When you think about what has fueled the finest musicians of the modern era, three obvious things spring to mind: Sex, drugs, and alcohol.
Drugs generally take the spotlight because of how many times they’ve aided in deposing some of the greats. Sex is a force of creativity and destruction in equal measures. But alcohol may be the most complicated vice of the three among artists, cutting a stark divide between those who pound hooch for the thrill and escape of a good booze-up, and those who drink for the pleasure and inspiration it brings to their art.
In recent years, pairing wine with music has become a popular pastime, with stores like New York’s Vinyl Wines highlighting the twin pleasures of vino and tunes, and noted oenophiles such as Joe Bastianich hosting events like The Great Led Zepplin Wine Pairing. What we’re most interested in, though, is music where wine actually plays a key role in the song. Because we like getting meta and getting drunk at the same damn time.
Here, we present 16 of the best wine references in music history, along with pairing suggestions to help you connect to the message in the song.
Written by Jonathan Cristaldi (@NobleRotNYC)