Broc Cellars' Love Red and Love Songs by Various Artists
Look, we all know Valentine’s Day is a fake, commercial holiday that can make single people feel alienated and instill dread in service industry workers. But at least it gives us a day to focus on what really matters and what the world certainly needs now - love, sweet love. And who honestly doesn’t like flowers and chocolate? To that point, a really good love song and a quenchable wine can leave you buzzing - and not just from the alcohol. So, getting in that spirit, I’m celebrating with a playlist of some of my favorite love songs and a bottle of Broc Cellars Love Red.
I know what you’re thinking. “Really? A wine called ‘Love’ with hearts on the label?” A bit too on the nose? Sure, but it totally works. Broc Cellars is an urban winery located in Berkeley, California - the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement, the pulse of the hippie revolution, and general conductor of peace, love and happiness. Owner and winemaker Chris Brockway sources grapes for the Love Red from 70 year old vines in the Green Valley of Solano County, between Napa and Suisun Valley.
The blend is made up of 50% Carignan, 36% Valdigue, 8% Syrah and 6% Cabernet. As with all Broc wines, it is made using sustainable farming, native yeast fermentation and no additives other than minimal sulphur dioxide. The wine sees no oak contact except for some aging in neutral French barrels. Fermentation is done in stainless steel tanks. The Carignan and Syrah were whole cluster fermented and the Valdiguie went through carbonic fermentation. All this explains why the Love Red pops so much. It is super bright and aromatic with aromas of cranberry, purple flowers, hay, dirt and a touch of eucalyptus. It’s light, juicy and fresh to the max.
The playlist begins with the most important song on the compilation - Lizzo’s self-positive anthem “En Love” about loving #1. This is a banger to play while pre-gaming, working out or just when you need a little self-esteem boost. There’s not one but two songs by The Cure, because for these moody goths, some of their love songs are the most shimmery, idealistic and blissed out that embody the feeling of falling head over heels, like “Mint Car” and “The Only One.” In that same vein, Carly Rae Jepson’s “I Really Like You” is an indulgent bop about crushing hard from her excellent electronic 80s-infused pop album, “Emotion”.
There are classics that need no explanation like The Cranberries’ “Dreams”, Beyonce’s “Love on Top”, Willie Nelson’s “Always On My Mind”, Otis Redding’s “Tenderness” and the rock smash “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” by The Darkness. There are the oh-so-earnest tracks like R.E.M.’s “You Are the Everything”, Daniel Johnston’s “True Love Will Find You in the End” and yes, Dolly Parton’s delicate and heartbreaking “I Will Always Love You”. Perhaps a controversial pick, and while I love Whitney, I prefer this version.
As the wine opens up, it reveals some darker fruit, like juicy plum. It evolves, just like relationships, and like this playlist that goes from Toni Braxton’s “You’re Making Me High” to The Thermals’ “Our Love Survives”. This is by no means a definitive playlist, and it could go on for many more songs, but with the help of the Broc Cellars Love Red, it’s a good start for getting in the mood - whether it’s for love, lust or self-care.