The thing I love to do most is gathering with friends for a great dinner—sharing laughs, stories, drinking great wine, all set to great music playing in the background. I live for making those dinner party playlists. Shocking revelation by me, I know.
Just a few weekends ago, I had girlfriends over for a 'let's make dinner and drink wine together' party. It was a girls night out, except we stayed in. And the best part? Comfy track pants were a dress code requirement.
Luckily, I was just introduced to a new wine I love called Earth & Sky—it speaks to me because it was inspired by music. So I wanted to share with you what I learned about it and how you can express a moment while savouring a glass of wine, just by thinking of a song. But more about that in a minute!
Let's talk playlists first! The key to making playlists for dinner parties — at least for me — is to pick music that is familiar, but won't take centre stage. Playlists should be the musical wallpaper for the evening and every now and then, throw in a song that may get people singing along or dancing (depending on how much wine has been had). And most importantly keep the playlists simple; stick to what you know and love.
Here's my playlist from my last get-together:
Now that your music component for the evening is covered, the other most important thing is the wine. Obviously.
Now I'm no wine expert—I am far from a cork dork. Because of this, I get a little intimidated when conversations turn to wine pairings and describing the wines. I like what I like—I'm a Riesling girl all the way...the sweeter the better—and I'm as happy with a $20 bottle of wine as I would be with one that was in the $50 and up category.
So it's always interesting to me when wineries try to make their wine more accessible to people like me—those who like to drink wine and may not know a lot about the ways of a expert sommelier.
The experience of having a great glass of wine and listening to a beautiful song or piece of music are more similar than you might think. They’re both about enjoying an experience that elicits different responses from one person to the next.
It all started early in 2013 with a blog post by the winery's Director of Marketing, Michèle Bosc — a woman as passionate about music as she is about her sixth-generation family business. As Michèle tells it, their new Earth & Sky wines were already in development and she wanted to find a way to help people connect with the “liquid art in the bottle” by engaging their consumers with unique ways to describe their wine. Thus the concept of a music-wine connection was born.
Each Earth & Sky wine is paired with several songs that evoke similar feelings, as would the wine so when you click on the QR code on the back label of each wine, the song pairings are revealed. One is from a global, well-known artist to set the tone for the wine, and a local song-wine match is selected by singer/songwriter Danny Lamb. It's like an auditory scratch and sniff! You get a feel and flavour for the wine even before tasting it. It’s so simple a concept yet so very brilliant.
When Château des Charmes asked me to try their wine I jumped at the chance, because what dinner-party loving gal doesn’t like free wine? So did their selected songs pair with my feeling as I did my wine tasting?
Take the Earth & Sky Riesling—it's bright, fresh and crisp and what better song to accompany that song than Bruno Mars 'Locked Out of Heaven.' And for the Earth & Sky Pinot Noir? It's a sultry wine with many layers—and cue the corresponding track...Avenged Sevenfold 'Hail To The King.'
But for Château des Charmes, their commitment to wine and music doesn't end there.
The winery has been long-time supporters of all things local, including music and wine. So they are using their Earth & Sky wines to help get visibility for those unsigned indie musicians. So not only is their music featured as a song match on their QR codes but they also created the Earth & Sky Music Market — an all ages concert, food truck, chef pop-up, artisan market.
So this leaves us with a very important question. What song would you pair with these wines?
Let the Bosc family know. Post your song pairing, preferably with an audio or video link, to their Facebook page. They may even post your pairings on the QR pages and the wine tasting notes. And that right there speaks to me on so many levels.
So obviously, I couldn’t resist giving my music picks…
Here is my selection of songs that came to mind last weekend as I drank my Earth & Sky wines (yes I enjoyed every last drop). Now I’m not going to tell you if I paired them with the Riesling or the Pinot Noir. That’s for you to decide. And I stayed true to the Bosc family’s local music loving ways—all the songs I’ve listed are by Canadian bands/artists. And the bonus? The music is perfect for sharing that great glass of wine moment with friends.
Bottom line: enjoy the experience that comes with a wine-music connection…it really is a unique, effective and savory experience that is a must-try for all music and wine lovers.
The new Earth & Sky wines from Château des Charmes are each paired with songs so you get a feel and flavour for each wine, even before tasting.
Now you can be a part of the pairings. Enjoy a glass of Earth & Sky Pinot Noir or Riesling and share your song pairing on the Château des Charmes Facebook page.
What's your music connection?