My Rock n Roll Wine List


Inspired by mega wine blogger 1WineDude (@1WineDude) and Rock and Roll Wine (I decided to put my Rock-n-Roll perspectives on the wine varietals (types of grapes) that I’ve had the pleasure of ingesting. Wine itself, doesn’t get its due in rock music. The most common reference is to cheap wine (ala Billy Joel and Neil Diamond). True rockers (and hillbilly) go for beer and whiskey references. The best props to wine, at least the Champagne variety, comes from the hip-hop world.

Below are my rock-n-roll reviews of the basic wine grapes from music that is on my Zune (yes, I own a Zune and not an iPod). Feel free to pass this along as a form of reference and awareness to your beer swilling, martini sipping, Jack and Coke slugging friends. (Part 2 is here)

The Regulars

Merlot The Merlot grape is very palatable and an easy to drink red. Can be paired with lots of foods and rarely is it found offensive. My music pairing is Bon Jovi. Their music is still relevant and tasty, but rarely is there anything memorable from their recent records. They can make a crossover to other genres, their music is rarely bold or offensive and they reach a broad audience.


Chardonnay – Popular and hearty. Grows in a number of climates Can come across mis-understood by some and smooth and buttery by others. Overall, a decent white wine to cut your teeth on and an overall classic. My musical pairing, U2. Making chart topping AND socially conscience music for over 25 years, U2 can be smooth but also abrasive. Wide appeal but losing their former luster.

Led ZeppelinCabernet Sauvignon – Rich, bold red that is considered the king of red grapes. Very strong flavor, tannins and acid that cut through food, often overpowering to be consumed without food. Can be offensive to some but to those who understand its brashness is very much appreciated. Music pairing – Was torn on this one, so I chose ACDC and Led Zeppelin. Both bands are kings of their genre. Hard hitting, in your face, and often under appreciated. Can be tough to listen to in their entirety, but very much a delight when a song comes up on shuffle. The bands are huge in sound but still have an amazing appeal. Some are completely turned off by their sound.

Riesling – In some regions this wine provides a dry flavor that is great with fish, chicken and pork. California Riesling tends to be sweet and lacking acidity and balance. Liked by many and a great crossover wine grape that tends to be popular among the female crowd for social drinking. Music pairing – Taylor Swift; While I don’t have any Taylor on my Zune (I swear), you can’t help but notice that her music is sometimes dry, sometimes sweet and sappy, lacks balance and has a hugely wide appeal…just sayin’.

 Pinot Noir – This difficult to grow grape is rarely blended with other varietals. Can range from sweet and fruity to rough and earthy. The Noble Pinot Noir is either loved and cherished for its complexity and terroir specificity or disliked for the same reasons. Musical Pairing – Beatles (specifically the later years). While I have yet to discover a palate for Pinot Noir, I am a hugRevolver Album Covere Beatles fan. In my interactions with people, I find they either are passionate about them or could take them or leave them. Regardless of their like or dislike people always respect their influence in music and popular culture. While their early success was based on hysteria and less substantive music, their best stuff came as they explored the boundaries of music and what was considered ‘popular.’

I think I’ll make this post a two parter. I would love to hear your thoughts. For my wino friends, what musical pairings would you offer to the varietals you enjoy.

DOTD? (Drink of the Day) – Finished of the last of the 2004 Brassfield Estate Bottled Round Mountain Zinfandel. You?

Enjoy life with friends and DRINK.HAPPY


Owner of Nectar Tasting Room in Spokane, WA. (@nectarwine) Publisher of Spokane Wine Magazine (@spowinemag), author, speaker, consultant and internet marketer with Nectar Media (@nectarmedia)

13 comments on “My Rock n Roll Wine List

  1. 1WineDude

    A very cool idea… I’d never consider PN with Revolver but it does feel right!

  2. Nate

    Very cool! I’m a cab-sav drinker myself, so ROCK ON!

  3. Jim Wilkerson

    I could think on this for days, but my first reaction is Pinot Noir is more like Miles Davis – experts & aficionados love it and most people will acknowledge it’s quality, but rarely enjoy listening to it/drinking it. (This may be less true post-Sideways, but if there is a popular bio-pic on Miles Davis starring Jamie Foxx, I’ll be vindicated.)

    Not sure I’m with you on Riesling/Taylor Swift. Riesling is often the favorite grape of wine pros, even if low-end examples in blue bottles tarnish it’s image (same could be said of most grapes). I doubt many music critics hold Taylor Swift in the highest esteem. Perhaps she’s more appropriate for Pinot Grigio: loved by the masses and unfairly dismissed by those who consider themselves sophisticated.

    Bon Jovi/Merlot is a good one.

    Fun post!

    1. drinknectar

      Jim – thanks for your insight. You make a great point on the Riesling/Taylor Swift pairing. My trouble may be that I’ve never had a knock out Riesling, so basing on my experience and taste. Jaimie Foxx as Miles Davis would be awesome!

  4. weeklywinejournal

    How about Shiraz? AC/DC pre Fly on the Wall.
    Meritage? The Eagles greatest hits

  5. Pingback: My Rock n Roll Wine List PART 2 | Drink Nectar

  6. tricerapops

    i’d liken the Stones to Cab Franc. i love both, and while the connection may not be as obvious, i feel as if cab franc can be as polarizing as the stones are (even more than the beatles i feel). there’s no doubt the stones’ impact on rock and roll (and cab franc as a variety in the wine world) however, which is why i’d pair the two.

    1. drinknectar

      Nice! I love it. Cab Franc can be polarizing with its veggie and earth component. Good call.

  7. Pingback: Music to my Palate | Wine of Course

  8. Pingback: A Raw Blend of Wine Art and RocknRoll | Drink Nectar

  9. Phil Anderson

    This post is a great idea. Although I responded to your specific request on Facebook here is my five top pairings personally, in no particular order, and NOT necessarily Rock and Roll:
    *Little Feat Texas Twister Cabernet Sauvignon
    *Spyro Gyra Breakfast at Igor’s Syrah
    *BIlly Joel New York State of Mind, Baby Grand and Scenes From an Italian Restaurant (“Bottle of White, bottle of Red, perhaps a bottle of Rose instead”. By the way, “….we’ll buy some cheap a wine, sit on the corner and have a holiday….” is from Half A Mile Away off of 52nd Street) Principato (from Italy and yes, inexpensive but not at ALL cheap!)
    *Jamie Cullum Music is Through A big, complex Red Blend, Bordeaux Style
    *Stevie Wonder I Wish Sauvignon Blanc (preferrably from New Zealand)

    Thanks again for this idea! Got me thinking!


    1. drinknectar

      Great thoughts Phl! Interesting suggestion with Spyro Syra!


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