Sting and Her Majesty’s Orchestra

StingSting.  There are only a few folks in the world that can get by on one name alone.  The few that come to mind are:  Price, Pink,  Meatloaf and Sting.  (You’re thinking…How did Meatloaf get roped into that crowd, right?)  And Sir Sting, a category all his own.  One can only fully understand if you’ve been to a live performance of his.  Even as I’m not the world’s biggest Sting Fan (that would be my husband), I have to admit, it’s hard not to find him incredibly sexy for a guy at 58!  Not to mention, his music is iconic, his performances are real and his musical abilities are something of another league. 
I had the pleasure of seeing Sting on Monday nite at the Xcel Energy Center in St Paul.  Spoiled by my husband’s ability to always pull off any arena’s best seats, I had a direct view of the evening’s performance.  ‘Her Majesty’s Orchestra’ and ‘The Biggest Band he’s ever had’  is what he called The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra upon his opening Monday nite.  With a full set of 45 members behind him, Sting’s performance was a dreamy, romantic start to my week.  With several of our friends and family in the audience, it was hard to focus on anything but the grandeur sounds coming from what was in front of us.  Sting, who stood alone on stage, drifted from song to song with stories as to how and why each was written and constructed.  With a catalog as big as the arena itself, songs from almost every era were sang.  ‘Every Breath you Take’, ‘Roxanne’, ‘Desert Rose’, to his opening song ‘If I ever lose my Faith In You’ – each song came with a dramatic performance by the orchestra.  Featuring several musicians from the group including a violinist, a trumpet player and a clarinet player – each song performed by the orchestra seemed to display a different part of the melody that I had not heard before.  Some more invigorating and dramatic, while others rather soothing and swooning.  And Sting, with his voice as clear as I had ever heard it, was front and center.  A lovely concert, really. 
Of course, when I have written about music in the past, I have always tied in wine to match the performance that I had been to the nite before.  I suppose I lacked a little yesterday, still reeling from the previous nite’s concert, thinking all day…What Wine is Best Suited For Sting?  My inspiration for my wine choice not only comes, this time, from the concert itself and of course, Sting, but also from a wonderful girlfriend of mine who we caught up with after the show.  When we had mentioned that we had just been to Sting, she gasped and said, “No!  Really?!”  Wow, was my first impression, thinking how dramatic her expression was.  But, after sleeping on it and sitting with the conversation that followed her gasp about Sting and how every woman I knew would like some sort of ‘encounter’ with Sting, I thought about what a crazy affect this man had on so many.  Sorry guys, this one is for the ladies!  At an age where only a few men can live of his age in that ‘Sex Appeal’ category (IE:  Sean Connery) –  Sting definitely fits the bill.  The man exudes a romantic, soft, tender side with a mysterious ‘tantric’ appeal that not many musicians can emulate.  His rather handsome, tanned, yoga-leaned body doesn’t really hurt his case either.  So when you put it all together, sit back and take a long drink of his music, you think…only a wine as luxurious can pair to a man like Sting.
My pick… When one uses the word ‘luxurious’ to describe wine, the first grape that comes to mind is Chardonnay.  Not necessarily an Old World Chardonnay either.  Something with a little weight and body to it.  A fat creamy center with a bit of sugar.  Something with elegance, richness and can easily slip down the gullet without thinking too hard.  One wine comes to mind when I think of this description and it was certainly the way I could have described it the first time I had this wine. 
Kistler Chardonnay.  Kistler – a winery from Sonoma – is one that I rarely drink.  Why?  Because it is ridiculously over priced, allocated and one of those particulars that I sometimes think, and teetering on,  ‘Is it worth the money?’  And definitely not one that I put in the ‘Buck-For-Buck’ category.  The first time I had it, I had to split buying the bottle with four other friends, that’s how ‘over priced’ we thought it was.  But once we opened it and took our first sip, I remember thinking ~  ‘Oh, now I get why this wine is so coveted in California’.  With a total California-like style and produced for only those who have enough money to afford it, it fits in that ‘Mercedes Benz of Wine’ category.  Luxurious.  Creamy.  Refined.  Silky.  And lastly, Well-Branded. 
This is the wine I would pick to drink with Sting, if he ever asked me (and of course my husband!) out for a glass of wine.  Kistler Chardonnay.  His smooth, luxurious tones make you want to lay back, relax and drink over priced Chardonnay.  And this is a positive critique, by the way, of both the Chardonnay and Sting.  Sting is man that could probably compel any ‘woman’ to buy over- priced wine, and that’s why I paired the two.  Both, a very special occasion ‘treat’ if you’re looking for one.
Overall, the performance lovely and a job well done by Her Majesty’s Orchestra.  Salut to you Sting!

Comments 6

  1. The show FAR exceeded my expectations (with “Next to You”, “She’s Too Good for Me”, and “King of Pain” some of my favorites for the night), and that doesn’t even count “Free Bird”! I was half afraid due to some of the lackluster attempts to tone things down for the older crowd that other normally reliable musicians have done recently (such as Harry Connick Jr.’s horribly sad “Your Songs” which might have been more lively and soulful if he had slept through the songs), but Sting quickly put those fears to bed.
    As for the wine, I was thinking more along the red lines. With the class, complexity, and depth of Sting a cab was the first to come to mind, but that just seemed too obvious. Pinot came to mind, but I rejected it because Sting has to be matched with age. I ended up with Sangiovese, and for the bottle to pull out I’d probably grab the amazing Brunello di Montalcino that you put with the lamb at the Smoked, Grilled, & Sauced class a few weeks ago. When young, a bit sharp and rough, but as it ages and gets a little more air it smooths out and gains complexity…

  2. One of my favorite songs of all time is Sting’s rendition of Fields of Gold on the lute. There is one word to describe such beauty, and it’s ‘magnificent’. It’s an adjective I use sparingly, reserving it to carry my highest praise, and it’s an adjective I also apply to the ’07 Signature Cabernet from Chappellet winery. A perfect pairing with Sting when he taps into the very roots of what music can and should be, as this offering from Chappellet represents everything wine can and should be? Just maybe.

  3. Excellent choices from both of you guys! I LOVE that Il Poggione Brunello and the Chappellet Signature Cab is always a winner. I thought Cab, to obvious of a choice, but one from Chappellet, I’ll take it. Overall, I think anything you drink with Sting is a winner!

  4. For Cab I’d be going with the 1988 or 1989 Chateau Lynch-Bage Pauillac that I bring out when the right people visit. I’m pretty sure Sting would qualify as one of the right people.

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