Given the natural sophistication of wine, it is indeed more than just a passionate beverage, but also a unique way to connect with people, immerse in a particular culture, and go to your relaxing place. This is why wine enthusiasts exist, and John Dyke is one of them. Known prominently as John the Dropout, he joins Arianna Lyrist to share how his deep love for wine started, his favorite ones to drink for different situations, and how this fascination impacts his strong gravitation towards people and the arts. John also talks about his music career, as well as his plans that will hopefully lead him to be able to buy at least fourteen Lamborghinis.
Listen to the podcast here
John The Dropout
Good Wine, Bad Wine, Making Records, And Rick And Morty With John Dyke
I am your host and creator of Treble & Vine, a show dedicated to the community of people influencing the arts and wine industry. I have John Dyke on the show and the question of the day is, how long does wine last once you have opened the bottle and it’s sitting on your counter? The answer is, it depends on the type of wine and how well the wine is stored. Also, keep in mind that wine could go bad in a day if it’s an unstable natural wine. If it has a higher tannin level, it could last up for a week.
I had some wine that was horribly bad, and it had only been open for 24 hours. It didn’t suck the air out of it.
What wine was it?
It was something not good. I don’t know. I was drinking some Sauvignon blanc and then there was a glass of red on the table. I was like, “I love red wine,” and then I was like, “This is vinegar.” That’s my story. Thanks for coming to my TED Talk. We’re off to a great start.
Was it a red one?
Red wines are usually good for 2 to 5 days, depending on the tannin level and acidity. The higher the tannin level, the longer it lasts.
Is it the same with the acidity, the higher the acid?
The higher the tannin and acidity, the wine will last longer. If anyone doesn’t know what tannin is, they are a naturally occurring compounds that exist inside grape skins, seeds and stems.
In anything or any plant for that matter. The best way that I ever heard someone describe it is if you leave your teabag in your hot water for too long and it gets all bitter, that’s tannin. Everyone’s had tea and so it’s easier to isolate, “Why is this tea bitter?”
That’s a good example. That’s red wine. If it’s a Light Rosé, it’s good for 5 to 7 days in the fridge with a cork. The taste will change subtly after the first day. The wine usually oxidizes within that. That’s exactly what happened to your wine.
You’ll know because it will taste like shit. If it’s the fruit character, the wine will be a lot subtler. For white wine, it’s 3 to 5 days in the fridge with a cork. It tends to oxidize more quickly because of the oxygen, but if you have put the cork in, it should be fine.
Big Gucci, put the cork in that, sucker.
The fortified wine is the other one. It is good for 28 days, with the addition of Port, Sherry, Marsala and Brandy, these wines last longer because they are already oxidized and cooked, so 28 days on that one. Will you state your name for the readers?
My name is John Dyke. I go by John The Dropout. I’m a producer.
That’s your producer name?
Yeah, John The Dropout. I drink way too much wine. That’s what I do.
What do you like most about wine?In order to be successful, you need to work harder than everyone else. Click To Tweet
The alcoholic content. Why do I like wine? I don’t know. Wine is fun. I get obsessive over stuff. That’s how I’ve always been as a human being. It is all tunnel vision something for a couple of months or a couple of years. Music is the only one that’s always stayed, and wines stayed for a couple of years now, but I would be obsessed with magic. When I was in third grade, I got obsessed with magic. I spent all my money on magic stuff and I was going to be a magician. I did the same thing with BMX bikes. The wine bug bit me a couple of years ago. It’s fun.
What was the first wine that’s an a-ha wine? A favorite memory or something you associated with wine like, “This bottle, I’m going to have this for the rest of my life.”
I’ve had a ton of phenomenal wine, but the first wine where I was like, “What the fuck is happening right now,” was a 2013 Syrah from LaMontagne. I had it with a girlfriend of mine at the time. It was her birthday or something. It was so savory, thick, inky, and absolutely gorgeous. I was like, “This is the shit right here.” This is my very poetic a-ha moment with wine.
