There are not many rock/metal songs about wine: probably the “upscale image” enjoyed by this beverage, especially in anglo-saxon societies, makes it somehow unsuitable for this kind of music.
Without googling too much, a couple that comes to mind are Beaujolais by Alan Persons (not exactly rock) and The wine of violence by Virgin Steele (though wine here is not really at the center of the story).

However if we expand our scope beyond English and look at other languages we find some surprises.
In Italy there is one particular metal band that makes alcohol the main topic of its music: Kurnalcool. Kurnalcool band (whose name comes from “alcohol” and “cornacchia”, the Italian for “crow”) was formed in the 1980s in Ancona province, Marche region, and reached considerable fame at the turn of the millenium.
They do not sing in English, not at all: the lyrics are written in the Anconitan vernacular, peculiar, but still intelligible to any fluent Italian speaker.

From the official Facebook page

The music is good so you will enjoy it even if you do not understand what they say, but if you do you are in for a laugh: love for alcohol, drunkenness (with its “comic” consequences), parties, daily life are all recurring themes, usually dealt with a humorous tone.
Cross-references on local wines pop out here and there in their songs, names that you may have already heard: Vi’ roscio de Morro (“Red wine of Morro”) testifies the love of the band for the Lacrima di Morro d’Alba wine, while Kupralcool is an hilarious look at the Grape Festival of Cupramontana, held every year in the Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi heartland.
In a world characterized by sommeliers, Masters of Wine, wine tastings, scores and certifications, the Kurnalcool remind us that, where it is made, wine is first of all a beverage of the people.

My favorite track is “C’ho il bisolfito”, in English “That’s bisulfite”. Likely based on a true story, this one is not just funny and clever, but also gives us a passing look of the wine scene in the Verdicchio area. Its simplicity hides quite deep nuances that I could enjoy only after I started studying wine.

“Bisolfito”, “bisulfite”, indicates sodium bisulfite, a compound widely employed in winemaking: when used it reacts with water and acids in the must releasing sulfur dioxide, which has very important antiseptic and antioxidants properties. Basically, sulfur dioxide is added at various stages of vinification and protects your must/wine from bacteria and oxygen. It is also toxic, but in small quantities it represents no danger (if you are not allergic to it, which is also possible). You have also to be careful because too much of it added during fermentation could kill the yeasts, stopping the process. For this reason it may also be employed when you want to leave some residual sugar in the final wine, avoiding to ferment to dryness.
Anyway every winemaker will use it at some point, unless abiding to very strict natural principles.
Sodium bisulfite has another “small” problem: it comes in the form of a white powder which could be easily mistaken for cocaine!
What would happen if the police were going to stop you while you have a bag in your car? That’s the point of the song.

The setting: the main character of the song is a farmer on his route to the University of Ancona, which offers courses on enology, to teach a lesson about wine. With him he is bringing a bag of sodium bisulfite. Lyrics and translation after the video.

So’ partito, tutto tranquillo,
da Montecarotto col sacchettello.
In superstrada il tempo è bello,
vò in Ancona, vò in Ancona a fa’ il Tavernello.

Che onore, che emozione!
Sà il Fiori’ vò a fa’ ‘na lezione,
ma all’altezza de Castelbelli’
ecco la pula, la pula, che affianca il Fiori’

Io favorisco patente e libretto
e loro intanto me guarda il sacchetto.
“È bisolfito, so’ ‘n contadi’,
vo’ in Ancona a fa’ vede’ come se fa’ el vi’.”

C’ho il bisolfito
non so’ un drogato
al massimo c’ho il vi’ inacquarito,
è bisolfito ‘sta polverina, ma
c’ho il bisolfito
non so’ un drogato
al massimo c’ho il vi’ inacquarito,
ce n’ho un quintale giù la cantina

“Agricoltore, sì, agricoltore
lei è soltanto uno spacciatore.”
“Ve prego chiamate in distilleria,
non me portate, me portate alla polizia.”

