You may know that Maynard runs a pretty fine Arizona vineyard called Caduseus Cellars (I’ve had his stuff; it’s quite good.) Punch recently sat down with Maynard for a talk and a tipple.
When Maynard James Keenan detects a nose of “baby shit” in a glass of rosé, it’s far from an insult. The Tool co-founder/singer, frontman for A Perfect Circle and Puscifer (whose new album, he confirms exclusively with PUNCH, is “almost finished” and should be expected “hopefully in the fall”), and, as of the past several years, winemaker, doesn’t claim to speak the exclusive language of wine. “I think there’s a lot of wine-speak that’s a bunch of horseshit,” he says, finding utility once more in the euphemism for nature’s fertilizer. “I just like what I like.”
That’s evident in the 51-year-old artist-cum-winemaker’s apparel on this crisp spring afternoon in New York City (the Arizonan is in town schmoozing and boozing on behalf of his Caduceus Cellars and Merkin wine lines). We’re at the newly opened Rebelle bistro on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, and Maynard arrives fashionably late, adorned in a powder-blue jacket, slacks and shirt offset by a more traditional gray-and-red floral tie.
It’s clear he feels at home here, having dined all week on chef Daniel Eddy’s French-inspired menu. But this sit-down’s all about baby shit, the aforementioned descriptor Keenan affectionately calls on to describe what he and I both decide is our favorite glass of the day, a 2013 Chateau de Pibarnon Bandol Rosé, one of four rosés—two of them from Keenan’s wineries—poured by Rebelle’s co-owner and wine director Patrick Cappiello.
Wine tasters can detect floral bouquets and delicate notes of everything from peaches to chocolate in wines. But the drink can also create musical notes if you have a condition known as synaesthesia.
Composer Nick Ryan has the condition and involuntarily associates taste with sounds. Other so-called synaesthetes can hear colours or see smell numbers.
Mr Ryan has used this condition to create a ‘wine soundscape’ that adds vibrancy to the drink incorporates the noises of fizzing, corks, glasses and wine being poured so that people can hear the taste of wine, perhaps for the first time.
The finished result is a composition of three parts – the aroma, taste and aftertaste.
Mr Ryan said: ‘My synaesthesia means that I experience sounds that I involuntarily associate with what I’m seeing in front of me and therefore I understand how one sense can be associated with another.
So what does wine sound like to Nick? This.