Outside Lands 2016: Wine & music pairing guide

Outside Lands has arrived at Golden Gate Park. The set up is now complete for this 9th annual music, arts, wine, beer and food festival.

Outside Lands 2015: The Main Stage Ignites! Image: Andrew Jorgenson.

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 5, 2015 — Outside Lands has arrived at Golden Gate Park. The setup is now complete for this ninth annual music, arts, wine, beer and food festival. Festival activities officially began Friday and run through Sunday.

For you foodies, winos and craft brew lovers, this is your dream event. You will be able to combine those beverages and foods you enjoy with the music that moves you. So why not create more than playlist? Let’s create a drinklist to increase your joy factor when attending Outside Lands this year. The right wine can set a perfect mood just as easily as the tunes you will be grooving to.

Outside Lands Famous Windmill. Image: Josh Withers.
Outside Lands Famous Windmill. Image: Josh Withers

Wine & Music Pairing Guide

Important safety tip: Wine Lands is completely cashless. This year, your wristband is your festival ticket and your digital wallet. So be sure to load up your band in advance and register your band online.

Fantastic Negrito with Deerfield Ranch (Kenwood, California): The wonderfully soulful voice of Fantastic Negrito and deep tunes pair perfectly with the luscious red blends of winemaker Robert Rex of Deerfield Ranch. With Deerfield’s Clean Wine™ you can drink wine all day, even into the night and feel like a million bucks. These wines are killer! An absolute symphony in your mouth. If you are lucky, Fantastic Negrito will play “The Time Has Come,” and that slight rasp in his voice and the lump you begin to feel in the back of your throat will be soothed ever so gently as you sip on Deerfield wine and you find your hips swaying to this lovesick, longing, but hopeful song. If Ray Charles, Lenny Kravitz and Janis Joplin had had a talent baby, it would have been Fantastic Negrito. Don’t miss this one!

Fantastic Negrito Woos the SF Crowd. Image: Sherrie Perkovich
Fantastic Negrito Woos the SF Crowd. Image: Sherrie Perkovich

The Claypool Lennon Delirium with Claypool Cellars (Sebastopol, California): all right, a bit of a layup here, but how many times can you drink the artist’s wine while said artist is up on stage at an epic outdoor music festival? Whatever the case, it doesn’t change the fact that this pairing is empirically perfect. Yes, this is Les Claypool’s winery. The funky rocker produces some totally rad Pinot Noir and Rhone-style reds. If you’re lucky, they’ll be featuring their Pachyderm Fancy Rhone-Style Blend. With a fogtacular weather forecast on tap, this luscious wine will help warm you up.

Les Claypool - Claypool Cellars. Image: Claypool Cellars.
Les Claypool – Claypool Cellars. Image: Claypool Cellars

“Top Half” with Banshee Wines (Healdsburg, California): 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, rose and some bigger reds in particular. Banshee has a lot of spunk. Often, you will find a recommended “mix-tape” in their wine newsletters. Banshee it putting on Banshee Fest this year, and according to their website, they are “unable to unveil their headliner just yet…they are comfortably in the ‘top half’ of the masthead for Outside Lands…if you are an indie-rock fan then you know these guys.” Speculation calls for Air. I’m calling it out. Air. Either way, try their Sauvignon Blanc or Rose to pair to “Make it Easy.”

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

Duran Duran with AP Vin (San Francisco): 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 try the Pinot. Duran Duran is both vintage and ever-evolving. They possess an addictive and irresistible sound. Simon LeBon will suck you into their world. You won’t know if you’re coming or going. The band’s intoxicating and high energy sound should be paired with the perfection of AP Vin’s Pinots. They’re expertly crafted, elegant, and full of energy. When we asked Andrew of AP Vin which bands he was most interested in seeing at this Outside Lands, Duran Duran quickly came to his lips, much as his wine will to yours. Personal note: Damn the Duran Duran boys look good. My 12-year-old self is still swooning!

