Artist Wines No. 12

ARTIST WINES! - Uncorking musician-priced cellar secrets

Montalto Nero D'Avola, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sicily 2013

Price: $8.99  SBH Rating: 👠👞 🎤🍒 🐛♪♬

Sour cherries at the nose, with a peppery aftertaste. There is a certain get-up-and-go to this wine, a skip in its step, a hint of sunshine. This Italian number is humble, a bit shy, and likes to stay in on a Thursday night. He invites you to put on an old record, lay out the paper diagram of dance steps, and practice a little foxtrot with some friends.

Drink with: "C'est Si Bon"  - Larry Mazenski And His Champagne Orchestra

Artist Wines No. 11

ARTIST WINES! - Uncorking musician-priced cellar secrets

Gato Negro, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile 2014

Price: $8.99  SBH Rating: 🎶  💁   💾   📼

A glass of Gato Negro will surely take you back to your college days. In fact, this may have been the first "nice" bottle of wine I ever bought. $8.99! I feel 19 again, impressing my dinner hosts with an international gift. This is a bonafide Wednesday night wine, with a faint hint of mushrooms at the nose, reminiscent of my second basement apartment. Ah! The memories. Slightly acidic with a lilac perfume and a waft of gouda. I could fondly call this wine Professor Boehm.

Drink with: "April Come She Will" - Simon & Garfunkel

Artist Wines No. 10

ARTIST WINES! - Uncorking musician-priced cellar secrets

Norton Barrel Select, Malbec, Argentina 2012

Price: $14.99  SBH Rating:  ♪ 🌺 🎶☝️

This wine inspires one to seek out better wine. And, strangely, confit. It's not undrinkable, but rather holds such potential that you remember why you enjoy malbec so much. Personally, I wish it gave more away. The flavour is reticent, but underneath its sourness one can detect pickled currants, chicory, and chrysanthemum. Such a tight-lipped wine! I should really travel with a decanter.

Drink with: Thelonious Monk, "Ugly Beauty" from Underground


Artist Wines No. 9

ARTIST WINES! - Uncorking musician-priced cellar secrets

Beso de Vino, Old Vine Garnacha, Spain 2011

Price: $12.99  SBH Rating: ♪♬ ☼🌜🎶💄

Kiss of wine? Yes, please!  Wait. What exactly is this wine promising? This is a wine you drink late at night with a very good friend, talking about your fears and dreams while listening to old tunes on vinyl. With a hint of cheap whiskey at the nose, you know you'll be right at home with this beauty. Wood, leather, and a lingering taste of raisin tarts. Even on the 21st floor in the middle of urbanity, you'll be lighting an imaginary fire, thinking of Swiss ski holidays, and toasting good things to come.

Drink with: Dick Haymes singing "You'll Never Know"

Artist Wines No. 8

ARTIST WINES! - Uncorking musician-priced cellar secrets

Select Red, OKV Okanagan Vineyards, BC VQA 2012

Price: $9.99  SBH Rating: ♪♬ 🎶♬ ☼☼

This is a mystery blend selling at just under $10 a bottle. That's here in BC. In the rest of the world this bottle would sell for about $3 or $4 and at that price how could you be disappointed? Worth every penny! This is actually a pretty good pizza wine. Loads of cherries, a hint of apricot, and while it isn't velvety going down, I would definitely put it in the category of velveteen. The homebrew-like label is especially hideous though and might put your guests off, so I recommend pouring this into another vessel for an extra special artist wine experience. Even an old milk jug would look better. (What were they thinking?!)

Drink with: Minnie Riperton's Midnight at the Oasis

Artist Wines No. 7


ARTIST WINES! - Uncorking musician-priced cellar secrets

Crios Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina 2012

Price: $14.99  SBH Rating: ♪♪♪♬ and 1/8 🌜

Stiff nose of strong perfume, with an under-toning essence of moss. Raisins, lilacs, and leather intermingle sassily, finishing off with a tasty drop of cowboy’s sweat.

♪Pairs well with: Ástor Piazzolla’s Libertango


Artist Wines No. 6


ARTIST WINES! - Uncorking musician-priced cellar secrets

Monasterio de las Viñas, Garnacha, Tempranillo & Cariñena, Spain 2006

Price: $14.93  SBH Rating: ♬ 🎶 ♬ 🎶♬ 🎶 🎶♬

A wine to imbibe immediately! Smokey and toothsome, I'd like to put a tie on this handsome wine and take it out dancing. This Spanish vino knows all the moves, from the floral nose and dulcet undertones to the long drag of a finish, circling and circling like cigar smoke rings you gently wrap around your finger.  You know - the other kind of intoxicating...

Serve with: Beef brisket, specifically the kind found in the fabulous meat pies from Black Rook Bakehouse on Hastings in Vancouver. This wine really comes to life listening to a little Sunday night jazz by Danish pianist Søren Bebe.