Every wine pairing is subjective to its creator. Sure, there are rules when it comes to certain flavors or sensations when pairing food and wine, but the ultimate wine choice, like music, is personal to the one seeking its enjoyment.
When pairing music and wine, there are no rules. It is in this type of pleasure pairing that real creativity can be expressed as we let the aromas and flavors, sensations and feelings move us to a certain beat. That beat could be a memory of a time and place, or maybe simply a feeling. Perhaps our perfect harmonious pairing between wine and song is one just for fun. The possibilities have no limit. Wine and music together are one of life’s great treasures to experience.
Now that the summertime heat is turned up high, many of us are reaching for new white wines to sip. With that in mind, we asked several wine professionals to pick their summertime white wine and song pairing.
This is our “Sounds of Somms” soundtrack for Summer 2022. Be sure to Follow Winetraveler’s Official Spotify Profile and follow this playlist to listen all season long.
Founder of Sip L.A. – Wine Broker/Somm – WSET/CMS/FWS/SSI
Wine: Chateau Montelena Chardonnay, Napa Valley
Song: “American Cliché” by FINNEAS
Mai Says: The song is about an American guy falling in love with a girl at a French Cafe:
I’m an American cliché
Missing a girl in a French café
I say, “Goddamn, you’re beautiful”
You blush and duck out of frame
I’m an American cliché
Missing a girl in a French café
I say, “How’d I get along so long without you?”
And you say, “Same”
And we all know Chateau Montelena produced the winning white wine in the 1976 Judgment of Paris. Not as romantic as the song, but it is an iconic moment when French meets American wine.
Bar Manager/Partner, SUYO Modern Peruvian, Vancouver, BC
Wine: Liquidity Chardonnay Reserve, Okanagan Falls, BC
Song: “Could I be” by Sylvan Esso
Max Says: I chose this selection to showcase the driving bottom notes of both the wine and the song – rich nuttiness and brown butter meets playful grilled fruits that make you want to dance. Overriding the whole experience is an unapologetic femininity both offered by songwriter, Amelia Meath, and winemaker, Amy Paynter.
CEO, EDM ZERO Beverages
Wine: “Lamelle” Chardonnay 2021 from Il Borro, Tuscany, Italy
Song: “Tonika” by Maluma and Ziggy Marley
Ervin Says: I really love how I can catch this song at any time, and it makes me feel happy. I can think of my day, and then come back to the song, and it always cheers me up.
Lamelle Chardonnay comes from one of the most responsible wineries I’ve ever had the pleasure to visit. Il Borro winery is organic and self-sustaining! This level of care and attention to detail definitely pays off when you pull that cork. It feels uncomplicated, yet meaningful, and those are the exact words I use to describe this song.
Managing Partner, Macchialina, Miami Beach, FL
Wine: “Sikele” from Cantina Marilina, 100% Grecanico, Sicily, Italy
Song: “Gloria” by Laura Branigan
Jacqueline Says: Amanda Fraga, of The Genuine Hospitality Group, invited my partner, Will, and myself over for dinner at her home a few weeks ago. As the evening progressed, we decided karaoke would be a fun idea, and of course our wonderful host just happened to have a state of the art at home karaoke set up. Will and I have been together for six years, and this was the first time we had ever done karaoke together. His song choice was “Gloria,” and boy did he CRUSH it. It is the theme song of summer 2022. What else would you be drinking while listening to the love of your life belt out this iconic 80s American cover (the original Italian version released in 1979) but an Italian wine of course!
My go-to summertime white is Sikele from Cantina Marilina, 100% Grecanico. With just a short 13- hour maceration on the skins, it’s the perfect wine to sip on its own but can also carry you through all your favorite grilled seafood and veggie options. I say grilled because we should all be firing up the BBQ. It’s summertime!
Certified Sommelier, Wine Education and Consulting
Wine: Teperberg “Inspire” White (Dabouki Blend), Israel
Song: “Every Second” by Mina Okabe
Casleah Says: I love this pairing because the song is all about savoring every moment and every second and appreciating the moment of the present time.
This wine is so special to me because I recently went on a tour of Israeli Wine country and discovered this wine. I was able to attend a luncheon with the winemaker, Dani Friedenberg, who is hip and trendy, and doing some cool things to disrupt the industry. This refreshing white summer wine has a native Israeli grape called Dabouki. It’s such a special wine that every sip deserves to be savored just like the song says. Cheers!
Alessandra Esteves, DipWSET
Director of Wine Education, Florida Wine Academy
Wine: Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc 2018, Bordeaux ($189.97)
Song: “Sirius” by The Alan Parsons Project
Alessandra says: Sirius (The Alan Parsons Project) is the Chicago Bulls theme song and played on the documentary about Michael Jordan, “The Last Dance.” I have it on my playlist as inspiration as I prepare to sit the MW exams this July.
