A Bombvinos B’Day Newsletter by Toni Potenciano
Every September 4, the sun shines a little brighter and I am suddenly imbibed with the courage to put on a really good outfit and a little lipstick. If the mood strikes, I might even wear heels in my bedroom.
That’s because September 4 is B’day, shorthand for the day that Beyoncé Knowles-Carter—the most Virgo of Virgos—was born. 9/4/81 if we’re going to get real specific. Beyoncé is one of the few, if not the only celebrity whose birthday I’ve bothered to commit to memory. What you’re reading now happens to be my belated birthday greeting to Queen Bey.
Listening to Beyoncé sing about dancing, partying, and flirting unchecked while living through the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines is extremely comforting. Beyoncé has been making music since 1997 and almost every album in her vast discography has made a significant mark on pop culture. Where were you when ‘Single Ladies’ came out? How did it change your life? I recall many instances where a well-timed ‘Crazy In Love’ parted every dancefloor, no matter the club or bar, for whoever felt brave enough (and they were always brave enough) to catwalk then drop into the song’s first lines.
More than just memories of our more social past, Beyoncé’s music has always possessed a divinely feminine energy. It gave voice to the experiences of women in a world ruined by men and then record it in Spanish. Proto-girlboss anthems like ‘Diva’ or Scorned Woman hits like ‘Ring The Alarm’ or ‘Sorry’ are songs that have reminded me that you don’t have to take heartbreak lying down, and that you can take a bat to the window shield if it’ll make you feel better.
Beyoncé’s music is all energy and spirit. A shot of it to the veins and you’re ready to live another day. The many nights when I needed to be consoled, I could just pop open a bottle and put the whole 4 on loop and feel like I do, in fact, run the world.
A few years ago, back when my best friend and I decided to create some memes on Tumblr by putting some lyrics on classical paintings, Beyoncé was an important part of our process. While we’ve since put the project to rest, I thought the format was fitting for the occasion. Happy birthday Beyoncé, thank you for existing.
While I haven’t enjoyed natural wines as long as I have with Beyoncé's music, it has permanently changed my relationship to vino. Natural wines are fun and not as heavy-handed as more traditional wines. It’s a more energetic buzz and arguably a lighter hangover, things that start to matter the older you get. I decided to curate a list of natural wines with Beyoncé tracks because there’s a Bey track for almost everything.
Presenting: My favorite pairings of Beyoncé tracks and a bottle of natural wine to enjoy it with.
1. Sleepless Nights, Subject to Change
Light Irise (1924), Georgia O’Keefe / Blow, Self-titled Album
It’s hard for me to pick just any track on the Self-titled Album, but ‘Blow’ is possibly one of the best tracks on it. It’s fun and sticky sweet, like a real juicy fruit. Sleepless Night by Subject to Change is similar in this regard, a red blend with lots of peach and strawberry with just the right amount of tart—like a cherry (TURN THAT CHERRY OUT!) Could drink it before or while going through a neon-lit roller disco.
2. O-X, Costadilà
The Stolen Kiss (1788), Jean-Honoré Fragonard / XO, Self-titled Album
Okay, I know that’s two for the Self-Titled Album, but I couldn’t resist. O-X and XO was low hanging fruit! Both song and wine are real sparklers. Beyoncé on a roller coaster with friends, a sparkler headband, at a seaside theme park reminds me of the times where you could just be fun and reckless in love. O-X by Costadilà is just as fun, fresh, and crisp.
3. Gymkata, Konpira Maru
La Tunique Rose (1927), Tamara de Lempicka / Freakum Dress, B’Day
Gymkata by Konpira Maru is all flesh and body. Dark fruit like plums and a little spice, it’s perfect for when you’re in the mood to dust off that freakum dress that’s been gathering dust in your closet. Who cares if you’re not going anywhere or if it’s just for a mirror selfie or a Twitter thirst trap? The world is ending, do whatever you want!
4. Theodora, Gut Oggau
Portrait of Lola Braz (1910), Portrait Of Lola Braz / Schoolin Life, 4
This one is a little personal for me. Popped this bottle open last New Year’s Eve and paired it with a bag of Cheetos puffs. An hour later, my boyfriend of six years got on his one knee and asked if he could put a ring on me. Theodora by Gut Oggau is apples, honey, and unfiltered. A bottle for finding strength and clarity. Which is why it goes so well with Schoolin’ Life, a song I’m going to keep listening to until I die because it’ll always, always make sense.
5. Mt. Midoriyama, Konpira Maru
A Figure in Shadows, Edouard Vysekal (1890-1939) / WATER, The Lion King: The Gift
Pure beach fun. Mt. Midoriyama by Konpira Maru has consistently delivered a banger of a time. A dry pét-nat with a little bit of florals. I wasn’t particularly expecting to love anything off of the Lion King soundtrack, but WATER (feat. Salatiel and Pharrell Williams) made me miss sitting cross-legged on some beach with food that inevitably tastes a bit like seawater and sunblock. Mt. Midoriyama is a wine I’d have handy for such an occasion.
6. Cloé, Abbazia San Giorgio
Julie D’Aubigny, Jean Braud / Party, Homecoming Live
I cannot understate how important ‘Party (feat. André 3000 or J. Cole)’ is to my life. But when baton twirler Diddi Emmah came out during Beyoncé’s Coachella set and a band inspired by HBCUs in America to perform their own rendition of Party, I was moved to tears from sheer awe and admiration. Beyoncé wasn’t even there. But that’s just how powerful and impactful her music is. All body, fun, and spirit. I popped open a bottle of Cloé by Abbazia San Giorgio the day I turned 30 and drank it all by myself and felt pretty damn good about it. I can only describe it as the most perfect rosé, a banger in a bottle. Wild strawberries and power.
P.S. w the whole thing starts at the 1:15:25 mark on HOMECOMING: A film by Beyoncé.