Fridays in the cellar have a new beat. Rock ’n’ Roll Wine has teamed up with M Resort to create the Tasting Room & Sound Bar every Friday night. A couple of floors downstairs, the dark, intimate Hostile Grape wine bar couldn’t be a more perfect fit.
The room is full of happy, mostly 30-something locals, mingling and lounging with their wine glasses and cheese plates when I arrive on April 1 for opening night. I buy a wine card from the bar and head for the Enomatic machines to get in some tastes before musician Jared Lee starts wooing the crowd. With so many choices, including wines paired with musical genres specifically for this event, I decide to go with one I’ll be hearing tonight: Top 40, paired with a 2008 the Grotto—“like the chorus of your favorite radio hit, this Zin/Syrah blend is melodic and unforgettable with succulent fruit and hedonistic hints of spice sure to be on Ryan Seacrest’s weekly countdown,” according to tasting notes.
Each genre (Top 40, reggae, ’80s hair band, R&B, indie/alternative rock, etc.) is paired with a white and a red with amusing descriptive notes (see: “blingy fruit” in hip-hop’s 2008 Hugel Gewurztraminer) explaining how the music matches the wine’s flavors.
“I was very pleased to see how the musically themed wine pairing was received,” says RnR Wine co-founder Sonny Barton. “In working the room, it was interesting to hear people say they were trying a particular wine that they may have shied away from in the past simply because it was paired with a genre of music that they loved. Our attempt at trying to get people out of their wine comfort zone might just be working.”
Arrive early on Friday for tastings of RnR’s own blends, Rhapsody and the Grotto, from 5 to 7 p.m., then take part in an “interactive wine battle,” texting votes on a flight of wines paired with a featured genre of the week.