Music’s biggest night, the 57th Grammy Awards, airs Sunday, Feb. 8. And since wine and music are a natural pairing, Wine Enthusiast broke down the best bottles to drink while listening to the nominees of this year’s biggest categories, Album of the Year and Song of the Year.
Album of the Year
Beck’s Morning Phase
Beck’s latest album channels old school, West Coast folk to wonderful effect. Bliss out on chill melodies with Beck’s signature lyrical word play. Ever the artist, he should be paired with nothing less than quirky, fun Zweigelt.
Try this bottle: Steininger 2012 Novemberlese Zweigelt (Niederösterreich); $17, 85 points.
From dropping her album overnight with no fanfare (let alone murmurings) to touring the world with her signature mix of power, sass and, obviously, vocal talent, she’s an artist who’s nothing short of a force. Match her tunes with this bottle from Frank Cornelissen—an intense blend of citrus, minerality and smoke.
Try this bottle: Frank Cornelissen 2012 Munjebel 9 Bianco (Vino da Tavola); $40, 92 points.
Ed Sheeran’s X
Acoustic, lovelorn and introspective, Ed Sheeran’s second album is a pop-inflected album reminiscent of early John Mayer. Pair Sheeran’s songs with a full-bodied, ripe Gewürztraminer from Germany. With big fruit flavors and warm floral aromas, it’s the perfect choice for a Top 40-friendly album.
Try this bottle: Leonard Kreusch 2011 Estate Bottled Gewürztraminer (Rheinhessen); $16, 89 points.
Sam Smith’s In the Lonely Hour
With the throwback swagger of a soulful crooner, Smith has been positioned as the male answer to Adele. His high-reaching falsetto and emo-adjacent lyrics are the perfect match for high-acid German Pinot Noir, especially a bottle that boasts dark, juicy fruit and a touch of earth.
Try this bottle: Huber 2011 Pinot Noir (Baden); $37, 92 points. Cellar Selection.
Pharrell Williams’s G I R L
Admit it: When you hear lead single, “Happy,” you’re up on your feet, clapping along. The nine other songs on this album follow that joyful lead, sonically distilling sunshine into old school, ‘70s-style R&B and disco. Pair this light album with an equally fun wine, like New Zealand’s classic, easy-going Sauvignon Blanc.
Try this bottle: Clos Henri 2013 Petit Clos Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough; $16, 91 points.
Song of the Year
Megan Traynor’s All About That Bass
Megan Traynor’s poppy, body-positive number was one of the most infectious ditties to drop this year. We dare you to watch the video and not dance. This song deserves a bubbly that never takes itself too seriously, like floral, fruity and fresh Prosecco.
Try this bottle: Ca’ Dei Zago 2013 Col Fondo (Prosecco); $20, 90 points.
Sia’s torch song, “Chandelier,” was a critical hit, a melancholy exploration of the artist’s own alcoholism. For this track, put down the glass. Sure, the reggae beats belie the sorrowful message, but out of respect, seltzer with bitters will do. Sometimes, you don’t need “one, two, three, one, two, three drink.”
Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off
Bubble gummy and wiggle-inducing Taylor Swift deserves a wine that reflects her lighter past with her move into slightly darker territory, as exemplified in her 2014 album, 1989. The perfect match: Beaujolais and its signature grape, Gamay. Skip the inexpensive nouveau. This is a job for Gamay from Fleurie, fruit-filled and bright, but also boasting nuanced notes of spice and earth.
Try this bottle: Lucien Lardy 2013 Les Roches (Fleurie); $35, 91 points.
Interested in more wine and music pairings, don’t miss our special comprehensive guide on the subject >>>
Sam Smith’s Stay with Me
Britain’s latest crooning export sings his heart out on this piano-heavy ballad, complete with gospel choir and soaring strings. Smith’s yearning lyrics pair best with a deep, moody Syrah from the Rhône, especially one with touch of bite and bitterness. This one is sanguine, like raw meat and, incidentally, Smith’s lonely, sad heart.
Try this bottle: Les Vins de Vienne 2011 Saint-Joseph; $37, 91 points.
Hozier’s Take Me to Church
Irish soul-singer Andrew Hozier-Byrnes, who performs as Hozier, made a name for himself in 2014 with his smoky, dark single, “Take Me to Church.” Captivating listeners with his folk-tinged material juxtaposed against with what Rolling Stone describes as “lapsed-Catholic” lyrics, Hozier is best paired with a wine that has depth. Seek out flinty, meaty Syrah from Santa Barbara, California, the wine industry’s region du jour.
Try this bottle: Rusack 2012 Ballard Canyon Estate Syrah (Santa Barbara County); $27, 88 points.