"There's something that fires when your taste buds are dazzled in a certain way with wine that is almost beyond words," says Mike D. "It's the same thing that happens when you listen to Miles Davis's On the Corner in the right setting, at the right time." In this exclusive preview of the September issue, the hip-hop icon tells F&W about his wine obsessions.
Did touring the world with the Beastie Boys get you into wine?
As a traveling musician, you have the opportunity to explore great food and wine regions. But unfortunately, I wasn't interested then. I often look back wistfully and think to myself, If only I was super-into wine when I was in France in 1987, I could have bought tons of 1982 Bordeaux for, like, under $20 a bottle. Today, all of those wines are probably $1,000-plus. But the wine game is not necessarily something you get into when you're that young.
You hang out with some serious wine writers, like Jay McInerney and James Suckling. How do you keep up?
I try to be cognizant of what I don't know. That's when you get the most out of an experience, I think. But the truth is that wine is like music—it's completely subjective and experiential. So your experience is just as valid as mine, or that of someone who has tasted far more wine than you or I have. But it's a great thing to taste a bottle with people who have had that same wine with the winemaker, in the vineyard. They have seen what the winemaker puts into it.