Theme Ride Thursday: Spill the Red, Red Elderberry Wine

By now, you know that I love a good theme ride! And here at ICA, we have posted hundreds of bucket playlists for you on a huge variety of different themes. 

Some of them can be used to populate an entire playlist for one profile. Others are better for just picking a couple of songs to give a nod to that special day—usually one that isn’t a national or international holiday, but a more obscure day devoted to something that has worldwide fans. (National Donut Day, anyone?) 

National Wine Day is one of those days. Did you even know there is a national day for wine? It’s May 25 (here in the US). As someone who loves a good glass of rich cabernet with intense flavors or an unoaked chardonnay, I will be “celebrating” in my classes by playing a few of the songs below—with some humor and maybe a little trivia—but I won’t do a full playlist for a profile on this theme. If you’re really creative, you certainly can do that—there are over 100 songs in my bucket playlist! If you’re a bigger wine geek than I am, you might enjoy knowing that every month of the year has a day devoted to various varietals and wine-growing regions—cabernet, pinot grigio, shiraz, albarino, Chianti, etc. all have their own day! 

Another option is to teach my popular, challenging, and fun profile called Progressive Meritage. It has a wine-tasting theme because it’s a “blend” of each movement, and a meritage is a wine blend (the profile explains the origin of the word “meritage”). Because the profile requires four long songs of about 10 minutes each for the four different interval sets, or “tastings,” the only songs you could switch out from the wine bucket playlist would be the two warm-up songs and the cool-down song. However, there are a lot of fun options for those, so this could be a great way to give a salut to National Wine Day without going overboard on the music.

Here is some fun trivia you can throw out to your class on National Wine Day if you want to have some fun. (This comes from this description of National Wine Day.)  

  • Back in the day, women could be killed for drinking wine! Yes, in the early Roman times, a husband was at liberty to kill his wife if he found her drinking wine. It was a forbidden drink for women.
  • Speyer, Germany, is home to the oldest bottle of wine in the world. It is on display at the historical museum in the town, and it dates back to an impressive AD 325.
  • Have you ever toasted to everyone’s health? This is something that comes from Ancient Greek tradition. The host of the dinner would have the first sip of wine to assure his guests that the drink was not poisoned.
  • In order to get the exact quantity of antioxidants you get in wine, you would have to drink seven glass of orange juice, or if you prefer apple juice, you would need 20 glasses!
  • The oldest known wine cellar is actually on the famous ship, the Titanic. We know what you’re thinking—the Titanic sunk! However, when divers when down to the wreckage, they were surprised to see that most of the wine bottles were still intact.
  • Surprisingly, there are some people who are actually scared of wine! It is known as oenophobia.

Here is a selection of songs to use on National Day of Wine.

Red Red Wine, UB40, 3:03, 89 bpm
This well-known reggae-inspired song makes a great warm-up, recovery, or endurance track. (How about using it as a warm-up in the Progressive Meritage profile mentioned above?!) There is a longer version that is 5:20. 

Spill the Wine, Eric Bourdon, 4:02, 120 bpm
I’ll be playing this song in my class for a slow, moderate climb. The lyrics are funny, and my classic rock lovers will get a laugh out of it. This is a track that is recognizable by most people, even younger riders, since it’s been used in numerous movies and shows over the half-century since it was released in 1970, including Boogie Nights and Remember the Titans. Apparently, the song was inspired by an accident in which keyboardist Lonnie Jordan spilled wine on a mixing board.

Elderberry Wine, Elton John, 3:33, 127 bpm
How about this Elton John classic to climb to?

Grigio Girls, Lady Gaga, 3:00, 128 bpm
Lady Gaga sings about girlfriends who always have each other’s backs and pour their hearts out over pinot grigio wine; she wrote this song about her good friend who had breast cancer. 

Rosé, Melanie Pfirrman, 3:04, 88 bpm
This fun song, a combination of English and Spanish, is a great recovery or endurance track. 

Chardonnay, Conor, Karra, 3:28, 96 bpm
Use this for some high-cadence leg surges to 96 rpm on the chorus.

Drinkin’ Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee, Jerry Lee Lewis, 2:33, 92 bpm
This fast-paced ditty from the 1960s is made for having a little fun. Use it as a pre-class song, recover to it and giggle, or even try it for a hard, fast interval. 

One way to use some of the shorter silly songs in my bucket playlist below is as recoveries in between harder efforts. That’s when you might pull out the Frank Sinatra, Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, or other country songs about cheap wine.

I have over 100 songs in this playlist but I’m sure I’m missing some. Let me know in the comments if you’ve found any others to add to this playlist.

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