Music and wine pairing. What if we combine those two somewhat. At least to try. What a combo it might be, right?
In 2009, archaeologists excavating a cave in southern Germany uncovered a flute carved from a vulture’s wing bone. WHAT? The delicate artifact is the oldest known musical instrument on earth, indicating that people have been making music for over 40,000 years. That’s crazy isn’t it? Stone Age party! And I thought 70’s music is considered as oldie.
What about wine. Well it’s subjective, No one really knows 100%. The best guess and evidence points to Georgians somewhere around 6000 BC, but it is quite possible it was being made elsewhere even earlier than that and we have not found evidence of it, but there is still time to dig up some proof.
In ancient Rome and Greece, people didn’t have a great deal of choice when it came to quenching their thirst, with only a few kinds of fruit juice, warm goat’s milk or stagnant water on their menu. Personally I’m kind of relieved wine came into the picture. Not a big fan of goat’s milk, especially warm one. And who would want to go at a party and be served goat’s milk, and warm!
Since I will talk about Wine and Music, writing it wasn't done with a dry glass and definitely not with dry speakers. A glass(2 or 3) of Pinot Grigio. Yes, you read that right Pinot Grigio! Deal with it Wine Snobs. Everyone has a guilty pleasure. Plus 'paired' with one of my favourite bands https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zz_7OCCQlXs
Chardonnay is probably the number one selling white wine varietal in the world and there’s no surprise in that. Chardonnay brings an impressive range of flavours from the expected buttered, oak influences to the fresh, fruit flavors of, pear, apple tropical aromas, citrus, and melon, leaving a lasting palate impression and emotions. From Chablis to Pouilly Fuissé and from Rully to Meursault, Bourgogne Chardonnays offer every side of the grape’s wonderful personality and characteristic. It just sings to you in every way, and as I like to call it, it’s a ‘Love, Hate grape Variety’. You just simply can’t get enough satisfaction out of every wine that’s made from this amazing grape variety. See what I’ve done there? Yes! Just like Rolling Stones - I can’t get no Satisfaction The song kicks off with a now-classic guitar riff, fattening up its sound in a way that’s both pleasing and aggressive, just like a good wine made out of Chardonnay. You just can’t get enough of it. As this song made The Stones, this green-skinned grape variety makes it up for its name not only in Burgundy, France but around the world. Next time when you pop a bottle of Chardonnay Wine of your choice, just pump The Stones to the max, sit back and relax, or dance.
Nebbiolo is the key to some of Italy's most refined red wines, and is behind the best and most famous Piedmont red wines, Barolo and Barbaresco. No wonder is also called ‘The King of Piedmont’s Wine Grapes’, ‘The Royal Grape’ or ‘Queen of red grapes’. King, Queen ….damn it , Royal in one word, this red grape variety has it all. Nebbiolo is a mystery in contrasts; it smells of rose petals, but also of earthy tar. Its delicate colour disprove its powerful structure, offering layers and subtle differences in every wine that is transform into. That’s what I call a True King, or Queen. Ah yes! Queen! Queen’s intelligence and acuity demanded that they constantly took risks. But almost all of them came off and lead to success. And none more so than Bohemian Rhapsody, one of the most remarkable hit singles ever and one of my personal favourites. When we talk about how pros make wine out of Nebbiolo, I automatically think of how pros make hits. This song just brakes sonic barriers and has many layers of complexity; Just like a good Nebbiolo wine! Just stimulates our creative spirit: "Scaramouche, Scaramouche / Will you do the Fandango?"
Pinot Noir is an independent, cheeky character of a grape variety that doesn't like to commit to other grapes unless it's in Champagne making. Typically, a young wine made out of Pinot Noir will be all about the freshness, with bright flavours and an easy-drinking attitude. Older styles of the wine can sometimes showcase a funkier personality. Remind you of something? I bet it does! What’s a party without ABBA's ‘Dancing Queen’. Is not only ABBA’s most famous recording, but is widely regarded as one of the all-time greatest pop songs and who wouldn’t want to dance on that song with a glass of Pinot Noir in their hand? Versatile, light in most cases, can be drank chilled(because why not), and can be enjoyed all year round. To have a glass of Pinot Noir, is already a good reason, to have another glass of Pinot Noir. Do you see where I’m going with this? Often called as the ‘Holy Grail of grapes’, it’s probably Burgundy’s most prized possession in terms of grape varieties. Pinot Noir grows in countless other countries and without a doubt is one of the most precious wines to bring to a dinner table. ABBA and Pinot Noir? Because everyone can dance like a QUEEN. WINE NOT!
