The Best Wine References in Music History, with Pairings for Each Song

Listen to lyrics and drink the wines, and you shall understand both better than you ever thought possible.


1. “Red, Red Wine," by Neil Diamond

No, British reggae band UB40 did not write this song, but they did help to make it famous. Originally, it was Neil Diamond who needed the vino to get over his Kentucky woman. Here’s the scene: Cheap motel room in NYC’s Chelsea district circa 1968, Neil just had an argument with the woman of his dreams who stormed out. He calls the front desk and mumbles, “Red…red wine.” Fast-forward an hour, and Neil sits staring out his window at the brick façade of an adjacent building. He’s drinking and shouting, “I am, I said,” to no one in particular. In other words, it was dark days for Neil, and he needed something bold and red to wash away his troubles.

The pairing: This one's easy—Francis Ford Coppola’s Diamond Collection Black Label Claret ($21). Neil gets his name in the label, and Claret is the British word for Bordeaux wine. UB40-approved, Diamond-certified. Everybody wins.

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