Reviews

Floral Notes: Wine Pairings for Troye Sivan’s Bloom

In partnership with the St Andrews Wine Company, Saint Audio selects one very special album to match with a curated selection of wine, beer, and spirits. Miles Bolland has expertly paired wine, beer, or spirits for each song off of Troye Sivan’s recently released full-length album, Bloom. All wines and spirits are available for purchase on the St Andrews Wine Company’s website.

“Seventeen”: Now this one has a lovely relaxed vibe to it with a decent beat, and as such I feel it’s best to go with something that will both taste good but isn’t going to remove attention from the song itself. For that reason I’d go for your pre-drinks* go to. Now, let me explain my reasoning behind this one. We all have that something we take (or took) to pre-drinks that we enjoyed drinking as it provided a pleasant background to chatting with friends and listening to music. Whether it be a bottle of wine or a certain brand of beer, grab a glass and enjoy as you listen, it’s as simple as that.

*Pre-drinks: the drinks you go to before you go out for drinks.

“My My My!”: I can’t fully explain why but for some reason I thought of cocktails when this song started playing, more specifically I thought of margaritas. I think it’s because in my head this feels like the kind of song that should be played in a kind of evening setting by a pool. To me, that feels like prime margarita time and quite frankly, if you can’t enjoy good music and a good margarita, then you’re beyond my help. If making a margarita always use fresh lime, the number of people I’ve seen use the stuff you can buy in a bottle at the supermarket is criminal.

“The Good Side”: This has a slightly deeper and more melancholic tone at the start. I’m going Scotch with this one and I’ve got one in mind. The Seventeenth by St. Andrews Whisky Company is an 8 year old Aultmore that does the makers proud. On the nose you get a dose of vanilla fudge and a slightly floral note of rose and a dash of heather. On the palate it’s more of a toffee flavour with some pineapple and malt. The finish has this incredible spiced note mixed in with a coffee to balance things out. Stunning whisky that I feel would ease anything.

“Bloom”: Simple, a gin and tonic and the one I have in mind is Brockman’s gin. A sumptuous gin with a bit of coriander, blueberries, blackberries and a bitter tang of Valencia orange. You want to find a tonic that’ll compliment that, but I’ll be honest, the gin is good enough that you can throw whatever tonic you come across into it and still be happy. A few berries tossed in the glass for good measure is always a good call. After “The Good Side”, I feel the more uplifting “Bloom” deserves something equally as fresh and this gin achieves that beautifully.

“Postcard (feat. Gordi)”: This brings us down from the heights of “Bloom”, and quite frankly, a comforting red wine is what comes most readily to mind. The Swartland Syrah from Painted Wolf is what I feel everyone needs a glass of while listening to this. A medium to full bodied wine with a nice spice note, blackberry fruit and black cherry that moves into a more savoury mid-palate with some woody notes. All these are carried wonderfully through to the finish and are supported by soft tannins throughout. Also buying a bottle of this helps fund conservation efforts to save the African wild dog, also known as the painted wolf. You get great wine and get to feel good because you’ve helped save a stunning creature, I mean that’s a great pick me up right there.

Dance To This (feat Ariana Grande)“: Oh, I’m seeing dancing late at night, in the kind of house that has those massive windows that overlook the sea to this song. Maybe it’s my own imagination but in that moment I feel champagne is what should be imbibed. For me that champagne is Chaillots Hautes Vignes (C.H.V) by Lacourte-Godbillon. A sublime champagne from Géraldine Lacourte and Richard Désvignes (who happen to be lovely people, just saying) this has elderflower, slightly tart berries and a subtle richness on the finish. It’s so smooth and the richness kicks in mid palate and to me tastes almost like Madeira cake. I love this champagne, I love this producer and quite frankly I feel they match this song rather well.

“Plum”: I feel I may have been influenced before the song even started, yet I stand by my recommendation. Many fruits are mentioned but I’m sticking with plums. A plum and basil gin fizz, a sweet but not overly so cocktail that quite frankly is a fantastic way to use plums. The song changes tempo as it progresses, slowing and speeding up to convey the importance of different sections, at least in my mind. This cocktail is yet another reason everyone should invest in a cocktail shaker. Fruity, slightly herbal, there’s a little something for everyone and it’s easy and relatively quick to make.

“What a Heavenly Way to Die”: Slower and more deliberate than its predecessor the beat seems to emphasise the words that are sung. I struggled picking something for this as I didn’t know what direction to go in. I did however settle on what I’d like to be drinking that would be the aforementioned heavenly way to die. Basically if I was **GoT SPOILERS** Olenna Tyrell and my glass had just been poisoned, this is what would I like to be drinking. I know the song references someone special throughout, but that position is currently vacant, so I’m sticking with booze. Also, if I’m dying and you’re not calling an ambulance or performing CPR, then clearly we have issues. However, I digress. Taylor’s Port 1994 Vintage, oh lord, you could randomly hand me a glass, tell me it was poisoned and I’d still drink it. Delicate cinnamon aromas of cinnamon and aniseed followed by fuller red berry notes that darkens towards a more raisiny character. On the palate you’ve got this burst of fruit that deepens and darkens towards cacao and coffee notes and then this dash of spice. Damn this is good stuff.

“Lucky Strike”: I wish someone would call me the jewel of California, even though I’m not from there, and that I’ve never been there. Didn’t expect Painted Wolf to be making a second appearance in this list but if any producer is worthy of that (possibly dubious) honour it’s definitely them. Their 2013 Roussanne is a personal favourite of mine. While the year may not necessarily matter as I’ve never tasted a bad wine from them it’s there as it should still be available, and did I mentioned you’re helping save animals by drinking it? Beautiful citrus notes and this delicious stone fruit that comes through on the palate as well with a delightful creamy note as well and a texture that’s simply exquisite.

“Animal”: Given this starts with the sound of rain and thunder, that sets up a heartfelt song that, at least in my humble opinion, has the ability to touch every one of us. I’ll get back to the booze as at least there I know what I’m talking about and shall leave the proper review to my betters. I’m going to pick Aventura Tinto, a Portuguese red that I fell in love with a couple of years ago. On the nose you get blackurrants, a certain smokiness and to me something like smoked pork, and a little saltiness as well. On the palate you get this astringent fruit, that smoky character with some acidity and a short and clean finish that’s done very well. Perhaps one for food, but I enjoy drinking it on its own as well.

Usually I pick three drinks to pair with the beginning, middle, and end of each album, however today I’m finding that rather tricky. Troye Sivan has arranged an album that dips and rises with each song and what may suit one may not suit the next, though you’ll never be disappointed by the drink itself. However I shan’t short change you good folk, though today I won’t be picking three. Instead it’s just two and it’s the two from Painted Wolf. They’re incredible wines and I feel the various flavours and notes they bring compliment the album well. Open a bottle of each and drink as each song requires essentially—but please drink responsibly.

Words: Miles Bolland

Stream Troye Sivan’s Bloom on Spotify.

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