Rock 'n' roll culture died in 2011. It's got nothing to do with your opinion of Bon Iver, but everything to do with Rolling Stone. The former leading voice of modern music upheld its immaculate reputation this year... by starting an official wine club. It's filled with bottles branded with imagery from the likes of the Police and the Rolling Stones. It tastes like drowning your hopes for the artistry of music in grape juice (we assume).
Considering that, this feels like the right time to look back on a surprising year in the intersection of beverage and band. It's not a new trend (who hasn't had Warrant's 2007 Cherry Pie Red Napa Valley wine at this point?) but 2011 took it to, well, 11. With honorable mention apologies to Kiss and the Grateful Dead, here's our six-pack of 2011's most intoxicating (and regrettable) music beverage releases:
6. Train's Drops of Jupiter Petite Syrah
It's well documented -- Train sucks. The band makes empty pop songs that manage to be as annoying on first listen as they are on the 10,000th radio play. But if a modern band exists whose discography would clearly become better to listen to as one's blood-alcohol level rises, this is probably it. And, ultimately, if a band is going to launch a wine club in addition to its own wine, shouldn't it at least hail from Northern California?
Assumed aural taste equivalent: If this wine is at all worth a damn, the exact opposite of hearing "Hey Soul Sister."
5. Motorhead Shiraz
Hard music and hard liquor, this feels familiar (see Mastodon's beer, Maynard Keenan's wine, Marilyn Manson's absinthe, etc.) Lemmy and crew present a drink with no citrus necessary. It's an Australian wine described as having a fruity aroma with hints of vanilla, blackberry, plum, eucalyptus, and liquorice. Not sure why they didn't simply use, "Perfect accompaniment to 'Killed by Death'," as the official description.
Assumed aural taste equivalent: "Ace of Spades" -- meant to be utilized fast and loose.
4. AC/DC "The Wine"
The most perfect match of alcohol and act on this list: AC/DC wines are as formulaic as AC/DC songs. Each is titled, "AC/DC [Song Title] [Wine Type]," leading to appetizing buys like Back in Black Shiraz or You Shook Me All Night Long Moscato. Nearly every headline about the release (from prestigious Australian winery Warburn Estate) would've served as a better moniker: "Highway to Drunk" (HuffPo), "For those about to quaff" (NYPost), "Whole Lotta' Rose" (The Daily Mail). All right, fine, that last one is Zeppelin. Don't get any ideas, Plant.
Assumed aural taste equivalent: The over-the-top bell tolls introducing "Hells' Bells." Shaky decision, but ultimately tolerable.