Ah! Riesling! One of the classic great white grapes. It is by far one of the most misunderstood and underappreciated wine grapes out there. As Terry Theise puts it “If Chardonnay is a lap dance, then Riesling is a slow-burning tantric orgasm of flavour” and to be honest, who are we to disagree with that statement. Its styles is different in every country is made, from steely-dry white wines to super sweet wines or even crisp sparkling wines. It makes you feel lively, positive and Livin'; Livin’ on a prayer actually. I really like to think that Bon Jovi was sipping a glass of this supersonic wine made out of this grape when they wrote this song. And probably that’s true! Have you seen the video of that song? Oh my god! The energy and the acidity in it. Screams Riesling. Let's pretend for a moment that you're not familiar with Bon Jovi's "Livin' On a Prayer" and you never had a Riesling. Now write that down on your shopping list and add that song on your playlist of songs. I assure you, those two combined, will definitely make you scream ‘Woah, we're half way there’ and open the second bottle.
Merlot is one of the most popular wine grapes across the world. Is a grape that went through a lot of trouble Surviving the Sideways effect when just a line from this movie hurt this magnificent grape variety’s feelings.
“If anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving. I am not drinking any fucking Merlot.” Come on! Really? Because of this line, all this hate for this gentle grape? Poor Merlot! All this trouble and pain and it still has the power to thrive. Like Rocky Balboa in Rocky III. Definitely Merlot wins this round! A true Survivor with the ‘Eye of the tiger’. Oh man and what a song! Exactly like the wine made out of Merlot, a true inspiration and emotions to many of us out there.
Let’s just reflect on this a second and remind ourselves all the delicious Bordeaux wines we drank along the way or we wish we have, at least once in this lifetime. Hard to break it to some of you, but most of the Bordeaux blends, have some Merlot in them. Glad I took that out of my chest! Really was a heavy burden to keep.
I know what I’m going to try next! Maybe recreate the scene, where Sylvester Stallone runs up triumphantly the Rocky Steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I hope I will have breath to sip from my glass of Merlot after that. But YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE, right?
Sauvignon Blanc is one of those grape varieties, when turned into a wine, doesn’t need any introduction. Is that cool person that didn't worked for popularity, it just earned it. At a party, it'd be the one in the corner, mysterious and attracts attention just by staying still and being natural. Sauvignon's tentacles are reaching further afield today, from France to South America, from South Africa to New Zealand. It’s just popular and on demand and I hope it stays that way. A Flower Power wine in all its essence that stole a 'Piece of my Heart', exactly like Janis Joplin’s voice, singing that song. ‘’And each time I tell myself that I / Well I think I've had enough’’ I will still need one more sip.
Call it the Mona Lisa of grapes, the Louvre of all art museums wine, the Mike Tyson of flavours and so many more clever things that you can come up with on your own. A complete package wine that brings it all to the table. That is the nature of this grape. Medium to Full-bodied wine, complex and age worthy. At this point is the most planted grape variety on Earth and grows well pretty much everywhere you find sunlight and warmth, from Chile to China. There's no need to hold off for a special occasion to drink a Cabernet Sauvignon, opening up a bottle and drinking it is the occasion. It makes you feel classy, fortunate, positive and ‘To forget about life for a while’. I guess Billy Joel was right when he wrote and sang ‘Piano Man’ for the first time, we might forget about life for a while. Probably on top of that piano he played in the video, he actually had some Cabernet Sauvignon. We might just have to call him and ask.
''At the end of the day, you really can’t make a wrong choice.
As long as you pay attention to what it is that you don’t like about a wine
each bottle will get you closer to what you do like.
Take it one glass at a time!''