November 28, 2021 by Arden Montgomery

Wine & Music: Adele

We did a thing. Team Argaux has paired a wine with every track on Adele’s new album, 30. We all got together, listened to the album, discussed the lyrics, and did a bit of our own research in an effort to dissect the meaning behind each one of Adele’s songs on her revealing and deeply personal album.

Being in the business of wine education, tasting, and understanding wine as a means to entertain and connect with friends, family, and strangers – a catalyst bettering our experiences all around – we had no trouble finding similarities and justifying our reasoning. However, listening to the album as Adele intended, from start to finish, evokes a rollercoaster of emotions. So much so that by the last song about half of us were sprawled out on the couch, or the floor from emotional exhaustion!

What’s remarkable about wine and music (or furthermore winemakers and musicians) is that they both create works of art that are inevitably discussed and analyzed. Together, they tap into 3 senses: our taste, smell, and ability to hear. To say the least, the act of pairing the two can be overwhelming.

So, how does one actually pair wine with music? Is there a chemical reaction taking place similar to pairing wine with food? Do certain harmonies, beats or sounds trigger a response in the brain? Or do the lyrics strike a chord with our personal experience, and is the act of pairing wine with music entirely subjective?

One thing is for sure, both wine and music have a story to tell and their story can be interpreted in various ways depending on who you talk to.  It’s like when you’re looking at a piece of art and someone asks you, “what’s the first thing you see?” You see a face and the person next to you sees a mountain peak. Because of this, we found that the most rewarding part about pairing wine with music is how the exercise inspires interesting conversation.

Without further ado, we hope you get the chance to experience a glimpse of pairing wine with music through the lens of Argaux and the pairings we selected below:

  1. Strangers by Nature:  2019 Weingut Griesbauerhof St. Magdalener – Become a stranger to this grape no more, meet Schiava. A dry red wine, radiant ruby red in color with intense cherry aromas and almond notes, ripe fruit flavors and a fine and fresh acidity. The high fruit concentration is balanced by fine-grained tannins which give the wine great length. We paired this wine because of its complexity and it’s structure. This song is the opening song on the album and it feels that way with it’s ethereal sound setting listeners up for what feels like a complex reflection on her life. Right away, you feel her vulnerability, but you also sense her fierce energy and willingness to let her guard down. 
  2. Easy on Me: 2020 Les Athlètes du Vin Touraine Pinot Noir – This wine is for weeknight drinking, not complicated, and easy on the palate. It’s lively and fresh, marked by notes of morello cherry, strawberry, raspberry, dried rose, cherry blossom and a subtle earthy funk. The palate has great texture with silky tannins and a soft, persistent finish. Easy on Me feels like a weight being lifted off your shoulders. You’re giving in, asking for a break, or for forgiveness, or maybe for help. This is a song (like many of Adele’s songs) that is relatable to so many. We’re so hard on ourselves, and can be hard on other people too. Easy on Me is a song for your Tuesday night wine. 
  3. My Little Love: 2020 Storm Single Vineyard Presqu’ile Gamay – Being that this song is dedicated to her son, we thought it only fitting that we pair it with a wine that was dedicated to the winemaker’s daughter. This label was painted by Elsa, Ernst Storm’s 6-year-old daughter. This Beaujolais style Gamay is made via carbonic maceration which gives the wine bright raspberry and cherry notes on the nose. The palate is soft and delicate with red fruit on the forefront and a hint of spice and dried herbs on the finish. We think this wine is more an expression of how you want your children or your family to feel as a result of the love you give. You want your love for them to feel bright, vibrant and comforting. Yet it can be easier said than done depending on what you’re going through on a personal level, yet you always strive to go above and beyond for the ones you love. This wine is and expression of what that love can feel like.
  4. Cry Your Heart Out: 2019 No Name Santa Barbara County Chardonnay – In this song Adele feels invisible, misunderstood, lost. Yet the beat is uplifting, it makes you want to dance – tap your foot and snap your fingers. This wine has a label of four unknown blank faces symbolizing that we never know what’s going on underneath. On the nose, it’s vibrant with aromas of yellow apple, wet stone, baking spices and lemon zest. It’s zippy yet round & silky on the palate. Lightly buttered with hints of coconut and vanilla, finishing with flavors of ripe pear.
  5. Oh My God: 2020 Chateau Barbebelle Coteaux d’Aix en Provence ‘Fleurie’ RoséWe love to drink Rose in the winter and couldn’t help but relate the concept of rose being a summer wine only to, “…I know that it’s wrong but I just want to have fun…”This is the quintessential Provence rosé; perfect for sipping on any time of the day, with or without food. Classic pale pink rosé from AIX made with 50% Grenache, 35% Cinsault and 15% Syrah. On the nose, it has light aromas of lavender, sage, blood orange, wild strawberries and white flowers. On the palate, this wine is dry and refreshing with hints of ruby pink grapefruit, white peach and finishing with a touch of rose water.
  6. Can I Get It:  2020 Par Fore the Course Sauvignon Blanc  – Just like this wine, this song is playful, hopeful, and gives us a glimpse at her desire for new love and what that ideal love looks and feels like. She wants something real and she knows what she wants. This wine is exactly what a Sauvignon Blanc drinker wants. It’s typical and what you expect from a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. It’s not playing games.
  7. I Drink Wine: 2019 Domaine de Oliveira Lecestre Chablis  – Chablis does not try to be somebody else, it will always be one of the best expressions of Chardonnay. Because this song is a self reflection we found Chablis fitting – It’s one of the more characteristic wines. However, it is always fighting for survival given the weather conditions in Chablis and risk for frost and hail. A clear, fresh wine with strong aromas of white flower, a hint of lemon and ripe grapefruit. On the palate it is medium bodied with flavors that develop from fruit on the forefront to earthy pine nut and chalky minerality on the long and fine finish.
  8. All Night Parking: 2016 Piro Presqu’ile Vineyard Pinot Noir – Bright and zingy on the nose, this wine has aromas of beautiful oak and fresh-cut herbs like lavender and sage. The palate is bright and lively with hints of strawberries and red cherries, finishing with a wet underbrush and floral quality. It’s what everyone wants out of a Pinot Noir.
  9. Woman Like Me: 2016 Wonderland Project ‘White Queen’ Sonoma Chardonnay – “don’t play games with me, I am queen” – yes you are, Adele.  Queen of all grapes, Chardonnay. This wine was also chosen for the symbolism behind the label itself.
  10. Hold On: 2018 Domaine Rougeot Bourgogne Rouge ‘Les Vaux’ – This wine is beautifully well integrated, it holds us together.  “let time be patient”  Be patient when aging your Burgundy, and you will be rewarded. 
  11. To Be Loved: 2019 Gouchas Luján de Cuyo Malbec – “I’ll never learn if I never leap” Federico Vargas, winemaker of Gouchas, took a risk in championing carbonic malbec in Lujan de Cuyo.  
  12. Love Is a Game: 2019 Wonderland Project No. 9 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon — “love is a game for fools to play”  The game of love is like a game of Chess, what’s your next move?

Get the entire case featuring a wine for every song here.

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