No Island’s anthemic opener deserves a wine with as much complexity and playfulness as this mini opus. The wine choice for “First to Forget” is the Torres family’s affordable classic, the 2011 Celeste Crianza.
"Second Spin" is a rocking tune of second chances and lost loves. Delicate and soulful, with a driving force behind it, "Second Spin" would go great with d’Arenberg’s 2011 Olive Grove Chardonnay.
"Held You Up" is a hard rocking tune, disguised as a deep pocketed R&B groove jam. The song is huge and full, so you need a wine that can keep up with it.
A crianza is a designation within Spain pertaining to the amount of time that the wine has spent in oak barrels. The nose greets you with spice and playfulness, intensely bringing you into wanting more. Peppery licorice, with a healthy dose of blackberries on a fruit forward palate make way to a playful, lingering finish. Elegant. Forward. Layered.
The aromatic nose of this lightly oaked Chardonnay is full of floral notes, with layers of Granny Smith apple, and some zesty nectarine. The palate is medium bodied, with hints of peach, some light vanilla and a touch of lime. The finish reveals some considerably refreshing acidity. This Chardonnay is refined elegance, armed with a loud personality, much like No Island’s soulful second track. Strong. Emotive. Refined.
The 2011 Dala Cab from the Arizona Stronghold is a perfect contender. Arizona has proven to be a shockingly fast growing wine region with enormous potential, all spearheaded by TOOL/A Perfect Circle/Puscifer frontman, Maynard James Keenan. Huge aromas of chocolate, black licorice, and dense berries explode out of the glass, accompanied by a heavy mouth filling palate of dark fruit, velvety tannins and a mouthwatering finish. Bombastic. Dark. Rich.
The first ballad of the album, "Buzzards" is a journey of a song, full of evocative imagery and rich sounds. This wine would pair brilliantly well with Thornhaven’s 2013 Gewurztraminer.
"City of Strangers" is a great straight-ahead rock tune that slowly devolves into a chaotic madness of noise and movement. For a song like this, we need a full bodied red, with some kind of eccentricity involved with it.
This ode to yesterday and the days to come is, fittingly, very similar to the ballads of yesteryear. "Where We Left It" is a trip to a time long past, and the wine chosen to accompany it is just as classic and nostalgic.
This heavily aromatic white wine has huge notes of lychee and tropical flowers, followed by a pleasant, off-dry mouth feel, with a lengthy finish of orange marmalade. Evocative. Pleasant. Youthful.
This is where Tinhorn Creek’s 2012 Cabernet Franc comes in. This wine, from an already epic vintage of BC reds, is a staple from the winery and such a great representation of this grape for our province. The nose opens up with sweet huckleberry and other dark berries, with distinct notes of sage and pipe tobacco. The palate is greeted with a full richness, berries, some light oak and a very refreshing minerality. Strong. Peculiar. Deep.
The 2010 Chateau Rousselle, Cotes de Bourg is a phenomenal example of a well priced red from the world’s premier and most famous wine making region. The glass opens up with aromas of cassis, light vanilla, and just a touch of herbs, with a medium, well- bodied structure and a lingering finish. Sophisticated. Refined. Nostalgic.
"Long Road" is a brooding song that will surprise you with its unique arrangement and musical twists and turns. It is refined elegance, with a heavy backbone of power.
"Angeline" is a party of a song, from the playfulness of Andy Rice’s vocals to James Martin’s wailing saxophone outro. And yet, the wit and sharpness of the lyrics of this tune have to be taken into account when pairing the wine for this song.
A power rock shuffle for a modern time. "Leave it Behind" is a rocking good time with the lead vocalists alternating every other verse, a ripping guitar solo, and a full saxophone section.
The Bonitas 2009 Pinot Noir is a perfect example of this song turned into wine. This BC Pinot was recommended to me as “British Columbia Pinot does Burgundy”, and sure enough this prediction did not disappoint. Huge aromas of black cherries and rose petals with a hefty dose of hay and farm house; a robust palate of herb spice, and a very refreshing minerality. Brooding. Unexpected. Sincere.
Marisco Vineyards' 2013 “The King’s Favour” Sauvignon Blanc is just such a wine. This wine possesses an intensely complex nose of passionfruit, lime, and a hefty dose of sharp, grapefruit zest. The palate is greeted with flavours of lemongrass, citrus, and refreshing minerality. Balanced. Zesty. Sharp.
The exciting and playful red that was chosen to pair with this song is the Falernia 2010 Syrah Reserva. Big perfume of black fruits, violets and a hefty dose of pepper, with a medium-full bodied palate of blackberries, pepper spice and an intriguing smokiness. Full. Smoky. Playful.
"Bad for Business" is a song bemoaning the less than savoury business types often found within the bars and clubs of today. This song needs a muscular, driving wine as its pairing, so let’s bring in Mulderbosch’s 2011 Faithful Hound.
"Better Days" is the title track of the album and a celebration of the better days of our youth, with a hope for what the journey to the future may bring. This is a celebration as well as a nod to the past, and so the Cave De Lugny Crémant de Bourgogne Brut Rosé is our wine pairing for this tune.
The last song on the album, "Encore", is an emotional triumph over heartbreak and overwhelming odds. It warms the soul with soaring melodies and truly heartfelt lyrics, a fitting end to a journey of an album.
This big, Bordeaux style blend from South Africa is a dark red, redolent of blackberry and cassis, with hints of tobacco and cedar wood. A dense, medium bodied, savoury palate with a long, fleshy finish reveals this wine’s depth of character, with some serious attitude. Muscular. Deep. Structured.
Not only is this sparkling French wine extremely delicious, but the elegance and beauty of the bottle and label just adds to its allure. Scents of dried cherries and fresh apples jump out of the glass, while a dry mouth feel of bright fruit, and a light. toasty minerality makes this wine not only very food friendly, but album friendly. Classic. Celebratory. Beautiful.
The final pairing, as the last wine of the evening, will be the Wild Goose Botrytis Affected 2013 Riesling. Although pricy, this extraordinary dessert wine is a treat. Botrytis, also known as “The Noble Rot”, is a mould that, when it affects wine grapes, focuses the flavours and tastes of the grape to an unbelievable degree. Big aromas of honey, and intense citrus, with tangerine, baking spice and a refreshing minerality on the palate. The honeyed texture of this dessert wine warms the soul, and is far from too sweet. Honeyed. Special. Conclusive.