Rack and Roll

Ten collaborations between wine and music.

It’s an unwritten rule that a successful party requires alcohol and a great soundtrack. But who knew that so many musicians (specifically those in the rock n’roll category) have a hand in wine production? Here are ten wine and rock pairings that may surprise you:

1. Wines That Rock, the brain child of rock business managers RZO and Mendocino Wine Company, has three wines in release that were inspired by iconic classic rock recordings: Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon Cabernet Sauvignon, The Rolling Stones’ Forty Licks Merlot, and Woodstock Chardonnay. According to winemaker Mark Beaman, “With Wines That Rock our focus is to combine these two sensory based experiences into a meaningful sum that is greater than its parts. Think of it as a sort of audio aromatherapy.”

2. Dave Matthews’ Blenheim Vineyards, established in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2000, features European varietal wines 

3. Mick Fleetwood, drummer and co-founder of Fleetwood Mac, produces award winning Private Cellar wine, a collaboration with various wineries including Casa Cassara and Firestone.

4. Maynard James Keenan of Tool and A Perfect Circle channels his considerable passion into his role as owner and winemaker at Merkin Vineyards and Caduceus Winery in Jerome, Arizona, where he produces the award winning 2005 Nagual Del Sensei.

5. The Rock’n Roll Wine organization produces monthly wine tastings paired with live rock music in cities like Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Guests sip and swirl while enjoying bands like Dashboard Confessional and Everclear.

6. Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain is co-vintner and consultant at delaCain winery in California’s Sonoma County, where their first release was the 2007 Chanconne Pinot Noir.

7. Metal rocker Geoff Tate of Queensryche is an apprentice winemaker at Three Rivers Winery in Walla, Walla, Washington. His energetic Insania red and white blends capture the essence of rock and roll.

8. Il Palagio, Sting’s 16th century villa and vineyard in the Tuscan Hills in the Chianti region of Italy has a Super Tuscan in the works.

9. Mick Hucknall of Simply Red’s aptly named winery, Il Cantante (“The Singer”), is located on the slopes of Sicily’s Mt. Etna and features three wines, including the standout Etna Rosso.

10. Landmark Grill and Lounge in Chicago, Illinois offers free wine tastings with a rock and roll theme. Most recently, wine lovers tasted to the sounds of Led Zeppelin and Bob Marley.

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