Duran Duran. Image: Duran Duran website.
Duran Duran. Image: Duran Duran website

Peaches with the Prisoner (Napa Valley, California): Sounds funny, right? Peaches in Prison, but oh my, this hard rockin’ gal will totally kick your ass with her groovebox beats and cocksure rapping. She wants you to “Get Down & Dirty” with her. She’s a “Dirty Bitch” for sure. Peaches will eat you for lunch and then be hungry for dinner. It’s much like the feeling of being in prison. Drink this deep and brooding wine composed of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petite Sirah and Charbono and feel the warmth first take over your throat and then your whole body. The Prisoner’s explosive, big fruit flavors will linger harmoniously in your mouth, giving you a nice smooth finish and leaving you with an edgy rock star buzz that Peaches herself would appreciate.

Peaches. Image: PopMatters.com
Peaches. Image: PopMatters.com

Halsey with Ridge Vineyards (Healdsburg, California): Ridge has a very one-two sort of approach to winemaking – have great vineyards and be environmentally responsible. Both consistently produce a killer product that is deep and multi-layered. Though Halsey’s history doesn’t date back as far as Ridge’s does, they are both “New Americana.” If you have been fortunate enough to see Halsey perform in the past, you know that you’ll be in for a stellar evening. Halsey’s hauntingly beautiful vocals will dig into your very core and drive you mad. Ridge’s Zinfandel is the same way. 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 Halsey.

Halsey Live at Red Rocks. Image: Halsey Facebook.

Halsey Live at Red Rocks. Image: Halsey Facebook

Nathaniel Ratecliff & The Night Sweats with Stuhlmuller Vineyards (Anderson Valley, California): Stuhlmuller is a small, family-owned winery producing terroir-driven wines. They are primarily known for their Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays, perfect to sip as the wind howls in from the Pacific Ocean. The contagious style of Ratecliff will pair perfectly with these oh-so-very-drinkable wines. As the day becomes night, the “S.O.B.” will take the stage. That song is so insanely perfect when played at every Vegas casino as you walk through the doors, both in new and old Vegas.

Nathaniel Ratecliff & the Night Sweats. Image: nathanielratecliff.com
Nathaniel Ratecliff & the Night Sweats. Image: nathanielratecliff.com

Lettuce with Scharffenberger Cellars (Anderson Valley, California): Lettuce crafts an unexpected, upbeat, and addictively funky sound with lush vocals and sick R&B riffs. This sparkling wine specialty house is situated right in the heart of California’s Anderson Valley. Perfect for dancing all day long. Sip, swirl, twirl and repeat. The funky fresh, upbeat and methodic rhythms of Lettuce will make your mouth dry anticipating the next song. Perfect to pair with Scharffenberger Sparkling Wine. “Blast Off” with Lettuce and perhaps they will ward off the epic San Francisco chill by warming you from the inside out. If that doesn’t work, refills are recommended.

Lettuce. Image: YouTube
Lettuce. Image: YouTube

Down & Outlaws with Scribe (Carneros, Sonoma, California): Down & Outlaws is literally on the last line of the musical line-up. Impressive if you’ve found them and are already aware of their killer guitar riffs and rhythmic drum beats. The have a bit of rock,meets blues with a punky edge about them that is unexpected and addictive. They are for sure a hidden gem at Outside Lands. You could say the same for Scribe Winery. Their über-friendly, hidden gem of a winery is totally off the beaten path in Carneros and exudes this vibe while you are there that makes it feel you are hanging out with your friends. Just as the sweet vocal sound and fresh grooves will push you into your happy place, so will the Scribe wine. Inhale deeply, check out the friends surrounding you, drink, be happy and dance around like the Temptations, circa 1968.

Down & Outlaws. Image: Down & Outlaws website.
Down & Outlaws. Image: Down & Outlaws website

Radiohead with Bluxome Street Winery (San Francisco): Tyzok Wharton, Bluxome’s winemaker, says he’s most excited to see Radiohead, so Radiohead it is! Radiohead has always been inventive and not afraid to take risks, much like the folks at Bluxome. They were one of the early wineries to come back to San Francisco and create a real winery culture right here in downtown. The two are perfect for each other. A personal fave is their Russian River Valley Rose of Syrah. Give that a swirl if it is available. Then move on to one of their delish Pinot Noir wines to help keep you warm as the fog continues to billow in overhead.



Outside Lands 2015: Crowds. Image: Jeff Kravitz.
Outside Lands 2015: Crowds. Image: Jeff Kravitz


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