There’s a new episode of I’ll Drink to That! available. Episode number 498 features Dan Keeling, who is a co-founder and partner in the three Noble Rot restaurants in London, the Shrine to the Vine wine retail shops, the Noble Rot Magazine, as well as Keeling Andrew and Co., which is an importer of wine into the United Kingdom. Dan also co-authored The Noble Rot Book: Wine from Another Galaxy and pens columns on wine for the Financial Times.
Music is a manifestation of culture that can change the mood of individuals, touch on personal emotions, and bring people together in groups. Wine is a manifestation of culture that can change the mood of individuals, touch on personal emotions, and bring people together in groups. So why can’t we describe wine and music in similar ways beyond those three generalizations? Surely there could be a shared vocabulary to talk about wine as if it were music, and likewise. The desires of both genres are shaped by personal taste, and both edge up to the sublime. It only makes sense that a little of the language of one could go a long way to articulating the other. Or that’s the dream, which has often seemed much more cumbersome, unscalable, and tedious in actual practice.
And then along came Dan Keeling, who probably has come the closest to a Unified Field Theory of Wine and Music with Noble Rot Magazine. Describing wines like music (it turns out) is helped along when you don’t try to describe actual wines after all, but rather the feelings and reactions those wines give you. Often that is the thrust of Noble Rot: feelings first, attitude second, and an all-inclusive against the commercial machine vibe third. Maybe I have the order a bit askew, but all those are in the Noble Rot mix somewhere. And it works. Noble Rot has been going strong since 2012, and has established not even a cult reputation, but in fact a quite broad reputation as one of the beacons of wine culture today.
It so happens that another manifestation of wine culture also started up around 2012, and that is the program Dan is a guest on most recently, the I’ll Drink to That! podcast. What is the result of a pairing that brings together the vibes and wine attitude of Noble Rot with the bare bones, tell-me-about-you aesthetic of I’ll Drink to That!? Nothing but a Greatest Hit. This is one of those episodes that people will be talking about as a favorite for a long time now.
Episode 498 is available on many listening platforms, including at these links:
- Apple Podcasts
I’ll Drink to That!, one of the world’s top wine podcasts, is hosted by Levi Dalton. Levi has had a long career working as a sommelier in some of the most distinguished and acclaimed dining rooms in America. He has served wine to guests of Restaurant Daniel, Masa, and Alto, all in Manhattan. Levi has also contributed articles on wine themes to publications such as The Art of Eating, Wine & Spirits magazine, Bon Appetit online, and Eater NY. Check out his pictures on Instagram.
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