Rock N' Roll Wines: The Billboard Tasting
<p>We put together a tasting at New York’s City Winery and invited a panel of experts – three winos and Billboard’s own editorial director, who puts it all in musical perspective -- to sound off on 12 artist-branded wines.</p>
Rock and roll has been a hard liquor game from the very start, but perhaps the tides are changing. As bands continue to explore the world of unconventional merch, they're dipping their toes into… a big barrel of grapes?
From classic rockers like
The Rolling Stones "Forty Licks" Merlot
Tasting Panel Says: "If you're a merlot fan, you will not be disappointed by this wine."
Rating: A Merlot as classic as the lick in "Start Me Up"
Train "Drops of Jupiter" Petite Sirah
Tasting Panel Says: "This is actually really good, and it reflects a seriousness. This is a wine you probably want to have with a steak." A panel favorite.
Rating: More addictive than "Hey, Soul Sister"
The Police "Synchronicity" Red Blend
Tasting Panel Says: "A balanced wine… there's a softness but it's got a little Sting to it."
Rating: The "Message" in this bottle is too understated.
Warrant "Cherry Pie" Red Blend
Tasting Panel Says: "Would guess this is a Cab-Merlot blend, more Merlot than Cab - it's giving it that cherry high. Voluptuous, like the woman in the 'Cherry Pie' video."
Rating: Cherry pie > this wine
Tasting Panel Says: "I'm surprised Motorhead puts out a wine, but it's probably more of a merch item. A fairly grown-up wine - can taste a fruitiness." A panel favorite.
Rating: A red wine that's "Aces"
Pink Floyd "Dark Side Of The Moon" Cabernet Sauvignon
Tasting Panel Says: "The person who's going to go buy this, who liked Pink Floyd 30 years ago, feels very comfortable with a Cabernet… But it's a simple Cabernet, which is the exact opposite of what the brand of Pink Floyd came to represent."
Rating: Might not be worth your "Money"
Ratt "Body Talk" Chardonnay
Tasting Panel Says: "Very acidic… it's bold and it's powerful, kind of like the song 'Body Talk.' But I could see Ratt going more with Boone's Farm, or maybe Mad Dog 20/20."
Rating: We'd give it three out of five groupies.
Grateful Dead "Steal Your Face" Red Blend
Tasting Panel Says: "As soon as you stick your nose in the glass, you definitely get a note that this is a serious wine." A panel favorite.
Rating: Definitely not just for your Deadhead uncle
AC/DC "Back In Black" Shiraz
Tasting Panel Says: "The big bass sound and Shiraz: they really work well together. The most appropriate music and wine pairing we've tasted."
Rating: If you're not badass enough to head-bang to "Back and Black," don't even bother with this sharp (albeit one-note) wine.
AC/DC "You Shook Me All Night Long" Moscato
Tasting Panel Says: "This is for the guy who wants to blast AC/DC at home and his wife gets annoyed, so he gives her this and says, 'Oh, look who makes this! Let's blast the song!'"
Rating: A totally solid -- not shaky -- Moscato
Tasting Panel Says: "I'd like to see a little more acid on this… need something that bites you a little more. A short finish and it dies quickly - which doesn't match the song 'Here I Go Again.'"
Rating: Tawny Kitaen dancing on the hood of a car > this wine
Santana Brut Sparkling
Tasting Panel Says: "It lacks something in the back, in terms of acidity."
Rating: The wine equivalent of modern-day Santana: a little boring