April 2015 | Education

Pairing wine with music? Yes it’s possible.

When you pour a glass of wine you embark on a sensory experience. Of course, any serious oenophile knows about food pairings, paying attention to the interplay of nuanced flavors in a meal and a particular wine. It’s a two way street, where a wine can highlight a single subtle flavor in food, elevating it to new heights upon the next bite, and vice versa.

This isn’t groundbreaking news of course, but today I wanted to explore a different sort of pairing. It may sound unorthodox at first, I hope you’ll see how much it makes sense, and perhaps even try it on your own or with friends. At LaStella we share a passion for not just wine, but music. In fact, you may have noticed each of our wines has a musical name associated with it. These names weren’t selected at random, rather they each bring a distinct character to the wine’s identity, serving as a way to describe the contents within and to convey an emotion to the wine drinker.

Some guests to our “symphony of senses events” and those frequenting our tasting room may have even experienced our music + wine pairing. For those who have not, we thought it would be fun to explore the thoughts behind some of these pairings.

Leggiero Un-Oaked chardonnay

Our Un-Oaked Chardonnay as the name suggests is without oak and a straight forward “less is more” kind of a wine. The term “leggiero” translates to “light and delicate” and that is an apt description of this wine.

Musical Pairings:

“Lascia ch’io pianga” by Handel. This works especially well with a recording by a counter tenor.

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“Allegro” from Concerto Grosso in F Major, Opus 6, no. 12 by Arcangelo Corelli

“Come Primavera” – {“Like Spring”} – from “Siempre” by Il Divo

Vivace Pinot Grigio

Our Vivace dazzles with mouth-filling citrus, stone fruit, and lemon meringue flavors, backed by a crisp acidity and even a hint of mint. The word “vivace” means lively or brisk, and in the music world it refers to a tempo between 132-160 beats per minute. Just like the wine itself is full of joy.

Musical Pairings:

“Non so piĂą” from Le nozze di Figaro by Mozart

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Finale (mvt 3) of Vivaldi’s “Summer” ”

La lunga estate caldissima” {the long hot summer} – from “Uno in piĂą” by 883

LaStellina Rosato

Translated, “lastellina” means little star and that’s what this wine is to us. This wine is not named after any musical notes/themes but instead after the name our proprietor’s only daughter. A youthful example perfect for sipping on the patio during summer, it was created for pure, immediate enjoyment. With off dry flavors of ripe strawberries, rose petal, spiced candy, it truly is “summer in a bottle”.

Musical pairings:

“O mio babbino caro” from Gianni Schicchi by Puccini

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“Andantino con moto” from Sinfonia in B flat major, G.497 by Luigi Boccherini

“Ave Maria” [Schubert] – from “Ancora” by Il Divo

“Adagio” from “The Promise” also by Il Divo

Allegretto “pie Franco” Merlot

We created Allegretto to represent a wine true to its style, and it shows off a core of dense ripe dark berries with a smooth peppery finish. In the music world, the term refers to a medium tempo. Just like the name suggest, Allegretto is a medium bodied, medium tannins, medium acid, balanced red.

Musical pairings:

“La donna e mobile” from Rigoletto by Verdi

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“Minuet” from Orchestral Suite No. 1 BWV 1066 by J.S. Bach [okay, German composer – but in the Italian style…]

“Bella vera” {Beautiful truth} – from “Uno in piĂą” by 883

Maestoso “Solo” Merlot

Our most bold, rich, and majestic wine is a dark and brooding subject with dark berries, cigar box, cocoa mocha. It’s a lush wine full of intensity, but respectful of balance and structure. In regard to music, the term “maestoso” refers to the note at the very top of the crescendo, that moment of majesty. A very apt name for our flagship wine and the jewel in the crown of LaStella.

Musical pairings

“Nessun dorma” from Turandot by Puccini

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“Triumphal March” from AĂŻda by Verdi

“Nella Fantasia” from”Il Divo”


Hopefully these examples provide some insight into our philosophy and a deeper understanding of the identities behind our wines. Next time you open a bottle of wine, take a moment to think about the sort of music it might embody. You just might find a new level of sensory experience to enjoy with your glass of wine.