Making a mixtape is a lost art. The time, dedication, and creativity it took to link a series of songs together under some thematic pretense in order to evoke a certain feeling from the listener – joy, pain, love, affection, nostalgia…whatever it might be. Sure, nowadays you can make a playlist on Spotify or apple music or whatever, but it’s just not the same. The beauty of a CD or a cassette tape is/was the limitations. You only have so much space to state your case. I have long wanted to apply the mixtape format to a mixed box of wines, so here it is – a series of wine love song to you, our guests played out over six wines that I love and want to share with you. Six very musical and diverse wines that I’m excited to share. I hope it is something you enjoy and come back to again and again.
Read on for the songs that pair with the wines and get both sides of the mixtape.
Cowhorn “Duece” 2016, Oregon — Maxwell – Drowndeep: Hula
Maxwell’s music is undeniably smooth, sexy, cool. This track from his debut album Embrya has a sensual appeal that I find permeates this wine as well. Sweet red berries, a little bit of spice, and swirls of blackberry fruit envelope the palate. Full and luscious but also weightless…kind of like the way good love can make you feel. And Maxwell only offers good love.
Stobi Vranec 2015, Macedonia — The Tallest Man on Earth – The Gardner
This pairing came to mind almost instantaneously. The two are nearly twins, singing the same song through different mediums. Kristian Matsson’s gravely voice mixed with poetic musings on growing within, alongside, and in front of someone speaks beautifully to the way this wine expresses itself. A relatively unknown grape from a far away place taking you by surprise and capturing your heart. That’s what this is.
Essay White Blend 2018, South Africa — Dungeonesse – Drive You Crazy
This was one of those wines I kept sipping over, and over, and over the first time I tried it. I couldn’t believe it was as good as it seemed to be so I had to keep checking until I truly believed (it only took half the bottle). A glistening dream of a wine that makes you want to dance like crazy wherever you happen to be, kind of like this song by Jenn Wasner and Jon Ehrens, both Baltimore bred musicians. The first time I heard Drive You Crazy I listened over, and over, and over dancing like a madman. The combination of the two is certain to set off some kind catastrophic euphoria.
Cantina Horus “Sole e Terra” Frappato 2018, Italy — Sade – No Ordinary Love
Honestly, if a mixtape doesn’t have a Sade song on it, is it really a mixtape? There are so many hits to choose from to evoke feelings of ecstasy. For this, the CLASSIC No Ordinary love speaks to Frappato’s relative obscurity outside of its Sicilian home, but its growing appeal internationally. It’s silky and delicate, but with formidable soul. Lay back, close your eyes and try these two together. This is no ordinary love, and this is no ordinary grape.
Beurer “Rotgut” 2017, Germany — Salt-N-Peppa – Let’s Talk About Sex
This song is not coy, and neither is this wine. Sex is a subject that can be taboo, and the winking devil on the label of this bottle is here to remind you it shouldn’t be. It’s 2019 – people have sex, and they like it. It’s fun! Some have likened it to pizza, in that even when it’s bad, it’s still good. How am I going to bring it back around to the wine? Just watch. No, it’s not as good as sex, but it’s fun to drink and pleasure driven. Sometimes drinking wine is just fun, and this wine reminds us of that. Oh, and it’s also good with pizza.
Naveran Cava Brut Vintage 2017, Spain — Prince – Diamonds and Pearls
Those of you that know me are probably surprised it took me this long to include a Prince song. Well I’m staying true to myself and including the purple one on this mixtape alongside a gorgeous bottle of Cava. Some have compared drinking bubbly to drinking diamonds. I would agree with that, especially in this instance. This wine is an offering of love, fresh, effervescent, bottomless love (bottomless in this case is dependent entirely on how much you buy). This song and this wine are proof positive that expensive things don’t necessarily mean better things. Being true to who you are is far more valuable in love…and wine.