I was recently asked by YourTango to give some wine and music pairing advice for an article about date night and cooking. (Full article here). I had so much fun doing this, I thought I'd publish my full list here. Please feel free to email me your own ideas!
Champagne goes with everything, from Mozart to Billie Holiday to David Bowie. But if you're looking for something with more swagger, pair with Kendrick Lamar. I like how the elegance and intensity of the champagne underscores the precision in Lamar's lyrics while the effervescence buoys and carries us through his artful beats and dynamic stories.
Try: Pierre Paillard Grand Cru, Bouzy, Champagne, France, NV
Crisp, Lean Whites/Björk
White wines that vibrate with bright acidity and a mineral edge like French Sauvignon Blanc, Greek Assyrtiko, or Dry Riesling remind me of Björk's pure, energetic, and crystalline voice.
Dry rosé and a good reggae beat both evoke in me festive feelings of summertime, sunshine, and outdoor parties with friends.
Grenache/Syrah | Matthiasson, California, 2015
Rustic Red Wines/The Clash
Lighter-bodied reds with a rustic, and herbal edge like Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley always feel a bit untamed and raw. Wines with this inherently wild character need a similarly rebellious spirit like that found in the music of my beloved The Clash.
Cabernet Franc | Marc Plouzeau's Chateau de la Bonneliere "La Roche," Chinon, Loire Valley, France, 2013
Smoky Red Wine/Tedeschi Trucks Band
Grab a glass of smoky, leathery, peppery red wine like Syrah, close your eyes, and imagine you are in a dark, smoke-filled, 20-seat Blues Club listening to Susan Tedeschi's sultry and powerful voice belt out bluesy rock.
Syrah | Red Car, Sonoma Coast, California, 2011
Earthy Red Wine/Miles Davis
If you're drinking an aged, earthy, nuanced red wine like Red Burgundy (French Pinot Noir) or Barolo (Italian Nebbiolo), listen to jazz. The layers of complexity in both the wine and music will complement each other.
Nebbiolo | Brovia, Barolo, Piedmont, Italy, 2010
Full & Smooth Red Wine/D'Angelo
If you're drinking something ripe and silky like a California Cabernet Sauvignon, you need music that is equally luscious and smooth.
Cabernet Sauvignon | Chappellet, Napa Valley, California, 2013