American singer-songwriter Pink, or P!nk, has opened up about her passion for fine wine, including her 'dirty little secret' project in southern California, the wines on her gig 'rider' and dinner with the late Loire legend Charly Foucault and his family.
Pink spoke to Olly Smith for the first in a podcast series of interviews with well-known celebrities who enjoy wine, called A Glass With.
Pink, who’s real name is Alecia Beth Moore, described herself as a big fan of biodynamics and has spent the past four years cultivating an organic vineyard in southern California, after being inspired by visits to leading wineries all over the world.
‘It’s my dirty little secret,’ the Grammy-award-winning singer, songwriter and actress said of her newly finished winery during an interview with wine expert and broadcaster Olly Smith. The pair and producer Richard Hemming MW shared a glass of Pontet-Canet 2010 during an interview at her winery near to Los Olivos just north of Santa Barbara.
‘I got my brand new Beck album, I got my earphones and I went out and spent days pruning’
After coming off tour in Australia about four years ago, she and her husband set about the vineyard plan, juggling learning about wine inbetween performances.
‘I took online courses. I started at the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET). I would get off stage and be, like, oh, I have a test. I loved it, especially the [online] videos.’
Pink, or P!nk, has sold more than 60 million albums worldwide, but appears just as happy pruning vines as performing to tens of thousands of people.
‘The first I wanted to do was learn how to prune. So I got my brand new Beck album, I got my earphones and I went out and spent days pruning. It’s my favourite thing to do. Where else do you get eight hours to work with nature?’
Her estate covers 25 acres and includes an eclectic Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Grenache and Grenache Blanc. ‘We are taking out the Malbec,’ she said.
‘We’ve worked with it for three years and it’s not blowing me away. The Cabernet Franc next to it is blowing me away. So we’re replanting. [We also] took out a block of Cabernet Sauvignon that was getting its a** kicked by the wind. We replanted half the bloc and grafted half the bloc to Sauvignon Blanc. So we’ve been working with that for one year and it’s going really, really well.’
The wine is not currently available for sale, but could be in future, she said.
‘Châteauneuf-du-Pape made me love wine’
Few people are probably aware that Châteauneuf-du-Pape was a permanent fixture on the Pink ‘rider’ after she burst on to the music scene at the end of the 1990s.
‘When I made my [first] rider, I was 20 and I just put Châteauneuf-du-Pape on there because that was the wine that made me love wine.’
She confessed that, initially at least, she thought Châteauneuf-du-Pape was the name of a producer not an area.
Many other vineyard trips have followed, including to visit Peter Gago at Penfolds in Australia – ‘one of the most lovely human beings I have ever met’ – and Cheval Blanc and Pontet-Canet in Bordeaux.
But she also talked of a dinner with the late Charly Foucault, of legendary Loire estate Clos Rougeard.
‘We ended up spending hours with him. His wife made us a meal and his granddaughter was playing guitar and singing songs about harvest.’ She added, ‘He was just the most magical human being.’
Pink is touring this year and will headline V Festival in the UK in August, alongside Jay Z and Ellie Goulding. Music site NME.com released a preview of her new single with Sia earlier this month.
These days, Pink said that the wine on her rider depends on what the local style is. She is hoping to try English wine this year.
Summing up her love of wine, she said, ‘If I were Mariah Carey I would take a bath in it’.
Look for Decanter magazine’s August 2017 issue for a special tasting of celebrity wines. Subscribe in advance.
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