Guest Spots: Sharon Van Etten’s ideal drinking partners

Sharon Van Etten: EpicSharon Van Etten: Epic (Ba Da Bing, 9/21/10)

Sharon Van Etten: “Don’t Do It”

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Sharon Van Etten was on the road to becoming a full-blown wine snob. After discovering its magic as a high-school exchange student in Spain, she worked for a time in a wine store and even took classes to increase her vino know-how. Eventually, she decided to pursue music full time instead. The folk singer/songwriter released her second full-length, Epic, late last year. Here, she addresses her passion for wine and explains the five people with which she’d want to share a bottle.

Five People (Living or Dead) I Would Love to Share a Bottle of Wine with and Why
by Sharon Van Etten

The Five People:  Anaïs Nin, Woody Allen, Bill Murray, PJ Harvey, and Rainer Maria Rilke.

The Wine:  A red wine from Bandol in Southeast France. The Mourvèdre grape adds body and spice; the wine embodies the garrigue landscape aromas of lavender, rosemary, licorice, and thyme. Paired with garlic-based dishes such as aioli. Known as one of the five noble wines. France is a country of passion, expression, and class, as are my five guests.

The Why: Anaïs Nin was a renaissance woman. She was a dancer, model, writer, and feminist. The exact type of person Woody Allen seems to enjoy writing about. I could imagine him engaging her in conversation as he gets ideas for his next strong female lead. Anaïs also lived in New York for a stint, seeing therapist Sigmund Freud, and since Woody Allen is always running to psychoanalysts in his movies, I can’t help but feel he would be more than interested in Anaïs’ connection to him.

Woody Allen is one of my favorite directors and writers, and Bill Murray is one of my favorite actors and comedians. Murray has a way of being a gentleman of comedy. He is sincere and romantic and silly, even when being crude, just like Allen. They also both seem to be heavy flirts, which would be fun to see in the company of Nin and PJ Harvey.

Anaïs was quite the chameleon, as is Harvey. Nin wrote erotic stories, and Harvey sang blatantly sexual songs, both of them breaking the mold in a time when it wasn’t commonplace for a woman to do so. Harvey would stir things up, speak her mind, react passionately but articulately. Murray is also into current music, and I would imagine him to be a fan of Harvey.

Rainer Maria is, to me, poet meets therapist meets mentor. His writing has recurring Greek references, which Allen uses a lot in his movies. He was quite a romantic as well, a quality that most, if not all, of my guests possess.  I imagine he would help enable them to feel comfortable in this random environment.

Five complicated people sharing a complicated bottle of wine.  Sentimental, intriguing, unique, easy-going, complicated, romantic — I am a total nerd!

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