My Rock n Roll Wine List PART 2

“You can’t be greater than Elvis, change things as much as The Beatles, or be as original as Led Zeppelin. All you can do is rip them off.” Billy Corgan

As promised, here is part 2 of my rock n roll wine pairing (See Part 1). Thanks to the comments and suggestions from my fellow bloggers (1winedude, vinegeek, weeklywinejournal, rocknrollwine and coffeenate). Part one of this post was viewed more than any other post I’ve contributed to this point.

The rules: These are my pairings from my experience with wine and music. The pairings all come from music that I listen to and wines that I drink. BUT – I would love to hear how you would pair the music you listen to. Would you put Josh Groban with Sauvignon Blanc or Aligote. Would it be Dave Brubeck or Dave Mathews with Grenache? Is Carlos Santana a Tempranillo or is that too cliché?

Malbec – One of the noble Bordeaux varietals that has experienced a resurgence in popularity, even as a stand-alone grape. It is rich, and dark in color and juicy with tannins for structure. Malbec tends to be fickle and doesn’t always produce the highest yield. Young wine drinkers are consuming cases in quantity from Argentina (due to the lower price). This old classic blend is making a comeback tour. MY ROCK-N-ROLL PAIRING: Aerosmith – The bad boys from Boston are rock nobility. Like the Malbec taste, their music is rich, bold, classic, and part of the blend of classic rock from the 70’s. After disappearing from drug abuse in the 80’s, Aerosmith made a comeback in the 90’s and today with the younger generation providing poppy rock jams. The band is still volatile and their latest records don’t produce the consistent high quality yield but still offer some good tracks.

Sauvignon Blanc – I like a good Sauvignon Blanc. This amazingly talented grape is grassy and sometimes sweet and tropical. It’s lighter in color and sometimes lighter in body and structure than wish it was. This Bordeaux / Loire Valley grape for some reason reminds me of California. MY ROCK-N-ROLL PAIRING: One tweep suggested Janis Joplin or Hendrix, but I went with the more modern John Mayer. Mayer’s guitar playing is among the best alive, but under-rated. His records are often a blend of retro earthy sounds and sweet pop. I always come away from a studio record wanting more substance (which is how your high volume Sauvignon Blancs fare). Get John live and he shines! A well-made Sauv Blanc will rock your pants off.

Sangiovese – This Tuscan Italy super-grape, best known for Chianti can range from strawberry and mild cinnamon to very oaky, musky and thick. Sangiovese is Italy’s most planted grape and is quickly becoming popular for superblends in CA. I really like well made Sangiovese. MY ROCK-N-ROLL PAIRING. I’m going to go with the supergroup Cream. With Jack Bruce on Bass, Ginger Baker on Drums and the incomparable Eric Clapton on Guitar, Cream influenced Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Rush, Black Sabbath and more. Their music ranged from the pop, I Feel Free, to the dark White Room. If it’s been a while since you tried a Chianti or listened to some Cream – try them both together and rediscover the appreciation.

Viognier – This once nearly extinct grape is the only approved varietal approved in Condrieu of the Rhone Valley. It’s scent is floral and sweet but the sip is rather dry. I think this is a sexy varietal. It pairs very well with spicy food. I think hot, I think Viognier. The lower alcohol and mid-high acid are great to cut through the spice of Thai or Spicy Tuna Roll. You’ll find this grape planted in WA, VA, CA and Australia. This wine also blends will with other varieties too. MY ROCK-N-ROLL WINE PAIRING is the hot, sexy Alicia Keys. She is smooth and flowery but her amazing talent is hot. She can be dry and raw or silky and sultry. Miss Keys is getting the credit she deserves but, similar to Viognier, I think we’ll see more from her in the future. Lately, she has lent her talent through ‘pairing’ collaboration efforts too!

Zinfandel – My final pairing is my favorite varietal. To me, Zins are floral and fruity in smell, big and bold fruit and spice in taste, high in alcohol, and pair well with the food I like (BBQ, Pizza, Steak – although a good Cab is preferred, and Pasta). I’m not a fan of the White Zin, but always will choose a big red Zin from the wine list if I don’t feel confident in the other choices. MY ROCK-N-ROLL WINE PAIRING: KISS! Bwahahahaha. While Kiss doesn’t get the respect of other bands, they have stood the test of time and with world wide record sales approaching 100 million, they, like Zin, are a household name. They are the kings of commercializing themselves and never believe in overexposure. They are big and bold in everything they do. Like the red production of Zinfandel, they provide just enough sweet and sap but are not overly offensive (okay maybe sometimes). Through their glam phase (especially Paul Stanley), they could be compared to a white Zin. Most importantly, like the Zin, they tend to be the group I can count on to power me through a run, push me through a slow afternoon, and pump me up.

What about you? What wine would Lady Gaga be? Is there a wine that is similar to Michael Jackson? I would love to hear it. Comment below!

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)

9 comments on “My Rock n Roll Wine List PART 2

  1. Jim Wilkerson

    The Zin/Kiss pairing is perfect – love it! In fact if Kiss ever made a wine (not that far-fetched given their willingness to license the name to just about anything) there is no doubt it would be a Zin. “Lick It Up Zin” or something like that.

    1. drinknectar

      Jim – that is awesome. Maybe you should give Gene a call. I see big big money in this one!

  2. Randy Watson

    All of a sudden, I have a new found love for Viognier… she’s HOT! :)

    Pairing wine and rock-n-roll is sheer brilliance!


    1. drinknectar

      Thanks, Randy! I have moments of clarity in the midst of my ramblings.

  3. Tim

    John Mayer- Sauv Blanc! Hilarious!

  4. Bryan Wegman

    I love it. Not only is it informative, but it seems like a great way to market wine to a traditionally non-wine audience. Perfect for all my college music student readers too! Going to have to find a clever way to link to this from . Let me know if you have any ideas for that, and keep up the good work.

  5. Jenny

    Lady Gaga and Cava, of course!

  6. Pingback: My Rock n Roll Wine List | Drink Nectar

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