Wine Enthusiast catches up with Bon Iver’s violinist/guitarist Rob Moose and trumpeter C.J. Camerieri about the indie-folk group’s wine-soaked tour bus sojourns and their hometown haunts.
Wine Enthusiast: So, we’ve heard you two share a nickname while on tour.
C.J. Camerieri: Yeah, we were called the “Fancy Boys” on the tour, in part because our bus driver would interchangeably call us “Quentin” and “Crispin.”
W.E.: What earned you those nicknames?
Rob Moose: We are pretty discerning about what we drink—and we traveled with a cocktail kit.
W.E.: Are the other band members as particular in their spirit choices?
CJC: Much of the band prefers to stick with Guinness, but [lead singer] Justin [Vernon] has long been a fan of Red Breast 12 Irish Whiskey. When we first went to his house to record the latest album, the tops of his kitchen cabinets were dominated by bottles of it as far as the eye could see.
W.E.: Speaking of whiskey—Rob, you're a member of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society?
RM: I was lucky enough to happen upon The Scotch Malt Whisky Society on a previous tour with the band Antony and the Johnsons. One of my bandmates was a friend of a member of the Edinburgh branch, and he took us there on an off night. It was absolutely magical. It was the first time I’d ever tried cask-strength Scotch, and the flavors were gripping and raw and changed interestingly with the smallest addition of water. I was pretty hooked. Being a member offers a wonderful opportunity to buy amazing and rare Scotches at fairly competitive prices.
W.E.: In your travels with the band, have you visited any wineries?
RM: C.J. and I organized a few trips on the side on days off during the tour. Our friend, the wine critic James Suckling, heard we would be in Portugal and connected us with Antonio Filipe at Symington Family
Estates. They own Graham’s and a variety of other Port vineyards, and they really took care of us. On two separate trips, we were treated to private tours and tastings at Graham’s and Cockburn’s. One of my great drinking privileges thus far was sampling the Queen Elizabeth Jubilee bottle from Graham’s 1952 vintage! Antonio also shuttled us out to the Douro for the afternoon to visit his friends at Niepoort Wines, where we were treated to an incredible lunch and an extensive tasting with the winemaker. All in all, that day we sampled something like 12 wines and 10 Ports. It was crazy.
W.E.: What are some of your favorite places in your hometown, New York City?
CJC: Lately, we’ve been big fans of The Ten Bells on the Lower East Side. They have really interesting natural wines, great food and a superknowledgeable staff.
Heard it Through The Grapevine
Here are some of Wine Enthusiast's fave wine lines in music:
Song: The Blue Nun
Wine Line: “Naturally, I’d say it’s the wine…”
Song: Going Down The Road Feeling Bad
Wine Line: “Going where the water tastes like wine..."
Song: I Just Wanna Love You
Wine Line: “I might buy you Cristal, but that’s about it…”