In a creative addition to the new Riga Jurmala Music Festival, Riga Wine & Champagne, the company behind the Baltic’s largest champagne and wine festival, is joining the music festival to create the inspiring initiative of pairing concerts with wine to enhance the experience of festivalgoers.
Some of the world’s top sommeliers are working with three of Riga’s best restaurants – Vincents, Barents, and Bibliotēka N°1 – to create wine menus specifically designed to complement each of the Festival’s concerts.
Aigars Nords, founder of Riga Wine & Champagne, said, “In collaboration with the Riga Jurmala Music Festival, during which classical music performed by the world’s leading artists will take over the concert halls of Riga and Jurmala, we have created a completely new experience for music and wine lovers – we have paired up wines with classical music programs. The tailor-made pairings of wine and music will be presented by the best restaurants and sommeliers of Riga. We hope that this will help Festival attendees discover the wonderful relationship between classical music and wine.”
Starting on July 15, visitors and locals of Riga will be able to enjoy these bespoke menus created specifically with the Festival in mind. The three restaurants have selected their own perfect “accompaniment” to each of the Festival’s opening weekend concerts – and each restaurant has their own take on the pairings.
At Barents, for example, pianist Martin James Bartlett’s concert (which features works by Bach, Mozart, Liszt and Schumann) has been paired with a 2015 Heidi Schröck Ruster Ausbruch from Austria, while Vincents has paired this concert with a 2009 Château Doisy Daëne Barsac 2me Cru Classé. The wine pairings also come with food suggestions to create the full music and dining experience.
Each pairing menu has been tailor-made by world-famous sommeliers. Raimonds Tomsons (ranked the 7th best sommelier in the world by the Association de la Sommellerie) is working with chef Oskars Sprukts of Vincents, whose tables have hosted the likes of Prince Charles, Elton John and Heston Blumenthal in Riga. Kaspars Reitups (nine-time winner of ‘Best Baltic Sommelier’ at the Vana Tallinn Grand Prix) has teamed up with Michelin-star chef Ivans Smigarevs of Barents, housed in one of Riga’s beautiful Art Deco buildings. Finally, sommelier Ivo Orlovs is curating the champagne pairings at Bibliotēka No.1, ranked as having one of the finest wine and champagne lists in the Baltics.
Zane Čulkstēna, Managing Director of the Riga Jurmala Music Festival, said, “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Riga Wine and Champagne in order to give our Festival attendees the most exquisite experience while they’re here in Riga. We want this to be a truly unforgettable opening year, and I’m certain this wonderfully creative collaboration will help to achieve that.”
The inaugural Riga Jurmala Music Festival – a major new addition to Europe’s cultural calendar – opens July 19 and runs until the beginning of September. The Festival takes place over four weekends during this period, with the second weekend beginning on August 16. Each weekend is anchored with a world-leading symphonic orchestra and conductor, with additional performances from both leading stars and up-and-coming talent from the classical music world.
The specialized wine menus for the opening weekend will be available in the three selected restaurants, and music/wine pairings for the subsequent weekends will be announced at the beginning of August. Tickets to the Festival’s concerts are available to purchase from the Festival website.