Listening to pop megastar Adele’s album 25 is an emotional experience. If you’re ready to feel some feelings, grab your headphones, a box of tissues and one (or all) of these bottles. You’re going to need ’em.
“Hello”: Dalrymple 2013 Pipers River Pinot Noir (Tasmania)
Just admit it, you already know all the lyrics to Adele’s stunner of an opener. The woman doesn’t shy away from giving the people what they want: a roar of an introduction to an emotional, reflective album. This wine from Tasmania likewise broods with baking spice and dark beetroot, showing depth and concentration that keeps you coming back for more.
“Send My Love (To Your New Lover)”: Filipa Pato NV 3B Sparkling Rosé (Bairrada)
Poppy and fresh, the second song of the album is a palate cleanser from the heaviness and power of “Hello.” Up your sass intake and pair “Send My Love” with this Champagne-style sparkler from Portugal.
“I Miss You”: Broc Cellars 2012 Valdiguié (Solano County Green Valley)
The chanteuse brings her powerful vocals to the fore on this swaying track, which oscillates between yearning and heartbreak. This bottle does the same, washing over your palate with sharp herbs, cutting acidity and a tease of fruit you can’t quite have.
“When We Were Young”: Yann Bertrand 2014 Folie (Fleurie)
The album’s second single, this ballad drips with bittersweet nostalgia. It’s also contender for best song of the whole shebang, if you ask us. Bertrand’s Fleurie—made from 30–60 year-old vines delivers a wash of black tea and crushed flowers, while young, fresh red fruit comes and goes.
“Remedy”: Château Coulon 2014 Rouge (Corbières)
“Remedy” is one of those tracks that hits you in the gut, simultaneously intense and minimal. Seek out this blend from Languedoc-Roussillon for its powerful savory aromas of olives and anise, with earthy, straightforward flavors of tobacco and balsamic.
“Water Under the Bridge”: Txomín Etxaníz 2013 Getaria (Getariako Txakolina)
Adele says this song is about her relationship with her long-time boyfriend, a clear-eyed, poppy look at love. In that vein, we’re reaching for a zippy white, like this Txakoli from Spain’s Basque region. Minerally with a hit of stone fruit and green apple, it’s pure and spritzy.
“River Lea”: Meinklang 2009 Zweigelt (Burgenland)
With its gospel undertones, “River Lea” explores Adele’s roots and past via her hometown on the banks of the titular river. Organs and backup vocals round out the medium tempo song, which moves the album into its second half. Similarly, Meinklang’s Zweigelt is stylish and structured, moving from aromas of stewed fruit to flavors of bright cherry.
“Love in the Dark”: Southern Right 2013 Pinotage (Hemel en Aarde)
We hope you’re in the mood for a good cry. “Love in the Dark” may soar with gorgeous orchestral accompaniment, but Adele gets real about a dying relationship. Hailing from South Africa, the Southern Right is just as complex, with earthy spice and deep, blue fruit in equal measure.
“Million Years Ago”: Alta Alella 2010 Opus Evolutium Gran Reserva Brut Nature
We’re rounding the bend on Adele’s emotional roller coaster, and this flamenco-inspired track doesn’t disappoint. As she sings about the bittersweet passage of time, you’ll be hit right in the feels. Our pick for vintage Cava embodies that in the glass: briny like your tears, with just a hint of fruit.
“All I Ask”: Delas Frères 2011 François de Tournon (Saint-Joseph)
This Broadway-esque number takes full advantage of Adele’s vocals. It’s a career-defining track, echoing throwback Barbara Streisand. Wines from Saint-Joseph in the Rhône have the depth and breadth to match, especially this one. Structured with soft tannins and offering up dusty pepper and herb notes, it’s the kind of moody, dark wine this song requires.
“Sweetest Devotion”:Raumland 2008 Cuvée Katharina Brut (Germany)
Closing off the album is Adele’s dedication to her son. Optimistic about the biggest relationship in her life thus far, it’s bright and celebratory. This bubbly, from Germany’s Rheinhessen region, likewise sparkles with friendly floral aromas, warm brioche and caramel undertones.