If you like music and you like wine, grab yourself a bottle or two from Snake + Herring and whack on a record – because all the wines are named after songs. Tony (Snake) Davis, and Redmond (Herring) Sweeney – the brains behind the Snake + Herring label – have blended their passion for great wine and music and even have a playlist on Spotify!
Perfect Day, Sabotage, Hallelujah, Blue Monday, Wide Open Road…. reads like an extract from Triple J’s Hottest 100 of All Time album. A couple of these are on the double CD released by our national broadcaster, but we’re here to talk wine.
Local wine label Snake + Herring like to do things a little bit differently. When Winemaker Tony (Snake) Davis, and ‘navigator’ Redmond (Herring) Sweeney formed in 2010, they were into new wine styles, varieties and locations. They also wanted their wines to have personality.
Tony and Red blended their passions for great wine and music and named their wines after songs that resonated. “My music is alternative 70s and 80s and Red leans more towards 90s grunge,” Tony said. “Some songs we’ll line up and wait til the right wine comes along. Others are just the right fit and match the wine or the story behind it.”
Blue Monday and Bizarre Love Triangle (both by 80s English indi band New Order) are made from grapes of the same vineyard, and BLT is a blend of three varieties – pinot gris, Gewurztraminer, and riesling.
Grapes used in the Hallelujah chardonnay are sourced from a vineyard established by a religious order from the US.
High and Dry, one of Tony’s favourites, is a dry riesling from the hilly Porongurup region in the Great Southern.
Black Betty isn’t just a banging classic, it’s also a bold fruit-driven cab sav with lots of generosity of flavour.
A self described music nerd, Tony said he likes the stories behind the bands and songs and, when not scouting new vineyards or sampling new styles, you’ll likely find him playing vinyl with music loving friends. He said the wine names were becoming part of the everyday vernacular for their distributors and customers and were also being well received in the US where they’ve just been released.
Snake + Herring wines feature prominently on the wine list for Dunsborough’s Yarri Restaurant, owned by Tony and Red in partnership with Tony’s wife Sally and chef Aaron Carr. “Nothing makes me smile more than when I’m in Yarri and I hear someone order some Tough Love,” he said.
What’s next in the line-up? Stranded Cab Merlot has just been bottled and Tony is angling to use Aussie alt rock band Regurgitator’s “I like your old stuff better than your new stuff” which he reckons he might just be able to get away with for a late release riesling although we’re not sure if he’s run that past Red.
They’re lining up more inspiration so don’t be surprised if you see future wines celebrating AC/DC, Joy Division and Tom Waits.
Visit Snake + Herring’s cellar door at 3763 Caves Road Wilyabrup and look out for their playlist on Spotify!