House Band Wines Creates Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon To Appeal to Wine Drinkers at Live Shows & Concerts
Two things that peak the interest are wine and music, though not necessarily together. Or so I thought. In fact, never gave it much thought. Bands and beer, that’s my mentality.
But a Santa Rosa-based California winery – which is in the state’s famous Sonoma County Wine Country, and the home of celebrity chef Guy Fieri and Peanuts creator Charles Shultz with character statues downtown, prompting me to refer to the small city as “the Charlie Brown town” – has paired wine with music.
It’s called House Band Wines, and it offers selections at prices just above Ticketmaster fees, leaving plenty of money left over for concert tickets.
House Band Wines’ portfolio includes its White+3 (blend), 2009 Chardonnay, 2009 Merlot, Red+5 (blend) and 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon. The suggested retail price for the non-vintage, California blends is $8.99 per 750-ml bottle, while the vintage-dated, California varietals are $10.99 each.
The wines are currently available in the following states: California, Texas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana (good Southern music states here), New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and with Florida nearly in the bottle.
It also has created a plastic, resealable wine pouch that is ideal for those who want to have wine at music festivals. It sells for $4.99, or it will when it becomes available in January (which is in plenty of time for New Orleans Jazzfest).
So when it held an event in Hollywood in October to introduce its wines to the media, it immediately appealed to PubClub.com and the PubClub Bar Blogger. But it’s best to have a real expert to handle such things, so we dispatched PubClub.com Music Critic Bill McCoy to pop the cork on the event. Here is his report:
“Friday night in Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard at SIR Sound Stages was the setting for the launch of a brand new wine with one mission; bring music and wine together. House Band Wines, by winemaker Patrick Krutz, brought together music industry people with wine lovers for an exclusive look at their new offering. Naturally, PubClub.com was there to sample the vino and catch some tunes from Tom Jacobs from British band Hermes and LA alternative band SUDDYN.
“For hundreds, maybe thousands of years, music and liquor have been a marriage brewed and fermented in the vats of history. I’d even go so far as to say you can identify a certain style of music with the type of booze that the fans imbibe. Country Music; gotta go with Southern Whiskey and a cold Budweiser. Jazz brings thoughts of martinis. The Blues…nothing like a glass of fine whiskey on the rocks to make the Blues go down easier. Jamband music has got to be micro-brewed beer. The list goes on and on. But wine has, in my opinion, never really found it’s place in the line-up of musical libations. Until now.
“House Band Wines have taken the usual pairing of wine and food and replaced the food with wine. Offering up a decadent selection of wines that stir certain musical feelings within your palate.
Maybe it was just suggestive marketing at work, but I found myself sipping the White +3, a delightful mix of fruit undertones of peach, apple and pair, and thinking, this wine would go great with a String Cheese Incident or Lotus show.
Taking your palate on a delightful etherial musical journey. The Merlot made my palate dance to the sounds of Southern Rock like Allman Brothers and Widespread Panic mixing dark chocolate with black pepper to give it that hard edge that Southern Rock delivers. The Cabernet Sauvignon…that’s easy as my taste buds were teleported backwards in time to those classic rock n’ roll festivals of the late 60’s like Altamont or Monterey Pop with the Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane. Lastly, the chardonnay, a clean light and airy taste put me front row with a singer/songwriter and an acoustic guitar pounding out his passion with crisp clean notes on a beat up old instrument. Can you dig it?
“I am miles away from being a wine expert but I can tell you that I know what I like. Much like my musical tastes, I like a wine to not sit too heavy on my taste buds but rather dance with them in a choreographed ballet of taste and flavor. A wine that doesn’t sit there tasting of alcohol and old fruit evoking thoughts of Pepcid and Tylenol for breakfast the next day. Happily, none of the House Band Wines did this.
“House Band Wines will no doubt be showing up at your favorite music venue and music festival in no time. Try them out. This is the wine for non-wine drinkers. But don’t go making sangria with it…it’s way too good to mess with. They’ve also got a cool festival bottle pack “Flex Pouch” for those events where glass is not allowed. Think of it as a boda bag for the 21st century.
“Top picks go to Red +5 and White +3. Both blends of different grapes but both leaving me wanting another glass…or three.”
Bill McCoy also writes for the music website ShakedownNews.com.
• House Band Wines