musicians and wine

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Oct. 31, 2014 Issue  :  Features

Tunes Set to Napa Wine

Posted: October 31, 2014  By MaryAnn Worobiec

News & Features  :  Unfiltered

Poppin' Dom with the Stars at New York Fashion Week

Plus, Sting's winery visitors pay to pick, a California vintner finds out there's no such thing as free labor, Alain Ducasse gives up meat, Paul Dolan settles, and more

Posted: September 11, 2014  

News & Features  :  Unfiltered

Devo's Gerald Casale Tunes Up a New Napa Vineyard

Plus, 400 Merlot vines stolen in Bordeaux, a French wine tourist destination closes its doors, and a wine tasting to benefit the disabled

Posted: June 5, 2014  

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Napa's BottleRock Pairs Aging Classics with Fresh Acts

It's better to catch an older band than none at all, but like wine, they're best experienced in their prime

Posted: June 3, 2014  By James Laube

Just like that, BottleRock came and went. The three-day music festival in Napa attracted tens of thousands to hear 60 bands, from cutting edge Indies to aging rockers, perform on four stages at the Napa Valley Expo.

Watching acts from yesteryear has limited appeal to me. Occasionally I attend concerts by performers decades past their heyday, and when they're on they can be inspiring. Usually, though, I'm disappointed, and almost always find myself thinking they were so much better in their prime. It reminds me of the way some people act when they extol a wine made decades ago.

News & Features  :  Unfiltered

Megadeth's Dave Mustaine Sells Out … Cabernet

Plus, Washington's wine industry steps up for mudslide relief, a Burgundy vintner's sentence for refusing to use pesticides is reduced, and more

Posted: April 10, 2014  

March 31, 2014 Issue  :  People

Mediterranean Influence

Pop superstar James Blunt enjoys the good life on the Spanish island of Ibiza

Posted: March 31, 2014  By Lizzie Munro

News & Features  :  Unfiltered

Oscar Parties Bubble Over

Plus, a French study links wine regions with reduced sperm counts, and a band of Napa vintners cut an album

Posted: March 6, 2014  

News & Features  :  Unfiltered

2014 Predictions

Unfiltered uncorks what's on tap for the coming year, from the always-obvious pop star wines to counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan's next move and legal wrangling over who can and cannot call themselves a Duck

Posted: January 2, 2014  

News & Features  :  Unfiltered

Best of Unfiltered 2013

Musical Moscato mania became an epidemic this year, with Nicki Minaj and Warren G leading the way, but disasters, from winery fires to shipwrecks to overturned trailers, kept readers coming back

Posted: December 26, 2013  

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

Can't Hear the Music, Part 2

Most wine companies fail to make a natural match with the music world, but one small importer may have unlocked the secret

Posted: December 18, 2013  By Ben O'Donnell

The youngest generation of wine drinkers wears an iPod like an appendage. Yet the wine industry fails again and again to gain traction with the music world, largely because celebrity brand allegiances look—and usually are—forced and phony, as I wrote yesterday. I became skeptical that wine companies could create cred out of nothing. One small import company, however, is topping all the charts and hitting high notes in sales.

In 2006, Jay-Z publicly boycotted Cristal Champagne over a clumsy remark by Roederer's managing director. The same year, Jay rapped about "gold bottles of that Ace of Spades," and the Champagne's shiny fuselage made a cameo in his video for "Show Me What You Got." Ace of Spades, in its shimmery metallic gold casing, is perhaps the most slickly packaged wine since, well, Cristal. The brand was officially called Armand de Brignac; it had no pedigree in Champagne—it seemingly materialized out of nowhere—but bottles cost $300.

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

Can't Hear the Music

When it comes to the seemingly natural pairing with the music world, wine is tone-deaf: Some lessons in how not to sell a wine

Posted: December 17, 2013  By Ben O'Donnell

Some Boston University School of Public Health professors and students were jamming out pretty diligently to produce a recent study tallying alcohol brand mentions in 720 Billboard-charting songs from 2009 to 2011. "The most striking finding was that alcohol-brand references are concentrated among a small number of brands [in pop music] …," according to the research published in Substance Use and Misuse. "Four brands alone—Patrón tequila, Hennessy Cognac, Grey Goose vodka and Jack Daniel's whiskey—accounted for more than half of all alcohol-brand mentions."

