I don’t know about you, but live music makes me thirsty. Whether it’s the soft acoustic sound of a female vocalist (which may inspire a glass of sauvignon blanc), or the pounding of the bass guitar blaring from stage speakers (definitely a Sam Adams beer or equivalent), music and drinking do not always–but often do–go together for me.
So it seemed the perfect evening when I discovered that the City Winery in NYC, a small restaurant winery/restaurant/music venue where I’d recently sat up close for a Shawn Colvin show (dining on flat bread pizza and sharing a bottle of Malbec with my hubby), was hosting a night of music and wine. Not just any music, but the Top 20 Songs of ALL TIME (voted by listeners of a New York radio sation, 104.3) played by a cover band. With my husband’s nod of approval, I booked us two tickets.
We arrived at the City Winery at about 7:00 and had our choice of tables. Once we were seated, our placemat announced the event: “Top 20 Songs Paired with 20 Wines!” This would be a night to remember. Thankfully, there would also be a smattering of 6 small food courses.
On our right sat a youngish couple–he was a music-lover and chef at nearby restaurant whose family owned the largest chain of head shops on the East Coast (no joke); his wife was a wine-loving bartender. To our left was a table of three 30-something women, all married but clearly out for a girls’ night of fun.
The band, all the way from Long Island, got on stage and started with the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter,” which was paired with a glass of Cava, a sparkling wine from Spain. From there, musical highlights included Billy Joel’s “Piano Man,” The Beatles’ “Let It Be,” Bruce’s “Thunder Road” and of course, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird.”
As the music and wine countdown progressed from number 20 to number 1, more and more people–mostly women–got looser and got up to dance. And that’s when it hit me, live music makes people happy. And alcohol makes people less inhibited (or me, anyway) and freer to shake their booty. I watched these women strutting and waving their arms, and I knew exactly how they felt–free of judgement and inspired to move with the beat. It was beautiful. One of them even snuck onto the stage, dancing behind the band members while they played, and waving to her two friends beside me. It was hilarious.
My husband isn’t a big dancer, so I just bounced around (a lot) in my seat, clapping, shouting and waving my arms in between sips of a Cabernet or Pouilly Fume. I contemplated getting up and dancing with the gals who bonded as they boogied, but decided to stay in my seat. Music and wine. It was just pure fun.