Column: 'Dark Side' wine pairs well with classic album


“Pop the cork, turn up the tunes and enjoy the taste of Wines That Rock.”

That’s what it said on the back of my bottle of “Dark Side of the Moon” Cabernet Sauvignon.

So I did.

Recently, Wines That Rock sent me two bottles: the aforementioned Cabernet and a “Synchronicity” red wine blend.

I am no wine expert (I like it fine, but talking about it in terms other than “good” or “not as good” is tough), but I wanted to experience one of the wines simultaneously with the music it’s named after.

Is this just a marketing gimmick or do these wines actually reflect the albums they’re named after?

Wines That Rock encourages you to “throw your own unique rock ‘n’ roll wine party.” For this column, it’s going to be a party of one (no one else seemed to want to do this on company time).

As I mentioned, I know little about wine. I figured that the spearmint gum I had been chewing all afternoon might throw off the flavor of the wine, so I researched and found that white bread is used as a palate cleanser at wine tastings. After chewing on a slice of Rotella’s for a minute, I uncorked the bottle, poured a glass, put on my headphones and spun up Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon.”

According to the bottle, songs from “Dark Side” were playing while the wine was “crafted.” As far as I can tell, that’s as far as the connection goes.

After I hit “play,” the initial chatter and typewritten clacks rose into the moody melody of “Speak To Me/Breathe.”

Now, onto the actual wine.

First sip: It tasted… well, like red wine. It was actually fruity, and quite smooth. It’s also much less dry than other Cabernets I’ve had.

Overall, quite pleasant.

I continued to take occasional sips as “Dark Side” continued. When “On the Run” and “Time” played, I tried to summon my inner wine critic. What could I say about this wine other than, “It’s pretty good?”

I smelled it. Smells like wine, although some of those fruity elements were coming out, too. (The label said black currant and cherry flavors come out in the “plus structure” of the wine. OK…)

I swished it around in my mouth. Still tasted the same, but now I felt like I had wine on my teeth.

I elected not to spit it out, but to swallow it instead. That was better for me.

The album moved into side two, leading off with “Money” and “Us and Them” (my favorite part), and I began to realize that I was enjoying the album a lot more than I was enjoying the wine.

And that’s the thing: The wine was good. Actually, better than most wines I buy for the same price (it retails for about $15). But it was being able to listen to the album — and to talk about it, if I had friends over — while I drank the wine that was the most fun.

I’d certainly buy this wine again. It’s tasty, its label is cooler than anything else in the wine store and it will certainly make for good conversation.

Even if “Dark Side of the Moon” has little to do with the wine other than its label, it got me listening to a killer album, which is more than I can say for most wines.

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My column, also cleverly titled Rock Candy, appears every Thursday in the GO magazine of the Omaha World-Herald and on It’s reprinted here on Fridays.

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