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This Backstreet Boy is a longtime fan of Malbec

August 15, 2011 - by Claire Biddiscombe

Singer Howie D is no stranger to success, having sold more than 100 million records worldwide as a member of the Backstreet Boys. In November, he will release his first solo album, titled “Back to Me.”

Outside of his own music, Howie manages the careers of young artists, including Canadians Dan Talevski and George Nozuka. He also works with the Dorough Lupus Foundation, established in memory of his sister, Caroline.

Howie just wrapped up a North American tour with NKOTBSB, featuring members of New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys.

Q: What’s your favourite wine?

I actually have an uncle who really got me to start appreciating — about the time it was just starting to make a little bit of a rumbling, I think it was about 12 years ago, maybe 10 years ago — malbec. My uncle actually is a wine connoisseur. He had a whole bottom basement cellar that he turned into this beautiful — you would have thought that you were over in Germany, it was like a German wine cellar with the big barrels and it had a nice wooden table there with the wine opener and the temperature was controlled — the temperature for the reds and whites. It was just amazing. He would have little wine parties with his friends and my aunt. And he introduced me to malbec, he was like “These haven’t really made a big blast out there yet, but mark my words,” he says, this wine that you can get right now for a really reasonable, inexpensive price, in time it’s going to start going up because it’s such a good grape coming out of Argentina. Sure enough, I fell in love with it and it’s still today, to this day, one of my favourite wines — on the red side. On the white side, I’ve become a big fan of sauvignon blanc and pinot grigio, as well.

Q: Sauvignon blanc from anywhere in particular?

From New Zealand. I love sauvignon blancs there. Actually on this last tour we were on, we had a chance to go to New Zealand for the very first time. And I did a — it was quite funny, it was all legal — they gave us the mopeds and everything. There was a wine tasting tour on mopeds. Which actually sounds not right, when you think about it. Add on the fact that you drove on the other side of the road. So, as you can imagine, the more wine tasting you’re going to, the more you’re a little confused. But it was the most hilarious thing I’ve ever done. But definitely there were a couple of people who went to the wrong side of the road — the Americans — luckily I wasn’t one of them. But it was amazing me. I had some of the best sauvignon blanc down there. And you know, when I’m in town, in the States, a lot of times I’m grabbing Marlborough and Crawford — lovely.

Q: If you could share a bottle of wine with anyone, who would it be?

Well, my wife is my best wine-drinking partner in the world. I met my match. We love wine. We centre our food a lot of times around wine instead of the other way around, the wine around the food. I definitely know when I’m in the mood for whites, I’m going for a seafood or a chicken; when I’m in the mood for reds I’m definitely looking forward to going for a steak or a nice pasta — some good Italian food. We even cook a lot, we cook with wine. My wife makes an unbelievable chicken piccata and we use wine in it — white wine. Half the time we’ll be drinking the bottle at the same time we’re making it. It makes for a great cooking atmosphere, having a little bit of wine to go with our meal and to cook with. So she’s my wine-drinking partner.

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