August 23, 2021
As the first Ambassador of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Maestro Enrique Mazzola sees a close connection between music and wine production. This fall, he returns to the podium to conduct a star-studded production of Donizetti's The Elixir of Love. In anticipation of the musical feast, he has shared some of his favorite wine pairings for the beloved bel canto opera. We invite you to pull out the cork, sit back, and relax with this list of Enrique's Elixirs.
Sipping wine to tunes improves the experience on both sides. It can give you a new frame of reference of the portrayed emotions in a song or tinker with the taste of the drink. Swirl the wine around in your mouth to determine the taste and textured blends while reflecting on how the music makes you feel.
No operatic hero is more endearing than Nemorino, who pines for the flirtatious Adina. When Nemorino hears Adina reading to her workers the story of Tristan and Isolde, he is convinced that a magic potion will help him to gain Adina's love. Maestro Mazzola says, “In 'Udite, o rustici,' the arrival of the phony Dr. Dulcamara is a really funny moment. He arrives in town selling the 'elixir of love'. Nemorino buys a bottle, not knowing it's just Bordeaux wine! Even though sweet Nemorino is tricked into drinking the wine, I do recommend trying a Moulin d'Issan Bordeaux Supérieur 2018. This wine is an oaky red that comes from the Bordeaux region of France and is typically paired with game meats such as lamb, or beef stews.”
Pompous Sergeant Belcore swoops in and successfully courts Adina while Nemorino is drunk on the fake elixir. “The beginning of the second act opens with the wedding ceremony of Belcore and Adina where the entire chorus is celebrating and drinking. The joyous and rhythmic music makes you want to dance with a glass of wine. Have you ever tried sparkling red wine? I am sure they all were drinking a Carra di Casatico La Luna Lambrusco Secco,” says Mazzola. The tiny frothy bubbles will dance in your belly just like the music will make you dance in your seat.
'Una furtiva lagrima' is an iconic and meditative aria sung by Nemorino. It is set in B♭ minor, a dark key with often tragic associations. Nemorino is in love with Adina; however, she is not interested in a rustic man like him.“I would drink what we call in Italy a ‘vino da meditazione,’” Mazzola suggests. “Perfect would be a Piazzo Barolo Riserva Sottocastello di Novello 2013.” This bold, aromatic wine pairs stunningly with the devastating score of this famous aria.
“Donizetti's bubbly finale, 'Ei corregge ogni difetto' calls for something equally lively. The fresh and balanced flavor of Veuve Clicquot's classic yellow label brut is the perfect match for the joyful mood onstage and in the audience,” Mazzola concludes. From start to finish we root for Nemorino, as Adina toys with him until she finally lets him know how she really feels in the end. This yummy, citrus champagne is the perfect drink to end the evening and to cheers to true love!
Wines mentioned in this article are all available online through Binny’s:
September 26 – October 8, 2021
The Elixir of Love
The Elixir of Love
No operatic hero is more endearing than Nemorino, who pines for the flirtatious Adina. She’s the owner of the town’s hotel, he’s her delightfully naive waiter. His only hope to win her is the “elixir” sold by the quack, Dr. Dulcamara — little does he know that it’s just Bordeaux wine! From start to finish we root for Nemorino, as Adina toys with him until she finally lets him know how she really feels. Elixir is opera’s most heartwarming comedy, filled with Donizetti’s delectable music that brings nonstop smiles.