pop grape

gavin de grapefriend

“So who’s the drunkest?” That’s the first thing Gavin DeGraw wanted to know when he got to our already-in-progress wine tasting.

We were in a suite at the Sheraton with a sick view of all the buildings on the south side of Central Park. Starwood started Social Hours for guests at a bunch of their hotels, where people can use points to get special wines and tastings. They might just be the grapefriendiest hotel group in the world. We got to taste through a few of the wines they serve at these Social Hours, and since Gavin was playing as part of their “Hear the Music, See the World” music series that night he joined in on the fun.

gavin degraw starwood wine

After five years of working at MTV, though, I know a little bit about pre-show do’s and don’ts. “Isn’t alcohol bad for your throat before a show?” I asked him. “Horrible,” he replied. Being the sweet guy he is, he still managed to politely sip two or three of the wines: The yellow apple-y Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Reserve NV; a Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet from Seven Falls wines from Wahluke Slope (fantastic up and coming region in Washington State), all good values at $15; and the very classic 2009 Villa Antinori Rosso, a rose petal, violet-packed Sangiovese blend, which is another good value wine at $15.

But the moment of truth had to arrive: I asked Gavin what his normal drink of choice was. “Hard stuff,” he said smiling. OK, but some wine sometimes, right? “Not usually.” If there was ever a project for grapefriend, it was sitting right next to me in a fedora! Gavin seemed to gravitate to the reds (as did I that night), and I think mellow, velvety Merlot is a perfect match for his acoustic style.

He left a few minutes later since he still had fans to greet and a performance to prep for, but I knew I’d made some headway with him when he opened his show singing, “IIIIIIIII don’t wanna be anything other than a grapefriend.”gavin

OK not really, but in my mind he did.

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