Belly Wine Bar Now Has a Queen-Inspired Wine List
You could never accuse Belly Wine Bar owner Liz Vilardi of adhering to stuffy wine traditions with a beverage program organized into categories like “South Central,” “We Dare You,” and “Short Skirt, Long Jacket” (yes, like the Cake song). Her new fall wine list, of course, is no different. We’re fast approaching harvest time in the world’s wine growing regions, and for Vilardi that means celebrating fresh “natural wines” and the music of Queen—specifically an a-cappella version of “We Will Rock You.”
“In 2004 I was driving by myself in the Piedmont [Italy] and hardcore listening to some Queen,” Vilardi says. “There was this a-cappella version of “We Will Rock You” without the cliche ‘stomp, stomp, clap’ you associate with basketball games and things like that. I had the windows down and it was cool, and it reminded me of September, which is my favorite month of the year. I was there during harvest time and I started thinking about people actually digging in the dirt with mud on their face, particularly natural winemakers who some consider controversial. It was this formative experience for me and I’ve always wanted to share that memory.”
Vilardi’s “Mud on Your Face” menu—with Queen lyrics running down the center of the page—features the work of winemakers such as Jean-Marc Burgaud, Erich Weber, and Hank Beckmeyer, all advocates of the growing natural wine movement. The somewhat ambiguous, highly contentious practice involves organic and biodynamic cultivation, a rejection of commercial yeast strains, and a minimum use of additives and technological manipulations.
The new list, introduced earlier this week, will run until harvest season ends in mid-October. With over 20 natural wines, it’s easily the highest concentration of these unique, cultish wines featured anywhere in the city. “I want people to know that these small-production wines didn’t just appear, they were made by these bold winemakers,” Vilardi says.
Belly Wine Bar Wine List
1 Kendall Square B4201, Cambridge; 617-494-0968 or bellywinebar.com.