I would say this music needs a bold, powerful white wine with high levels of complexity. I will go with white Bordeaux. Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc 2018 ($189.97) for full power or Chateau Les Clauzots Graves 2019 ($22.99) for more everyday casual drinking.
Los Angeles-based Certified Sommelier and Wine Educator
Wine: Bouchaine Vineyards, 2019 Estate Chardonnay, Napa, CA ($36)
Song: “About Damn Time” by Lizzo
Brianne explains that Bouchaine Vineyards is unique in that the owner, winemaker, assistant winemaker, and vineyard crew are ALL female. She has picked a song by Lizzo because this artist embodies female empowerment in her brazen and provocative lyrics, music, dancing, and pretty much everything she does.
The lyrics of “About Damn Time” encourage you to turn up the music and celebrate. They remind you that everything is going to be ok.
Isn’t it about damn time that we have a truly all-female-made wine?
About the wine! Bouchaine Vineyards 2019 Estate Chardonnay undergoes sur lie aging with some oak influence that gives this wine the hint of richness and fullness (to quote Lizzo “thick thirty”) that satisfies any Chardonnay lover. This wine is fresh, layered, and lovely. The gift that keeps on giving.
Sommelier, Consultant & Educator
Wine: Tablas Creek 2021 Patelin de Tablas Blanc, Paso Robles, CA
Song: “Relax” (Moreno J Remix)
Chris Says: When you watch the video for “Relax” (Moreno J Remix), it’s easy to understand why the original hit song by the British band Frankie Goes to Hollywood has been associated with summertime since it first hit the charts in the early 1980s. Past sounding fresher and more spirited with crisper lyrics, deeper grooves and more beats to dance to, this newer, more modern-style sound can also connect today’s youth with the song and the slightly older music lovers who have fond memories of dancing to this festive musical anthem when it was played at beach parties, dances, and smaller, more intimate summer events four decades ago.
To keep the cool vibes flowing with wine, this dazzling new release of the Tablas Creek 2021 Patelin de Tablas Blanc is bright, clean, and refreshing white wine crafted at Tablas Creek Winery in the coastal zone of Paso Robles in California. It’s an expressive blend of five white grape varieties made famous in the Rhone Valley of southern France: Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne, and Bourboulenc.
To match the summertime beats of this song, this energetic wine stimulates the senses with fragrant floral aromas and fills the palate with lively notes of ripe peach, pineapple, tangy citrus, and a zippy burst of acidity on route to a lingering, lip-smacking finish.
If you want to keep the fun vibes flowing with food, this flavorful wine pairs extremely well with young cheeses, melon wrapped with prosciutto, fresh seafood, steamed mussels with fennel, green salad with avocado and citrus dressing, and grilled chicken with tropical salsa.
The Patelin de Tablas Blanc is available for purchase in both bottle ($28/750 ml) and box ($95/3L).
Head Sommelier, Michael’s Genuine, Miami, FL
Wine: Theopolis Vineyards, “Symphony,” Anderson Valley, CA
Song: “Summertime” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince
Ray Says: Summertime just reminds me of driving with the top down, BBQs, parties in the park, beach days, and sandbar hopping (looking for friends that have boats-I have wine). This grape was developed by a professor from UC Davis, and it is the love child between Muscat of Alexandria and Grenache Gris. It gains quite a bit of floral qualities from the muscat and is light bodied with refreshing acidity. Notes of stone fruit (peach and apricot), citrus peel, and orange blossoms dance on the palate. This is the wine that is in my glass or red solo cup because it’s summer, and wine can be consumed in any container (but only when necessary – please try to use good glassware).
Wine + Travel Writer, Wine Judge, and Consultant
Wine: Patient Cottat “Le Grand Caillou” Sauvignon Blanc, 2020, Loire Valley, France
Song: “Summer on You” by Sam Feldt, Lucas & Steve, Wulf
Jacqueline Says: This Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley just exudes summer. It’s light and fresh with ripe peachy and passion fruit flavors. As it opens up, even more ripe tropical notes express themselves. There’s nothing complicated about it, and that’s exactly how I like my summertime wine, as I drink it in the extreme heat of South Florida.
I picked “Summer on You” by Sam Feldt because it has such a beautiful steel drum beat in the chorus. The steel drum always reminds me of being somewhere tropical – like an island in the Caribbean. I could easily picture myself sipping this wine while listening to steel drums on the beach. Plus, every summer should have a “feel good” soundtrack, and this is always a good song to add to the mix.
