Presidential Pairings: Obama is Pinot, McCain is Merlot

“Sommelier to the Stars” Christopher Sawyer has made a successful sideline pairing wine with – not cheese – but film (as seen on MSN, NBC, ABC and CNN and in USA Today, Redbook, Maxim, National Geographic Traveler and – breath – Esquire). Some might dismiss this skill as merely a parlor trick, and in part it is, but those who humor the notion understand how astute and amusing such “pairings” can be. For example, in Neil Strauss’ Esquire article, Sawyer paired “Thank You For Smoking” with the Ravenswood 2003 Icon syrah. “A bold wine was needed to match the bold statements of Aaron Eckhart’s lobbyist character,” the sommelier averred. “The Ravenswood features an aroma of fresh leather, a mixture of meaty and wild fruit flavors, and, of course, a hint of smoke.”

Winotone.com, J.M. Berry’s upcoming video podcast project, grants the pairing concept an all-access-pass by pairing wines with classic rock. What’s fascinating to me is the confluence of different, even disparate, kinds of connoisseurship. Living in wine country, it’s understandable that wine would be a common denominator by which one might juxtapose contrasting interests. I suppose in Perigord, France, J.M.’s counterpart is discussing the finer points of Jimmy Page’s guitar/cello bowing on Led Zeppelin’s “Dazed and Confused” as it relates to the region’s signature black truffles.

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