Wine and Music: A Pairing of Unconventional Proportions

How goes it, ladies and gents? It’s been awhile since I logged myself in and wrote a nice helping of babble for your ojos, but as usual the day-job is killing me slowly, and keeps me from my sanctuary of nonsensical wordsmithing. Every day it shoots a Uruk-hai’s arrow into my upper torso; then the next day another; and yet another after that; it does this until I’m staggering around like Boromir at the end of Fellowship. Fortunately I have yet to fall, and wait, until death takes me (in the proverbial sense, of course); but I am drained of all my mental faculties nonetheless which, for those of you in a similar situation, already know how utterly suck-tastic this feeling tends to be. However, I digress. Um, where were we? Oh yes, drowning you in a smattering of babble. I know that I have yet to throw down a few words about Star Trek: Discovery’s Season One finale (which was friggin’ awesome, by the way), but since better writers than I (which is pretty much everybody) have already given their critique about it, I figured there was no rush; especially since I want to go back and revisit the whole season with fresh, well-informed eyes to see what my final verdict is, now that I know how the first story arc unfolds. So, for the interim, I’m gonna switch gears, and talk a wee bit about two non-geek subjects that are near and dear to my heart: wine and music.

Back at the end of January, my cousin Chris, who is a DJ in and around the L.A. club scene, and has been for the better part of several decades, invited me to be a guest on his friend’s internet radio show. He extended this invite, however, with an idea in-mind: come up with wine pairings for different bands, and present said list on-air. Now, me being the life-long introvert that I am, thought “Holy shit, people are gonna hear me everywhere on Planet Earth, not just in my hometown of Los Angeles! What will they say?! What will they think?! How will I ever show my mug in social circles again?!” I’m kind of an imbecile this way. Additionally, in that same breath of inner-monologue dialogue, I also thought, “Crap, who knows? There may be Orion types of hot alien women that will hear my segment off-planet, and be curious to know who this “Rock-‘n’-Roll Wine Expert,” carbon-based life-form is….yessssss!” But, as the chubby, hobbitish introvert on the inside got a grip on his senses, my final thought was, “Fuggit, let’s do this, Gina.” Full disclosure: as many – or all – of you know, you can’t really pair a wine with a song, or genre of music. Pairings are meant for the palate – as in your actual sense of taste and smell. However, “palate,” as defined by Merriam-Webster, can also mean a person’s intellectual taste or liking; which grants me autonomy to share a list that is unconventional by wine-pairing standards. Take that, wine-snob bastages!

*throws back head while laughing maniacally*

So, without further ado, my short-list of vino that will invariably dance to the palatable tune of its musical soulmate….

Artist: Jodeci

Album: Forever My Lady

Varietal Pairing: Merlot

Jodeci was my go-to R&B band of the 90s. For a teen, there was no smoother quartet of crooners than these four studs. The harmonizing that flowed from their collective innards never failed to wash over you like warm, melted butter. Consequently, the only varietal that goes down as smooth as the music produced by these gentlemen is Merlot. Now, I’m not talking about that sweet shite that tastes like it should be poured over a stack of early-morning flapjacks. I’m referring to a nicely balanced, low-tannin bottle. If you’re at a loss as to where one may procure such a gem, try any one of these. The “Reverse Wine Snob” is an invaluable resource for wine information and education, by the way.

Artist: Oasis

Album: (What’s The Story) Morning Glory

Varietal Pairing: Bordeaux

“(What’s The Story) Morning Glory” is one of my favorite albums of all-time. There are so many great songs on it, the best one being – in my opinion – “Champagne Supernova”. The reason I chose Bordeaux is, quite truthfully, because of this simple, incontrovertible fact: you need something expensive and complex to pair with the combined egos of these two arrogant bastards.

Artist: The Smiths

Album: Meat Is Murder

Varietal Pairing: Syrah

Yes, yes, I know what you’re thinking; and yes, I knew this when I created the suggestion, but hear me out. Disclaimer: vegetarians and vegans might want to scroll past this portion, as your sensibilities might feel a wee offended – not my intention, of course.

Now, I know this album preaches a message that is the complete antithesis of meat-loving, but whenever I hear the cow mooing in the title-track, I can’t help but crave a nice steak; and a wine that carries similar characteristics to a nicely-prepped and cooked piece of flesh, is a syrah. The grape is “meaty,” with notes of pepper and spices, all of which coat the back of your throat like a well-marinated slab of tenderloin. If you’re reading this, Steven, don’t hate me, boo.

Artist: The Cure

Album: Disintegration

Varietal Pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon

The Cure has been my favorite band since, well, since they released Disintegration; or, should I say, since I first really listened to the words of Robert Smith’s eighth LP. “Pictures of You” is probably one of the greatest love songs that has ever been written. For anyone who’s ever been in love, and screwed it all up, the lyrics hit home pretty hard. I’ve cried many nights to the sound of Mr. Smith’s vocals, with a glass of vino in-hand, lost within the confines of my own perspective. The memories of another life, long since past, swirling aloft, like clouds gathering before a rainstorm. Now, my pairing suggestion is a Cabernet Sauvignon, but seeing as Robert’s poetry has been known to make grown men sob like infants, any varietal of choice will do just fine for drowning your sorrows while the band is serenading you in the backdrop of your home.

Well, there you have it, friends; my list of unconventional pairings for your solo-drinking needs. The next time you arrive at a dinner party, or merely a gathering, and the host or hostess is playing music in the background, take note of the wine they are serving, and instruct their musical selection accordingly. Then swirl your wine and lift you pinky as you take a swig. Kidding. Just a little….

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