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OPINION | BOTTLE SHOTS: Musical wine pairings to make your taste buds sing

by Seth Eli Barlow | June 15, 2022 at 1:59 a.m.

After more than two years, I finally found myself looking on in horror as the pink band of an at-home covid-19 lit up on my kitchen counter. Thankfully, my bout with the virus was quick and relatively painless thanks to three doses of the vaccines. During my days of isolation — read as: my days of no alcohol — I found myself contemplating a different artform altogether: Broadway musicals. From there, I took a deep dive into some of Broadway's biggest hits and decided to imagine wine pairing for your listening pleasure. Granted, I wasn't able to drink along with my listening, but these wines will at least make you feel better about the fact that you're not seeing the shows in-person.


What else is there to drink with a musical that surrounds itself with the beauty of light than the most shimmering wine: riesling. By now, I hope you've heard me say that not all riesling is sweet. Trefethen Dry Riesling ($24) from Trefethen Family Vineyards, with its flavors of peach, papaya and apricot, is the perfect thing for picnics on the "green purple yellow red grass."


For a musical in which George Washington plays a major role, it's only fitting that you drink our first president's favorite drink: Madeira. This sweet, fortified wine from the Portuguese island of the same name is full of nutty, caramel-y flavors, and Washington's own records show him buying it in quantities of more than 150 gallons at a time. Look for Henriques & Henriques 5 Year Old ($23) to see what all the hype is about.


OK, I'm not sure that this qualifies as one of Broadway's "biggest hits," but with its shimmering score and constant refrains of golden light-filled Italian piazzas, I'd be remiss not to recommend a similarly golden-hued chardonnay. I'd recommend one from a warmer climate — the story is set in Italy, after all — perhaps Jordan Winery's Russian River Valley bottling ($40) with its lush waves of golden apple and ripe pear.


Think what you want about this Disney behemoth, but I'll never pass up a chance to talk about ice wine, the ultra rare (and ultra expensive) dessert wine made from grapes that have been crushed only after they've been frozen on the vine. I've yet to try an example from Arendelle, but the examples from Germany and Canada are top notch. Canada's Inniskillin Winery makes a fantastic ice wine ($70) from Vidal grapes that's worth every penny.

As always, you can see what I'm drinking on Instagram at @sethebarlow and send your wine questions and quibbles to


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