I think of wine as a leveller, capable of bringing people from all walks of life together on equal terms, bound by mutual interest, or at the very least a shared desire for drinking pleasure. It doesn’t matter from which side of the tracks you originate, and it shouldn’t matter whether your preference is for ultra-natural zero-sulphur Pineau d’Aunis from the Loire Valley, or for the ultra-traditional wines of Bordeaux grand cru classé châteaux, ultimately we are all seeking the same goal – to put our lips to a glassful of a liquid that makes us smile.
Music can perform this same role I think; there is nothing barring a high court judge from developing an obsession for little-known 1970s punk bands, and equally there is nothing preventing penny-farthing-pedalling hipsters developing a love of Bartók, Kodály and Dohnnányi. And of course anybody with a true love of music, rather than the more simplistic factional approach that can be found (in the worlds of wine as well as music of course) would probably learn to appreciate both styles, or at least learn about them, developing an understanding of both.
Someone who knows about both of these worlds is Brendan Tracey (pictured above), an accomplished musician and singer who now wears the hat of a Loire Valley vigneron, working from diminutive cellars near Vendôme, on the Loir. His story, as it happens, weaves an interesting thread through the 1970s punk rock scene in the USA. I’m not sure where he stands on Hungarian composers, but when it comes to wine he stands quite firmly in the ‘natural’ camp.