Non trovo nisciuno mi moje è a Le Moie,
non torna a casa prima delle nove.
Chiamo il padrone è giù per la vigna,
non risponde non risponde, il pulotto s’intigna

Mi fiolo ‘sto stronzo ‘do cazzo è andato
Io non lo trovo, così so’ fregato
“Mio bel mezzadro, sei in mezzo al casi’,
a Montacuto a Montacuto finisci a fa’ il vi’.”


So’ ‘n par d’ore che so’ sotto al sole,
il core è tutto ‘na palpitazione.
Poi finalmente ritrovo il padro’
che je spiega e je rispiega la situazio’.

E se smerciavo ‘sta polverina
non me alzavo così presto la mattina
e non giravo come un matto col Fiori’
e non puzzavo non puzzavo tutto il giorno de vi’!!!

“Ci scusi tanto, è il nostro dovere”
Ma intanto a me me s’è stretto il sedere!
Ormai è tardi, addio lezione,
torno mesto, torno mesto a Castelplanio Stazione.


I left, no worries in mind,
Montecarotto (1) with my small bag
On the highway the weather is good
I am going to Ancona, I am going to Ancona to make Tavernello. (2)

What an honor, what an emotion!
With the Fiorino (3) I am going to teach a lesson,
but near Castelbellino (4)
here comes the police, the police who stops the Fiorino.

I hand them the license and the registration
while they take a look at my small bag
“It’s bisulfite, I am farmer,
I am going to Ancona to show how you make wine”

That’s bisulfite
I am not a drug addict,
at worst I dilute my wine with water
it’s bisulfite, this powder here, but
that’s bisulfite
I am not a drug addict,
at worst I dilute my wine with water
I have got a ton of it in my cellar

“Farmer, sure, a farmer,
you are only a pusher!”
“Please give a call to the winery (5),
do not take me, do not take me to the police station!”

I find no one, my wife is at Le Moie (6),
she won’t be back before nine.
I call the owner, he is out in the vineyard,
he doesn’t answer, he doesn’t answer,
the policeman is not convinced. (7)

My son, that asshole, where the fuck did he go?
I can’t find him, I’m screwed.
“My good sharecropper, you are in big troubles,
you will end up making wine in Montacuto, in Montacuto.” (8)


I’ve been under the sun for a couple of hours,
my heart beats like hell
Then finally I find the owner
who explains the situation again and again

If I were selling this powder (9)
I would not wake up so early in the morning
and I would not run around with the Fiorino like crazy
and I would not stink of wine all the day!!!

“We are very sorry, it’s our job.”
Ok, but in the meantime I shit my pants!
It is too late now, farewell my lesson,
Sad I go back, sad I go back to Castelplanio Stazione (10)


(1) Montecarotto: famous winemaking town in Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi area. It lies on the north bank of the river Esino and wines made there are known to be of a broader and riper style than those of the south bank, where the most representative town is Cupramontana.

(2) Tavernello: famous (or should I say infamous) Italian wine brand. Here it is used as synonym for (daily) wine.

(3) Fiorino: car model by Fiat, especially used by small businesses for its convenient panel van.

(4) Castelbellino: another small town in Ancona province, also producing Verdicchio.

(5) Technically distilleria is “distillery”, but the word has probably been chosen for metric reasons and to make it rhyme with the following “polizia”.

(6) Le Moie: another small town near Jesi. Also notice that the song takes place around the year 2000, when people were still not very used to cell phones and even those who had one often forgot to turn it on.

(7) “Il pulotto si intigna”: like “pula” (polizia, “police”) “pulotto” is a disparaging dialectal form of “poliziotto” (policeman); “intigna” comes from “intignarsi”, a local synonym of the Italian “intestardirsi” meaning “to stubbornly keep doing something”. The policeman here does not believe the farmer and he is stubbornly refusing to let him go away.

(8) Montacuto: site of a jail in the commune of Ancona

(9) The good farmer here is imagining how he would fare if his bisulfite were really drug and he were selling it. He thinks that he would have much more money and an easier life.

(10) Castelplanio Stazione: fraction of Castelplanio town, in Marche’s hinterland.