Band's custom blend joins hard-rock-related offerings like Dave Mustaine's She-Wolf.
In the video for “Blood and Cream,” from Red Fang’s 2013 album Whales and Leeches, a panicked Fred Armisen runs into the Portland, Oregon, dive B-Side Tavern and announces that hordes of beer-craving zombies are on the loose. Those cans of Tecate and Pabst Blue Ribbon that make cameos throughout are befitting symbols of Red Fang’s laid-back, blue-collar appeal, but now the stoner rock band, like other enterprising metal men before them, continues to prove that wine is an equally democratic beverage with its just-arrived Red Fang Red 2016, which made its official debut at a Jan. 13 wine-release party. (The wine’s year refers to when its grapes were harvested.)
Starring Oregon’s flagship pinot noir grape -- bolstered by a little skin-fermented Gewürztraminer and dark-hued tannat for a depth that exemplifies the band’s audacious approach to music -- the blend was made in partnership with Portland’s Teutonic Wine Company. Red Fang drummer and oenophile John Sherman was already familiar with Teutonic’s small-production German- and Alsatian-style wines when Barnaby and Olga Tuttle, the heavy-metal-loving husband-and-wife founders of the industrial-inspired winery and tavern (“I grew up listening to stuff like Black Sabbath,” Barnaby points out) approached the band about collaborating. Although wine was new turf for fellow members Bryan Giles, Aaron Beam and David Sullivan, they were all revved by the prospect.
“Heavy metal offers a release of tension from your day, your life, and wine is the same. I love the idea of making something a little bit different from what people expect,” says bassist-vocalist Beam. “We helped with all the different steps, from tasting samples out of the barrels to harvesting, which seems super mysterious if you haven’t done it before.”