Jamie Elizabeth Metzgar
Wine Consultant & Writer
Wine: Gramona 2020 Gessamí Blanco, Penedes, Spain
Song: “La Soledad” by Pink Martini
Jamie Says: Just about everything by Pink Martini conjures up the atmosphere of a sleek Mediterranean cafe, and “La Soledad” sets the summertime mood perfectly. It opens with the dreamscape piano of Chopin’s “Andanta Spianato et Grande Polonaise,” hearkening summery skies and wispy clouds drifting by before morphing towards dramatic, passionate cello and vocals. Gramona’s Gessamí Blanco matches it beautifully; from the heady summer florals of jasmine and neroli to the dashes of spice and fruit. At only 11% abv, it’s also perfect for enjoying while lingering on your favorite seaside terrace as you watch the shimmering waters and listen to the strains of Pink Martini in the background.
Wine: Terras Gauda Albariño, Loureiro, and Caíño Blanco Blend, Rías Baixas, Spain
Song: “Raining at Sunset” by Chris Thile
Greig Says: For me, summer and song are synonymous with the sea. Above the water is a vibrant atmosphere and vibe that makes me feel most alive and truly in the moment. Beneath the surface is a completely different world just waiting to be explored, hinting to my soul that life’s intricacies are truly endless.
The Terras Gauda flagship blend of 70% Albariño, 18% Loureiro and 12% Caíño Blanco hails from a region with a deep connection to the sea and a coastal lifestyle, Rías Baixas. This deeply complex wine is as vibrant, intricate, and varied as all of the colors and species found in the ocean. Each sip encourages you to dive deeper, not being fully sure of how the next sip or sniff will evolve in nuance, while providing an exciting level of quality that doesn’t diminish. A vibrant acidity and hint of salinity specific to the Galician coast drive the core of this wine, backed by well-rounded citrus fruit, juicy melon, and orange rind. A luscious yet incredibly approachable texture is present across every sip with an impressively long finish.
I chose “Raining at Sunset” by Chris Thile as my ideal wine pairing for this wine. This purely instrumental, string-based masterpiece is intricate and elegantly evolutionary like the wine. It’s immersive and winding, much like the sea, which despite its power, puts me in a completely relaxed state of mind. The song evokes nostalgia for me, bringing back memories of being dockside while the sun sets with rain gently falling around me.
Principal, SANA Group, Rioja Expert, Award Winning Author of The Wine Region of Rioja
Wine: Finca de la Villa White 2020, Bodegas Muriel, 100% Viura, Rioja Alavesa, Spain
Song: “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve
Ana says: This song has been in my playlist for decades as it is timeless like many Riojas. It is also symphonic, which is that signature harmony of Rioja that we find in this Muriel white.
Bittersweet Symphony is in English, but it speaks to the language of humanity and life much like the Murua family behind this white. They are both provincial and global, and there is heart in every bottle.
Summer is a season where we cultivate greater ease, but in the “back of the house” it is also a season of growth. Culminating life events like graduations, showers, weddings, and new schooling send-offs often happen this time of year. Transitions also happen in a glass of wine, but in this Muriel, they are with great summer ease. Much like Javier Murua.
This white Muriel has a gleaming pale straw yellow color and aromatics of green apple, Anjou pear, sea grass, and minerality with some crushed seashells easily escorted to the palate. Viura of Rioja is tricky and has different expressions and is often linear. However, this brilliant 100% Rioja Alavesa Viura Muriel is rounded off with a hint of barrel fermentation and aging that delivers lovely roundness on the palate with “symphonic” balance.
I LOVE this because I can definitely sip and swig it solo, in a hammock. It also pairs splendidly with summer fare!
Managing Partner at Lifeblood Capital
Wine: Malvasia Bianca by Bold & Delaney Winery, Dammeron Valley, Utah
Song: “7 Summers” by Morgan Wallen
Giovanni says: I chose this wine because when having our first child, my wife wanted to have her “baby moon” as a hiking trip – one last big adventure. We did two weeks with one week in Arizona (Sedona, Grand Canyon, and Page) and one week in Southern Utah (Southern Border – Zion National Park and St. George) before the last few nights in Las Vegas. We travel the world for wine and we are always fascinated by the grapes grown in select regions in the US. This trip we learned firstly that they make wine in Utah and secondly that in the hot climates of Arizona and Southern Utah the thematic white wine grape is Malvasia Bianca. You can find this grape at most vineyards within these regions. This is also when we were driving our pick-up truck throughout this hot arid region and “7 Summers” kept playing, which then became our trip’s theme song. And thus, drinking Malvasia Bianca on the hallucination-inducing hot roads of Southern Utah with a seven-month-pregnant woman listen to Morgan Wallen’s “7 Summers” became immortalized. You simply can’t forget those kind of memories… For all of you wondering…our son was born and he is just fine except that…
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