Opening Night

Uncork wines matched with musicals

Recommendations by Stefan Czarnecki, owner of Black Tie Tours out of Newberg. He has a deep passion for both theater and exploring local wine with his own rapt audience of eager wine country tourists. Connect with him at stefan@blacktietours.com 


Dear Evan Hansen

Broadway opening: Dec. 4, 2016

Chill a crisp, dry rosé for “Dear Evan Hansen.” The complex yet poppy musical, against the backdrop of today’s high school experience, invites newcomers to the theater yet is satisfying to experienced fans for its simple yet effective music and storytelling. Cry a little (“Words Fail”). Laugh a little (“Sincerely, Me”). Love a little (“Only Us”). As almost everyone will find a relatable character or song, the appeal is strong and even greater so with a glass of J. Christopher 2019 Cristo Irresito Rosé.



Broadway opening: Jan. 20, 2015

“Hamilton” promises a roller coaster of emotions and musical styles. Like turning a radio dial, genres range from rap (“My Shot,” “Cabinet Battles”) to old timey showstoppers (“Room Where it Happened”) to heart-wrenching ballads (“Burn”). For wine, I’d shoot for a young Pinot Noir from an up-and-coming producer, one that can slowly open up over the almost three-hour run and support all the lovely changes as it develops in the glass. Purple Hands 2018 Latchkey Vineyard Pinot Noir would do the trick.



Broadway opening: April 29, 1996

“Rent” demands a cool-climate Syrah. Groundbreaking for its message and music, “Rent” exploded onto the Broadway scene in the mid-’90s, influencing theater for years to come. The musical was different (“Today 4 U”), insisting to be noticed (“La Vie Bohème”). Some local producers insist the Willamette Valley is ideal for growing Syrah. So far, many have proved their point. So keep the cork in the Pinot for this one, and pop the new kid on the block. “Tune Up” your palate with Brittan 2015 Estate Syrah.


The Sound of Music

Broadway opening: Nov. 16, 1959

Enjoy “The Sound of Music” with a classic Riesling. Nothing too sweet or too dry. Sure, it takes place in Austria, but the sweeping views of the Alps from the movie (“The Hills are Alive”) remind me of a childhood visit to Germany with my family many years ago. I’ve since graduated from black currant juice to some excellent examples of dry/off-dry Rieslings that the Willamette Valley offers. I recommend the Paetra 2019 Yamhill-Carlton Riesling, an off-dry example.


West Side Story

Broadway opening: Sept. 26, 1957

Love and pain water the seeds of great art. “West Side Story” and Chardonnay can relate. Tony and Maria experience highs early in the show (“Maria,” “I Feel Pretty”) only to have everything fall apart in the end. Consider the Willamette Valley’s story of Chardonnay as reversed. Early heartbreak now gives way to a passionate love affair with the varietal. Take a sip of a great white like Hazelfern 2018 Little Hells Chardonnay, close your eyes and fall in love.





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