What Wine People Think: Pairing Music and Wine

Mixing wine and music well can be a bit overwhelming. There’s so much to play and so much to drink. But that feeling we get when the perfect jams and the perfect juice collide is just too good, and a little effort goes a long way.

To gain greater insight into the world of wine and music pairing, we rounded up four of our favorite professional drinkers and made them answer a few questions so that you’ll know exactly which bottle to pop when your song comes on.

Introducing the wine people:

Kaitlin Ohlinger – CSW, Sommelier and founder of Thewinesnob
Sam Timberg – Managing Director at Meridian Prime Wines
Trevor Baratko – Journalist, WA Contributor and Virginia Wine Specialist
Christian Broder – CSW, Sommelier and star of WA’s #wineallthetime web videos.
Julie Gauvin– Launched Vinium Wines, former Food & Wine Blogger for Clear Channel Radio.


On matching grapes with musical genres…

“Rock n’ roll has to be Cabernet Sauvignon. It comes in a wide variety of styles and quality, it can be edgy and abrasive, but it makes you weak in the knees when it’s truly good.” -Kaitlin

“Jazz? Cabernet Franc. It’s virtually impossible to make great. Lots of people make it well, but to get it just right, everything has to be perfect. When it’s pulled off right, there’s nothing else like it.” – Sam

“When I take just one whiff of old Vouvray, I immediately hear Chaka Khan’s ‘Tell Me Something Good.’ Old Vouvray and Funk it is.” -Christian

“Gamay and Electro just work. In fact, I don’t play an instrument, but I may start a band called ElectroGamay just because it’s a DOPE name. Gamay is sharp, funky, fresh. It’s a party-starter.” – Trevor

“Moscato is like pop music. It’s all on the surface, sweet as pie and straight forward as can be. Think Taylor Swift meets the Coca Cola generation of wine enthusiasts.  ‘I knew you were trouble…'” –Julie 



On the perfect wine drinking music…

“My favorite wine drinking song has to be ‘Can’t Knock The Hustle’ by Jay-Z. Nothing makes you feel more like a badass than drinking vino and rapping ‘I sip fine wine and spit vintage flows.’” – Kaitlin

“If I owned a wine bar I’d play 1960’s pop like Franki Valli, The Beach Boys and probably throw some Motown in there. It puts a smile on my face, which is exactly what wine does.” – Trevor

“As timeless as wine is, it has to be the classics. I’m talking about those of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s rock variety: Bowie, The Kinks, CSN, The Zombies, The Who, Bowie, The Talking Heads, maybe a little Thin Lizzy and a splash of Bowie in there for good measure.” – Christian

“Music makes the night, whether you’re at a wine bar, a bar bar, or at home. A great wine can taste like two different wines if you drink it listening to punk in a sweaty basement or while delighting in Bach at a classy piano bar. Whatever I play- Wilco, Coltrane, Phish or Cash -no two nights should have exactly the same playlist or wine list.” – Sam



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