Outside Lands 2015: Essential Wine and Music pairing guide

Outside Lands in San Francisco is the premier music and wine festival. Create not only a playlist, but a drinklist to increase your happy factor at Outside Lands this year.

Outside Lands Festival Crowd. Image: OSL

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, August 6, 2015 – Outside Lands has arrived to Golden Gate Park. The set-up is underway for this 8th annual music, arts, wine, beer and food festival. The activities officially begin this Friday, August 7th, and run through Sunday, August 9th.

For you foodies, winos and craft brew lovers, this is your dream event. You will be able to combine what drinks and food you enjoy with the music that moves you. Create not only a playlist, but a drinklist to increase your happy factor at Outside Lands this year.

The right wine can set a mood just as easily as the tunes to which you will be listening.

Outside Lands Wine Lands 2015
Outside Lands Wine Lands 2015

Important safety tip: Wine Lands is completely cashless. This year your wristband is your festival ticket and your digital wallet.

Load up your band in advance, and for every 75 Bison Bucks that is added to your cashless account before 10pm on August 7th, Outside Lands will add 5 bonus Bison Bucks to your account. Register your band online.

Wine & Music Pairing Guide:

Fantastic Negrito with Claypool Cellars (Russian River Valley, CA); yes this is Les Claypool’s (Primus) winery. The funky rocker produces some totally radical Pinot noir and Rhone-style wines, and if you’re lucky, they’ll be featuring their Pachyderm Fancy Rhone-Style blend. With a likely “fogtacular” weather forecast, this luscious wine will help warm you up.


Fantastic Negrito performs the 2015 Outside Lands Festival.
Fantastic Negrito performs the 2015 Outside Lands Festival.

The wonderfully soulful voice of Fantastic Negrito and deep tunes are paired perfectly with the cool soul of Claypool Cellars. If Ray Charles, Lenny Kravitz and Janis Joplin had a talent-baby, it would be Fantastic Negrito.

If you are lucky, he will play “The Time Has Come” and that slight rasp in his voice and lump you begin to feel in the back of your throat will be soothed ever so gently as you sip on Claypool’s wine as you find your hips swaying to this love-sick, longing, but hopeful song.

Don’t miss this one!

Wine Lands - The Banshee Guys. Image: Banshee
Wine Lands – The Banshee Guys. Image: Banshee

Mac Demarco with Banshee Wines (Healdsburg, CA); Banshee Wines was founded by three friends who shared a passion for wine and a lifelong dream of owning their own winery.

These are young, hip dudes with a knack for crafting some killer wines; Pinot noir, Chardonnay, Rosé and some bigger reds in particular. Banshee has a lot of spunk, and often you will find a recommended “mix-tape” in their wine newsletters. In fact, on their last newsletter, Mac DeMarco was in the mix. Much like the Banshee boys, Mac is wise beyond his years.

With DeMarco playing in the afternoon (and hopefully a little sunshine on your face), try their Sauvignon Blanc or Rosé to pair as you reflect on the magical day ahead of you.

Odesza with AP Vin (San Francisco, CA): AP Vin is one of an increasing number of San Francisco-based wineries, and they were one of the first. All they make is Pinot noir, so be sure to try it. Odesza possesses a dreamy, addictive and irresistible sound.

The nearly mystical vocals will suck you in to their world. You won’t know if you’re coming or going. Their intoxicating and powerful sound should be paired with the perfection of AP Vin’s Pinots; expertly crafted, elegant, hopeful and soft.

SakeOne's Kibo Junmai Sake. Image: SakeOne
SakeOne’s Kibo Junmai Sake. Image: SakeOne

Tame Impala with SakeOne (Oregon): SakeOne will offer you a nice and refreshing change from just wine or beer all day. Their light, crisp, fruit driven sakes are just what the doctor ordered to mix things up.

The lightly energetic, somewhat bluesy, occasionally rocky, and fantastically psychedelic, dreamy sort of sound that Tame Impala creates is also a bit of a refreshing change from much of the music you will hear at Outside Lands. Also, Sake actually pairs well with cheese, so bring a glass to Cheese Lands and experiment away.

Billy Idol with The Prisoner (Napa Valley, CA); yes, perhaps this is an obvious one but this is an awesome pairing. Just as Idol was an early architect of the sound, style and fury of punk-rock in the early 80s, and went out there and created something different, so has The Prisoner crafting a red blend that at the time was ridiculous.

No one was blending Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petite Sirah and Charbono together. It might not have worked, but it did, and now they’ve both gone platinum.

The Prisoner’s explosive big fruit flavors will linger harmoniously in your mouth and give you a nice smooth finish, leaving you with an edgy rock star buzz.

Ben Harper to perform Outside Lands Festival 2015. Image: Sherrie Perkovich
Ben Harper to perform Outside Lands Festival 2015. Image: Sherrie Perkovich

Ben Harper with Crossbarn by Paul Hobbs (Russian River Valley, CA); Ben Harper has such a presence on stage, he unassumingly demands your attention. Refined vocals that can also cut loose and dig deep into your soul paired with one of the best bands around.

With Crossbarn wines you will fine the same elegant refinement that commands your attention as well. During the show, at times you will find yourself reflective and yearning for happiness, and at others you will totally be jamming and soaking in every ounce of bright energy being thrust at you from the stage.

