OFFSTAGE: Martina McBride Tickled by Good Wine

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

Martina McBride sure throws around wine words like an accomplished oenophile. She told Wine Enthusiast magazine that she likes a nice Chardonnay in the spring and summer and that Newton Unfiltered is one of her favorites. Robert Mondavi, Beringer, Far Niente and Caymus are her go-to labels for California Cabernet. And she found an interesting Pinot recently from Twomey Cellars.

She even recalls a visit to the Ornellaia estate in Italy: “My husband and I were invited to spend the afternoon and evening. We were treated to an amazing lunch, and I can still taste the panzanella salad and the melon with prosciutto. We then toured the vineyard and had a private tasting with Winemaker Axel Heinz, where we also tasted their delicious second wine, Le Serre Nuove.”

Then out comes the real girl inside that wine connoisseur. “Well, my very first wine experience was drinking Tickle Pink by Boone’s Farm while riding around the Kansas dirt roads with friends listening to Def Leppard or Journey. Luckily, my wine tastes have evolved since then! Still, if I was offered a night of riding around listening to ’80s rock and drinking Tickle Pink now, I would not turn it down,” she admitted.

Unfortunately, Boone’s Farm has retired the uber-affordable pink wine. So McBride would have to settle for a Snow Creek Berry or Strawberry Hill, both about $3 at Walmart. Both of those pair well with dirt roads and Def Leppard.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.