Wine and Music Pairings

Music Pairing

Kenwood ZinfandelCountry + California Zinfandel

The Music

Essence: Stems from folk expressions of rural American South and West; a uniquely American form that found its greatest success crossing over with other popular styles; often romantic and melancholy
Listen: Patsy Cline, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Garth Brooks, Taylor Swift

The Wine Style

Essence: Rustic, wild and all-American, California Zin embodies a unique style all its own. Boasting comforting flavors of wild berries and briary herbs, top pours also feature lush, silky notes and hints of vanilla.

Drink: Kenwood 2011 Jack London Vineyard Zinfandel

Grab your favorite Zin and try out the pairing with this playlist:

Domaine Drouhin Pinot NoirJazz + Oregon Pinot Noir

The Music

Essence: Twentieth-century genre that fuses African tradition with popular American idioms; both technical and intuitive; improvisatory and ever-changing; never experienced the same way twice

Listen: Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis

The Wine Style

Essence: Like jazz, Oregon Pinot Noir riffs on the classics, marrying modern and traditional winemaking. Top producers draw inspiration from Pinot’s spiritual home, Burgundy, but allow themselves to play with the grape’s inherent complexity. The best bottles reveal focused layers of cherry and chocolate, deep notes that linger long after the last drop.

Drink: Domaine Drouhin Oregon 2012 Pinot Noir

Chill out with an Oregon Pinot and some tunes:

Red Tail Ridge RieslingIndie/Alternative + Finger Lakes Riesling

The Music

Essence: Highly individual and not made for mass appeal; has basis in iconoclastic artists of the 1970s; takes from familiar elements to create something new; can be soft and sweet, or intense and discordant

Listen: The Smiths, Arcade Fire, The Replacements, Grizzly Bear, Nirvana

The Wine Style

Essence: A versatile performer wherever it’s grown, Riesling varies in style from rich and unctuous to austere and brisk. Rock-star somms love the grape; in particular, the myriad great bottles coming out of New York’s Finger Lakes. You won’t find mom and dad’s Blue Nun here. These pours sing with lemony citrus and green notes, rocking fresh peach and mineral flavors.

Drink: Red Tail Ridge 2012 Dry Riesling

Drink in some Riesling with this indie playlist:

KaeslerShirazClassic Rock + Australian Shiraz

The Music

Essence: Powerful style that found mass popularity in the 1960s through the ’80s; generally comfortable and nostalgic, with wide appeal; artists may have been radical at first, but now verge on mainstream

Listen: Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Queen, Journey, Tom Petty

The Wine Style

Essence: Like that great Scorpions anthem, Australian Shiraz will rock you like a hurricane. An electric blend of bright fruit and warm, mouth-filling texture, Shiraz straddles power and grace.

Drink: Kaesler 2010 Stonehorse Shiraz

Pair this curated playlist with a bottle of Shiraz:

Movia LunarRap/Hip-Hop + Slovenian Orange Wine

The Music

Essence: An expression of the young, urban and challenged; innovative and socially aware; uncompromising, often funky and controversial

Listen: N.W.A., Tupac Shakur, MC Lyte, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar
The Wine Style

Essence: Hip-hop redefined the music scene by challenging the status quo and questioning established norms. Orange wine—that is, white wine that has seen skin contact—is divisive in its own right, with fans and detractors vociferously drawing lines in the sand. Expect au courant orange wines to pack funky flavors and in-your-face tannins.

Drink: Movia 2008 Lunar

Give the pairing a go with this playlist:

Chateau LagrangeClassical + Bordeaux

The Music

Essence: Serious form rooted in established Western tradition instead of popular trends; goes back millennia; includes pioneers tweaking tradition with new interpretations

Listen: Ludwig Van Beethoven, Igor Stravinsky, Richard Wagner, John Cage, Michael Nyman

The Wine Style

Essence: No wine embodies “classic” as much as Bordeaux. The region from which many winemakers take their cues, these wines represent the pinnacle of greatness and tradition, imbued with smoky, woody aromas, and, in young age, overtures of deep fruit perfectly balanced with leather flavors.

Drink: Château Lagrange 2011 Saint-Julien

Uncork some Bordeaux to the tune of soaring strings:

The Wine + Music Issue

Published on June 1, 2014
Topics: Wine and Music, Wine Pairings