At Crossbarn they make a little bit of Sauv Blanc, Rosé, Chardonnay, Pinot noir and Cab. They are all wonderful and will pair beautifully with anything Harper throws at you, so try them all and see what you like best.

The Black Keys to perform Outside Lands 2015. Image: Sherrie Perkovich
The Black Keys to perform Outside Lands 2015. Image: Sherrie Perkovich

Black Keys with Ridge Vineyards (Healdsburg, CA); Ridge has a very one-two sort of approach to winemaking. They have great vineyards and are environmentally responsible. This dynamic-duo way of crafting wines of distinction is expertly paired with the Black Keys twosome. Both consistently produce a killer product that is deep and multi-layered.

Though the Black Keys’ history doesn’t date back as far as Ridge’s does, they are both “True Blue.” If you have been fortunate enough to see the Keys perform in the past, you know that you’ll be in for a stellar evening.

Even if you’ve lost your friends and are a “Lonely Boy” during the show, eventually they will be “Howlin’ for You” to bring you back to the pack. Ridge is hands-down known for their Zinfandel. Much of their Zinfandel sites are planted on extremely rocky knolls…sounds a bit like rock n’ roll to me. Their wines are elegant with an edge, just like the Keys.

Elton John to play 2015 Outside Lands Festival. Image: LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty
Elton John to play 2015 Outside Lands Festival. Image: LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty

Elton John with Robert Sinskey Vineyards (Stags Leap, Napa Valley, CA); Robert Sinskey is not new to the wine game; he’s been at it for over 25 years.

To taste a Robert Sinskey wine at Outside Lands is a good thing; however, to experience a flight of their wines in the place they were made can be a very enlightening experience.

Elton John is as vintage rock ‘n roll as Sinskey is in vintage with Napa Valley. Undoubtedly they will be pouring some of their famed Cabernet Sauvignon. Some other favorites include their Pinot noir and Pinot Blanc. Whatever they are pouring, pair it with Sir Elton John.

Read Also: Outside Lands 2015 Guide to Wine, Beer & Food

Chet Faker with Scharffenberger Cellars (Anderson Valley, CA); This sparkling wine specialty house is situated right in the heart of California’s Anderson Valley. It is perfect for dancing all day long; sip, swirl, twirl and repeat.

The slightly upbeat and methodic rhythms combined with the alluring vocals of Faker will make your mouth dry anticipating the next song – perfect to pair with Scharffenberger Sparkling Wine. “Talk is Cheap”, so shut up, tune in and tilt that glass back.

Just maybe Faker will “Melt” the chill off the epic San Francisco fog and warm you from the inside out. If that doesn’t work, refills are recommended.

Outside Lands Wine Lands - Scharffenberger Cellars. Image: Scharffenberger
Outside Lands Wine Lands – Scharffenberger Cellars. Image: Scharffenberger

WILCO and Wind Gap (Santa Cruz Mountains): Wind Gap is a small winery producing French-style wines, and primarily known for their Pinot noir and Syrah wines.

They are perfect to sip as the wind howls in from the Pacific Ocean.

The laid-back guitar style of WILCO will pair perfectly with these rugged mountain wines. As the day becomes night, WILCO will take the stage as the “California Stars” come out.

Dream your troubles away as you swirl some of Wind Gap’s luscious Syrah in your Wine Lands glass.

Hot Chip with Swanson Family Vineyards (Rutherford, Napa Valley, CA); Hot Chip consistently produces a spunky but bold sound that needs a wine pairing of similar caliber.

Swanson Family Vineyards produces elegant, upbeat and bold wines with a bit of French flair. They are known for their Merlot, so don’t fight it, just go with it. It will be a cinch to celebrate the simple pleasures in life with a glass of Swanson Merlot in your glass and Hot Chip in your ear.

Outside Lands - Wine Lands - Red Car Wines. Image: Red Car
Outside Lands – Wine Lands – Red Car Wines. Image: Red Car

Mumford & Sons with Red Car Winery (West Sonoma Coast, CA): Red Car has worked hard to go beyond sustainability, and they have integrated these core concepts into their hands-off approach to winemaking.

Their wine tells a story about where it is from very naturally. Mumford & Sons has recently gone back to basics when it comes to their music. It has been a real change in their approach beyond just writing and recording, but getting deep into texture and dynamics.

Sounds about the way you’d describe a great wine, with texture and dynamics. Their minimalist, yet broad-reaching approach to their new album pairs perfectly with Red Car’s equally minimalistic and natural approach to winemaking. You won’t “Believe” how great this pairing is. Try their Rose or any any of their Pinot noirs as you bend and ear and allow Mother Nature to take over.

Outside Lands Festival - 2014 Crowd. Image: OSL / Joshua Withers.
Outside Lands Festival – 2014 Crowd. Image: OSL / Joshua Withers.

 Milky Chance with Scribe (Carneros, Sonoma, CA); Milky Chance crafts an upbeat, youthful, addictively-poppy sound with lush vocals, and is possibly a hidden gem at Outside Lands. You could say the same for Scribe Winery.

Their uber-friendly, hidden gem of a winery is totally off the beaten path in Carneros, and exudes this vibe while you are there that you are just hanging out with your friends.

Just as the sweet vocal sound of Milky Chance will lull you into your happy place, so will the Scribe wine. Take a deep inhale, look around at your friends that surround you, drink and be happy.

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