Kunin "Jurassic Park" Chenin Blanc and The Carters' Everything is Love
There she goes again - Beyoncé dropped another surprise record bomb on us, this time with her partner in crime Jay Z, together as The Carters. I’m going to go ahead and say “Everything is Love” is the album of the summer, or certainly one of the all-star players. America’s power couple unite in a grown and sexy display of confidence and transparency. Kunin Wines “Jurassic Park” Chenin Blanc from Santa Ynez in California is in many ways its counterpart - a sophisticated, grown-up wine that proudly puts itself out there.
It’s no secret The Carters have had their problems which they’ve both expressed in their own projects - Beyoncé as a scorned, betrayed wife on "Lemonade" and Jay Z as an apologetic, remorseful husband on "4:44". On “Everything Is Love”, they get to tell their story together, from their origins as a couple to being on top of the world and happily in love with all their dirty laundry in between. It’s their re commitment gesture to themselves and to us, the adoring fans. They’re able to talk about their past transgressions without pain - even laugh about it - and move forward as the bad bitches they are.
The album opener is oh so aptly named. “SUMMER” captures the sound of this - my personal favorite - season. It serves up major tropical island vibes featuring Damian Marley, groovy bass and sexy beachfront imagery. The Kunin Chenin Blanc is as sumptuous as this intro. Its texture is soft and gentle with some richness from the sur lie aging in barrel for 9 months. These lyrics and the pronounced aromas of peach, orange blossom, stone and carrot peels draw you in to the luxurious, summertime vibes: “Let's make love in the summertime, yeah/ On the sands, beach sands, make plans/ To be in each other's arms, yeah.”
The video for their next track and single off the album, “APESHIT” is stunning, of course, because it was shot IN THE LOUVRE, but also because the choreography and the artists - especially Bey - are magnetizing. Here, the Carters are stepping out with their success and this is Beyoncé at her most confident and effortless sounding, not because what she’s doing is easy or that she isn’t a perfectionist - she’s just a master of her craft.
“BOSS” is pretty self-explanatory. Bey and Jay are in fact bosses and they will leave a mighty legacy for their family and generations to come as Bey explains: “My great-great-grandchildren already rich/ That's a lot of brown chi'r'en on your Forbes list.” YES. Y’all earned it, so go off Queen. The awesome trumpets and horn section on this track enhance the grandness.
This bottle of Kunin should also be enjoyed in celebration. It’s a special bottle that was lovingly made with care by this boutique, family owned producer using grapes sourced from the fossil-rich, appropriately named Jurassic Park vineyard in Santa Ynez Valley located in California’s beautiful Central Coast. This sunny, high elevation region yields wine with concentrated fruit and bright, crisp acidity which is evident in this natural Chenin Blanc. It also has a darker yellow dandelion color, earthy tones and floating yeast deposits as a result of it being unfiltered with absolutely no preservatives or sulfites added. This is a unique wine meant to savor.
Pharrell collaborates on “NICE” and like every other song on “Everything is Love” it’s a refreshing and honest reflection on their personal and professional lives. The immediacy of our current digital age allows them to quickly comment on and react to its culture and how they fit into it. Beyoncé makes bold and risky moves, maybe as a (smart) marketing strategy but mostly because she can: “If I gave two fucks, two fucks about streaming numbers/ Would have put Lemonade up on Spotify.” Not to mention, this is her second surprise record released without any prior promotion or warning. This bottle is in the same spirit - it boasts “Natural” in noticeable font on the label, it just looks weird and murky with chunky particles floating around and it’s unabashedly different without trying to cater to any particular audience.
“713” is another summer hit - a super fun walk down memory lane and shoutout to Beyoncé’s hometown, Houston. Jay recalls how the couple met and shows his vulnerability in the time right after they spent a magical vacation together and then parted ways. It’s a little peek into their love story, a piece of fan candy. Like Bey’s pride for Houston, there’s lots of love and passion for the Central Coast in the local wine community, and understandably. I had the pleasure of spending time there recently. The Santa Barbara area is one of the most gorgeous places I’ve ever seen with outstanding wine and where I will retire once I am a millionaire.
“FRIENDS” communicates exactly how I feel about my best friends. They pull me up, never let me drown, they know all my business, they’re closer than kin, and I often wonder where would I be without them. This wine is one that should be shared with those special people in life.
“HEARD ABOUT US” is a groove for sure that should be listened to with this bottle of Kunin by a pool. Also, this line Jay says continues to crack me up every time: “Bitch know B, she don't even need a whole name (It's Beyoncé, nigga).”
“BLACK EFFECT” is about being proud of who you are and where you come from - of blackness - even when the crooked cops, dregs of society and Trumps of the world try to get you down. It’s yet another attempt at confronting reality in this unjust world of prejudice and false arrests we live in.
“LOVEHAPPY” is a wonderful way to wrap up this album. Jay and Bey are good - as a couple, as co-artists, as parents. In this closing track, they get real with us and level with us. They talk about saving their marriage after Jay screwed it up. This chorus is everything:
You did some things to me
Boy, you do some things to me
But love is deeper than your pain and I believe you can change
Baby, the ups and downs are worth it
Long way to go, but we'll work it
We're flawed but we're still perfect for each other
Sometimes I thought we'd never see the light
Went through hell with heaven on our side
This beach ain't always been no paradise
But nightmares only last one night
This record is ultimately about love and keeping those important people in your life. It’s fitting for this wine that was lovingly made by hand, with care, as nature intended for other people to enjoy and share with each other.