Every day after work, as I’m on my way home, I like to flick the satellite radio over to the jazz station and decompress to the likes of Coltrane and Davis, Brubeck and Krall, Monk and Fitzgerald. The music transports me to a stage-side bistro table in some tiny, stone-walled basement club in Montreal. While the piano / sax / bass trio onstage fills the room with its magnificent sound, I’m chilled out to the max, with my hand cupped around a mammoth bowl of jammy, powerful shiraz. Even the name lends itself to the ambiance: shriazzzzzzzzzz.
Did you know that our olfactory (smell) nerves are directly linked to the same part of our brain that’s in charge of memories? That's why sniffing a wine can evoke some pretty powerful images. Same goes with music. With the first few notes of an intro, you can find yourself smiling at a good remember-when. I’m convinced there’s a song for every day—every moment—of the year, and a wine to go with it.
Lately I’ve been letting the alterna-gurl in me show her true colours. I took a shining to the eclectic stylings of Kimya Dawson. Her songs on the Juno soundtrack are quirky, giddy, little-kid-ditties with a grown-up edge. What wine would go with that? Probably a playful rosé, something very light and frooty. Sparkling wine would also be a fun choice.
My brother playing “Spanish Romance” on his classical guitar calls for a complex tempranillo or even a lush Argentinian malbec; a soft, well-rounded merlot goes well with Sarah McLachlan; and a simple, unoaked Chardonnay pairs nicely with an oldies station playing classic 50s and 60s in the background.
Wine goes with music the same way it goes with everything else. Perfectly. It’s all about what you like, how you like it and what mood you’re in. No wrong answers, no rules, no limits. Just turn up the volume, pour yourself a glass and enjoy.