Stone, know he’s going to be having a lot of fun along the way.
If you don’t know him, Stone is a content creator, consultant and brand builder. He is the CEO and brain behind Wine and Hip Hop, where he focuses on bringing wine and music together in a way that explores culture and fine wine.
Jermaine Stone’s Journey
Stone’s wine journey is as varied as it is impressive. A Bronx, New York native, Stone started in music as a rapper. Then, he began his wine career at Zachy’s Auction House, where he stocked shelves to support himself through school. As he rose up in the company, he became an auctioneer and consultant, helping fine wine clients.
After more than a decade at Zachy’s, a venerable auction house and retailer, Stone went out on his own with Cru Luv, a media consultancy focusing on the intersection of wine and hip hop. Next, Stone started the Wine and Hip Hop podcast. Here, he speaks to legends in both wine and music. He speaks to Master Sommeliers like Carlton McCoy about music, then follows that up with an episode with an artist like Styles P, discussing how he thinks about wine. The podcast has been so successful that he’s now talking to NBA athletes and other celebrities, and even launched the first Wine and Hip Hop festival in 2022.
Stone’s career has seen meteoric success. Since his days at Zachy’s, he can be found in Burgundy tasting with titans like Saskia de Rothschild. Next, he might be in his hometown pairing a chopped cheese with Cornas on his self-produced show, Tasting Notes from the Streets, and everything in between.
All of this culminates into Stone’s new show, Street Somm.
Street Somm, For the Culture
Like Stone’s career, Street Somm has many layers. Fundamentally, it’s a show where Stone provides wine pairings for different foods all over the country. However, for him, wine is a character in the show, alongside the people.
“This show is a wine travel show where the people’s stories are the main characters, while wine is another character,” he says. “What I love about Street Somm is that it brings wine into everyday situations all the time. It shows people how to bring wine culture into everyday life.”
The human element of the show shines through. The first episode is set in Stone’s hometown of New York City, alongside media personality and founder of BlackGirlsDineToo, Shakera Jones. This episode takes listeners to three locations. First, a street food shop, then a Michelin Star fine dining restaurant and an elevated Chinese Food takeout spot. Within the 30-minute episode, there are several different cultures represented.
As always, Stone’s authenticity allows him to navigate all of these spaces seamlessly, and take his audience on his journey. This show also allows viewers to see themselves somewhere along the way.
A Different Kind of Food Show
Stone’s focus on this show is to use wine to show his audiences things about themselves and others.
“My audience has always been diverse, from billionaire wine collectors to my homeboys in Alabama,” says Stone. “I have to find a way to highlight the individual truth in both of those individuals. I think the entire show is out of a comfort zone, there is no comfort zone. It helps people open up more and see one other, which is something I’ve been trying to do my entire career.”
For Stone, wine is a great “social equalizer.” It brings everyone together and allows people to see each other in a new way. Stone’s journey through the show takes him everywhere from the streets of the Bronx, to fine dining restaurants, to backyard barbecues. Viewers can find the moments that they can relate to, but also new moments that might open their eyes to other experiences.
The show is meant to take you on an excursion, through Stone’s own travels.
This Season on Street Somm
Street Somm is a story of educating people about culture through food and wine. As much as it educates the viewers, Stone learns a lot himself.
“I was in San Francisco, Savannah, Chicago, Houston, and Miami. And although I’ve been to most of those places, I never really got to know the city,” he recalled. “You really get to know each city through culture. We communicate culture through food and through music. I was able to get to know these cities in a completely different way.”
This season is a demonstration of the power of culture and food in storytelling. As Stone goes around in these cities, the viewer also gets to travel through the show and understand how these cultures operate in the melting pot we call the United States.
What’s Next for Jermaine Stone
Stone always has something coming up next. Even though he just launched a show, and “collected another infinity stone”, as he puts it, there’s even more coming up soon for the Wolf of Wine. Later this year, Wine and Hip Hop will have smaller festivals. And the former rapper gets back in the booth with new music. This was inspired by his time in Houston for Street Somm.
And be sure to check out Street Somm on Tastemade+ but also streaming on YouTube, AppleTV, Roku and anywhere you stream content. The show will air every week on Monday at 7pm.