Posted in Red Wine Varieties, White Wine Varieties, Wine Features by Wining Pom with 4 Comments
Trainspotters. A disparaging term if ever there was one. Lump it in with nerds, anoraks and bores and you could be talking about every one of us that opine on wine. Because we all have this strange obsessive zeal about the subject, it makes us appear to the outer sanctum as some strange sect of grape tragics.
The reason I write this, is because I was thinking the other day about the last time in my life I was so particularly drawn to a subject that consumed so much of my waking day.
Well over a decade ago, I was lured into the hypnotic pull of house music, collecting vinyl and DJ’ing. Now if there was ever a bunch of nerds, then it’s the house music aficionado who funnily enough are labelled trainspotters for their single minded plight of finding the obscurest or most fashionable new tunes.
There’s a huge amount of crossover in these two pastimes; both music and wine seem to attract the enthusiast who as they get more and more obsessed they become more anal about the need to search out the latest and best.
I used to go to my local record shop every week, and pick up a stack of vinyl, go to the listening post and cue up the latest American and European imports. It’s no different to a tasting really, you employ slightly different senses, records demand your aural powers of deduction while wine is olfactory.
Once you have settled on a style that pleases your taste, it’s hard to be swayed. House music had so many mutations and sub –genres that kept spawning, but I found that like wine you returned to the styles you were comfortable with.
The lure of finding a wealth of new sounds for the collection is no different to the pursuit of getting the best deal in a wine shop. I could often find myself trawling six record shops on one day in order to find the one tune I knew was going to enhance my collection and often that would be about finding it at the right price too.
No different then to searching the web for the best wine deals or at least visiting several bottle shops before finding that rare gem that was affordable.
Music or more specifically House music used to keep me awake thinking of the possible seamless mix, the ultimate expression of the form and Wine is like that to some extent with food. You are looking for a harmonious match so that two disparate forces collide. In DJ’ing, like wine matching, the jangly mix can easily mirror the inappropriate food match.
The tools of the trade are perhaps different too, to enhance the music on big nights out, it was pills and vodka, now it’s red wine and cheese. Walking into a loud nightclub with a booming sound system used to touch my soul because when you’d had too many party cookies you really did believe that the combination of 130BPM and the collective grins of sweaty strangers was a life-affirming feeling.
I’m not comparing class A drugs with cool climate Shiraz but my point is that it’s funny that as you get older and (hopefully more sophisticated) your drug of choice just becomes a bit more refined. Truly great wines have the ability to transcend the ordinary in the same way music can move the soul and the grin that appears on your face when you taste it is just as heartfelt but probably not so prone to aching and certainly there’s no need for so much water.
So with House music in mind here are a selection of wines most suited to these sub genres:
Pinot Grigio – Happy House: shiny and forgettable
Mataro – Dirty deep US House
Sauvignon Blanc – Acid House: seems nice at the time but in retrospect no-one knows why they ever liked it
Big Barossa Shiraz – Trance (because you can feel a hypnotic beat on the palate going wap wap wap)
Weighwatchers Balance – Gabba – no one has got a fucking clue what it’s about
Riesling – Disco – lapels, flares, unfashionable over the top at times, secretly loved by a very select few.
French House – Rhône Blends or Champagne
Hi-NRG – Moscato
Progressive House – Pinot – full of peaks and troughs but once you get into the groove you will be hooked
Tribal – Zinfandel