A Picturesque Pairing


Thus far in my Wine and Music pairings (which started in May), I have not included any “classical” music and have focused mostly on summery and zesty tunes that fit nicely with the recent warmer months and with less heavy wines.  As we have now entered the cooler climate and the changing of the seasons, nothing seems more fitting then a purple colored, full bodied red wine and some contemporary piano compositions.

In this case, the artist refers to his material as “Post-Classical” and it's a blend of classical and electronic.  The album included in this pairing is 24 Postcards in Full Colour from producer/artist/composer Max Richter. An interesting note about this album is that as part of the project, each track has been paired with its own image (there are 24 tracks, 24 postcards images included with the album).
This album is a great match for a Petite Sirah, which packs a more intense punch than a regular syrah. Petite Sirah is said to be better when paired with full flavored foods such as roast beef, or with mature cheeses. In comparison, this album is full of embellishing 2-3 minute compositions which are precise yet powerful, and are chock full of mature emotional flavor. This album is a pleasant and complimentary match for the dark yet inviting essence of this wine.

Sones 2004 Petite Syrah – Monterey County

Wine Style: Red: Petite Sirah
Wine Region:  California: Santa Cruz Mountains
Wine Year: 2004
Wine Label: Sones Cellars
Wine Link: http://www.snooth.com/wine/sones-petite-sirah-central-coast-2003/

Wine Description: This approachable Petite Sirah begins with aromas of cherries and cedar which are followed by flavors of dark berries, oak, and black pepper. This wine has a firm yet subtle texture and a good mouth feel.  There were a total of 145 cases produced. Sones Cellars is a small family winery located in Santa Cruz, California. Their flagship wines are Petite Sirah and Zinfandel. Michael and Lois Sones met in the mid-1980s while working at sea on a cruise ship.

I also mentioned this wine briefly in my previous post as a good pairing with southern rock outfit Delta Spirit. As much as I enjoyed tasting this wine with a rock band, I find that the more compositional aspect of Max Richter really pulls the emotion and the substance out of the wine and leaves room for opening up of flavors.

Max Richter

Music Style:  Classical: Composition
Music Region: London, UK
Music Year: 2008
Music Label:  Fat Cat
Music Link:  http://www.maxrichter.com

Music Description:  German Born, now living in London, Max Richter studied Piano at University of Edinburgh and is said to be heavily influenced by Philip Glass. Richter's first project was called Piano Circus and was an ensemble of six pianists that has performed all over the world. Max Richter has recently produced albums for folk legend Vashti Bunyan, and for the Scottish rock quartet The Twilight Sad – also on the Fat Cat label. Max has also performed and written with electronic luminaries such as Future Sound of London and Roni Size.

The name of this track is “H in New England” and it includes gently cascading and fluxing trails of piano. It is both complex and simple and includes a series of emotionally gripping crescendos. It reminds me a lot of the changing of the seasons (and the leaves in New England) that starts later in September.

H in New England

Adam Rabinovitz is Senior Director of Retail Marketing at IODA, the global leader in digital distribution, marketing, and technology solutions for the independent music industry. IODA distributes music from over 4000 labels, representing over 50 different countries and over 170 different genre styles.

Mentioned in this article


  • Jeff Hogg

    I loved Blue Notebooks and Songs from Before. You just reminded me to pick up his latest album.

    Sep 11, 2008 at 5:40 AM

  • Snooth User: mike5
    Hand of Snooth
    85186 4

    Adam, I am an owner of a winery in Paso Robles, CA and I thought you'd be interested in knowing we are doing a Wine and Live Music pairing in a couple of weeks. We are small and family run and a lot of our family members are professional musicians. Our modern tasting room is music themed, decorated with gold records, emmys, etc and our bar is constructed out of pianos. We have a stage where the “Family Band” and other musicians perform, so we will be doing an event where we pour each of our wines one by one and perform a piece of music that suits it. It'll be a fun event and if successful something we hope to continue in the future. Our website is danbino.com. Keep up the great work!

    Oct 06, 2008 at 8:47 AM

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