D'Angelo's Black Messiah and an Aged Rioja

Music and wine should be paired. We call this VINOMUSIC. Today we're pairing D'Angelo's Black Messiah album with a beautifully aged Gran Reserva Rioja

Music and wine should be paired. We call this VINOMUSIC.

The most influential R&B album since Lauryn Hill’s Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. (Yup, I went there.)

This masterfully arranged redefinition of R&B blends jazz and soul while D’Angelo’s voice at times sounds like a magical instrument making a uniquely beautiful sound.

To appreciate the nuances of this album listen to it all the way through with a pair of great headphones, and with a great wine. Take your time with the album as with the wine. Each song opens another realm of sound with unexpected pops and surprises of notes that wouldn’t make sense if done by anyone but D’Angelo.

A timeless album such as D’Angelo’s Black Messiah should be paired with wine that opens slowly. As the evening progresses with this album you will likely sink lower into your couch, your body will mellow and your soul will be transfixed on the sounds and tastes, creating an experience that will touch you for a long time.

What makes an aged Gran Reserva Rioja so special?

By the rules of the region, a producer must age a Gran Reserva at least five years before they can hit the market.

Some producers like R. Lopéz de Heredia will age their Gran Reservas longer before releasing them to the public. An aged Rioja settles into itself, the astringent, highly tannic components of the wine mellow out. The fruit starts to become part of the symphony versus vying for stage time by yelling and smashing guitars. The wine matures. The components of acidity, fruit, phenolics start to come together harmoniously. An aged Rioja will show lovely tobacco and leather notes along with usually red fruit with softness. The wines can still have an edge to them, but an edge not complicated by bathing in oak.

A beautiful Gran Reserva won’t break your bank either. A consistent, historic producer (making wine for over 156 years) Bodegas Faustino is one to buy cases of enjoy now, or in half a century. A 2006 Faustino I Gran Reserva is about $30 scoring 90s from multiple critics.

Listen: Black Messiah by D’Angelo and The Vanguard Drink an aged Gran Reserva Rioja tonight!