Reggae Rhapsody is perfect served with music, warm weather

When Chris Hammond and Sonny Barton came to Las Vegas a few years ago, they had an idea that would revolutionize wine tasting in the United States. They made it easier to access the complex world of wine through linking it with music.

Their concept is that every wine has a characteristic that can be described as a type of music. Zinfandels are heavy rock, chardonnays are soft lounge music and this Reggae Rhapsody is a mellow blend of different white grape varietals perfect for drinking while listening to reggae music.

Combining live music events with wine tastings has added a new dimension for wine amateurs as well as broken down the intimidating barriers often associated with such events. A large event will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday poolside at Green Valley Ranch that is open to the public. For further details, including ticket information, visit

In the glass, Reggae Rhapsody is a clean, soft, citrine yellow with a hint of star-bright clarity, medium-high viscosity and a glass-clear rim definition.

On the nose, there are interesting notes of soft mineral-laden white fruit, cream soda, white chocolate, pear juice and underlying hints of crushed champagne grapes and sun-kissed ripe Braeburn apples.

In the mouth, the wine quickly reveals why it is such a perfect wine for the hotter months of the year, with loads of crisp, focused, fragrant white fruit, crushed white currants, candied apple zest, pear sparkler and underlying liquid chalky minerals. There is a harmoniously fine balance between fruit and acidity in Reggae Rhapsody, that coupled with the soft midpalate and good, firm finish punctuated by pears and marionberry extract, make it eminently drinkable.

This wine is made for the music made famous by Bob Marley and should provide considerable relief from the sun, if served at 58 degrees Fahrenheit. It will be good for a couple of years, and works wonderfully with some lightly grilled chicken breast; perhaps even a serving of oysters.

Wine: Reggae Rhapsody

Grapes: Sauvignon blanc (45 percent), Gewurztraminer (33 percent), pinot gris (12 percent), muscat (8 percent), semillon (2 percent)

Region: California

Vintage: 2006

Price: $14.99

Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89016-0749, or e-mail him at

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