Yes, here we are, 17 years after Biggie Smalls proclaimed "Cristal forever!" on Jay-Z's "Brooklyn's Finest." Wine fervor among young people is at an all-time high—especially for bubbly and rosé, which are the most party of all wines. Yet most wine brands are still clueless on how to get a shoutout and a lucrative lyrical plug when, as the study shows, there are plenty of outs to be shouted: 64 brand mentions in 720 songs. But for wine? Two Moëts and two Cristals in the "urban" genre, plus a Dom Pérignon in a country song.

Nov. 15, 2013 Issue  :  People

From Guitars to Grenache

Rock star Boz Scaggs makes Rhône-inspired wine from vineyards at his Napa home

Posted: November 15, 2013  By Esther Mobley

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

A Bass With a Taste for Power

Exploring wine bar offerings with opera star Ildar Abdrazakov

Posted: October 1, 2013  By Harvey Steiman

Ildar Abdrazakov is a Russia-born bass currently singing the title role in Boito's lavish Mephistopheles at San Francisco Opera. He makes a dashing devil, all muscle and menace on the surface, his singing sonorously suave. And, as an opera lover, I could not forgo an opportunity to add him to my singer friends, most of whom I have gotten to know because of our mutual interest in each other's fields of work.

Shortly before opening night, my wife and I met him and our mutual friend for drinks and snacks at St. Vincent, a terrific wine bar about midway between our home and the opera house. We settled in and left it up to the savvy staff to pick some interesting wines for us. Partly, I wanted get a handle on Ildar's palate, especially which kinds of wines he likes.

News & Features  :  Unfiltered

A Contentious Pairing: Champagne and Apple

Plus, the Rhône's Hermitage Hill earns protected status, and wine industry vet Mike Lynch releases his first album

Posted: September 5, 2013  

News & Features  :  Unfiltered

Warren G, Moscato Regulator

Plus, extended detentions for repeat Champagne pilferers, and Siduri declares its wines safe for the gluten averse

Posted: August 15, 2013  

News & Features  :  Unfiltered

Every Day Is a Wining Road for Sheryl Crow

The singer has partnered with Sonoma's Chateau St. Jean. Plus: Celebs compete in a Korbel spray-off, a quake rocks New Zealand, Paul Hobbs goes to Virginia, Bill Koch goes to court (again) and there's a new nude label

Posted: July 25, 2013  

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

An Opera Singer Discovers Wine

Tenor Matthew Polenzani keeps an open mind when exploring new wines

Posted: June 28, 2013  By Harvey Steiman

This story should sound familiar to anyone who has fallen for the world of wine. One day about a decade ago, a budding opera singer and his wife were sitting outside a caffè in Rome. "I had quit drinking in my very early 20s due to the financial constraints of college and grad school," said Matthew Polenzani, "but on a beautiful warm evening the moment called for a nice glass of wine. We've never looked back."

News & Features  :  Unfiltered

A Bitter Night for Château d'Yquem

Plus, Christina Milian lends her voice to Moscato, Italian prisoners partner with Frescobaldi, Aureole's Wine Angels get new threads, last-minute Dad's Day ideas and more

Posted: June 13, 2013  

News & Features  :  Unfiltered

Nicki Minaj Gets into the Moscato Myx

Plus, rapper E-40 starts a wine label, Champagne gets protected status in China, and more

Posted: June 6, 2013  

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

Would You Watch a Winemaker Version of The Voice?

That's one reality-TV program I would stay tuned to

Posted: May 23, 2013  By Jennifer Fiedler

A disclaimer first: Reality TV is generally not my bag. But I happened to catch some of The Voice recently, and despite not being involved in the worlds of a cappella/musical theater/pop vocals (I can't sing to save my life), I have to admit that I found it super compelling. Then I started wondering what it would look like as a wine show.

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