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Chris Fleck

Grant ‘Lanai’ Tabura

Grant "Lanai" Tabura

Grant “Lanai” Tabura has branched out from the professions where fans have gotten to know him best, as a standup comedian, morning radio host and actor. He is elevating himself professionally, stretching his influence from luxury pleasures to consumer protection.

After meeting three years ago with good friend and established winemaker Mikael Sigouin of Kaena Wines in California, the two had the idea of creating a new line of wine. After six months of blending, testing and tasting, Tabura put a name to his tasteful creation: Look Me In The Eye by Lanai.

“We are in the category of designer wine. We have both a red and white and are working on a dessert wine now. It is a cool, sexy wine, tastes sexy. I am enjoying educating people that there is more out there than your typical Riesling or Pinot Noir,” says Tabura, who coined the name from the medieval tradition of kings looking each other in the eye as they poured a bit of their wine into each other’s glasses as a sign of trust and honesty.

As the wine has begun to find a market niche, you can now find Look Me In The Eye in many boutique stores such as Tamura’s, Fujioka’s and Wine Stop as well as Foodland. It is also on the menu at Roy’s, Ruth Chris Steakhouse and 3660 on the Rise.

“When I was working comedy in the bars and clubs, I was always interested in why the girls would always be drinking wine. I started drinking it there, and then started going to Italy and Napa Valley, touring the vineyards and doing tastings,” says Tabura, who also is a cigar ambassador for General Cigar Company.

Bridging from one end of tasteful comfort to public-policy issues, Lanai also is working as a consultant for ID Theft Solutions of America to help create and enforce better tactics in the national and state fight against identity theft.

“I’ve been working with many senators on a bill that is mirroring the federal bill, so we can get all the companies in Hawaii involved,” says Lanai, who was featured on MidWeek‘s cover June 19, 2002.

“A lot of people don’t realize it, but ID theft is not just credit and debit cards. I am helping to fight against health insurance, drivers license and children’s identity theft. More than 400,000 kids are in debt by the time they are 18 years old,” says Tabura, whose Pidgin 101 app is now available for iPhone and Android users.

For 99 cents, this Pidgin English dictionary translates some of our favorite pidgin words and sayings into easy-to-read English connotation and phrasing.

“This is blowing up. It has been getting downloads from all over the world,” adds Tabura.

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