Do you work at Barcelona?
I work at Barcelona Wine Bar. I’ve worked there for a couple of years. It’s a phenomenal place to be, to eat, drink, work, and hang out.
What’s your favorite wine on the list?
By the glass or by the bottle?
By the bottle.
It depends on what mood I’m in. I’m such a sucker for Rioja like a beautiful Rioja Gran Reserva. We’re a Spanish tapas restaurant, so there are a lot of South American, Mediterranean, and Spanish wines, which is super fun. We have a bottle of wine called 904. It’s a Gran Reserva from Rioja Alta and it’s so intricate. It’s gorgeous. We used to have a 2001 or 2004. I don’t remember what it was, but now we have a different vintage. It’s still good but it’s not as tasty.
Speaking of wine, we’re featuring our Bernard Fouquet Vouvray from Loire Valley. What did you think of this bottle that we have here?
It’s tasty. It’s probably because I brushed my teeth right before I came here. I’m getting quite a lot of mint, which I don’t believe exists in the wine but it’s good. It’s well balanced. I have no complaints about it. I’m not very picky with wine. Wine is wine.
Do you have a background in music?
I guess a training background in music is what I’m asking.
When I was 6 or 7, I remember hearing a song on the radio and I was like, “What is that?” My dad was like, “That’s a guitar.” I was like, “I want to play the guitar,” and going back to like tunnel vision, I latched on that. I’m 6 or 7, so my dad’s like, “Yeah, whatever kid.” I think he was like, “If you still want to take lessons in six months, then we’ll get you a guitar, and then we’ll give you lessons.” Six months later, I was like, “I want to play the guitar.” They’re like, “All right. Fine, you weirdo.” They sent me up with lessons and I took guitar lessons for nine years, wrote terrible songs, and learned how to play that.
I predominantly self-taught for everything else. I took lessons for guitar. I took piano lessons for a little while. That was great. In my whole life, I want to learn piano, and then several years ago, I was like, “I wish I knew how to play the piano.” I had this moment like, “I’m an adult. I can go fucking take lessons and learn how to play the piano.” I worked with this guy, Matt Kass, who’s a phenomenal human being and a great teacher. I took lessons with him for a while. Now I write terrible on the piano as well as guitar.
Do you have any gigs coming up?
In the distant future, I have one. It’s not officially announced yet, but there’s going to be a show in April 2021 that one of my buddies is putting on.
Here’s the moment to officially announce it.
I don’t know if I’m allowed to. It’s going to be an electronic show. He throws a lot of electronic shows here in town. It’s my buddy, David Schultz. He hit me up and our buddy Lane Hoskins. We went to Belmont together. I went to Belmont for about a year and a half, and then dropped out. We met at Belmont and freshman year, we had this idea to make a DJ trio. We came up with the name, No Requests. We had a Facebook page and everything and never did anything with it. It was this stupid idea that we did. We did DJ in the lobby of our dorm room or whatever. He hit me and Lane up and was like, “We got a show in the spring. What if we did a No Requests reunion?” We’ve never played a show together, but we’re going to do it like this is the only stop on our world tour, our reunion world tour. We’re going to do it like why the band broke up and where everyone is now, but we’re doing this one last show and we’re going to go all out.
It’s your first show.
It’s our first show. I don’t remember if we’re going to have a headline or if we’re going to be right before the headline, but we’re going to be stupid about it. We’ll go way over the top with the production, have a full intro and be as extra as possible, and all hold hands like Swedish House Mafia. It’s my dream of Tomorrowland coming to life.
We’re going to have you back on to talk about that.
As soon as I get off stage, I’ll come through.
What inspires you about music?
Music has always been able to connect with me more than any other art form. I like poetry. I’ll read a whole poem and then I’ll gravitate towards a line or two. That’s the only thing I’ll remember from the poem and that’s the only thing I care about in the poem. Art is very weird. I don’t have the same connection to it like paintings or sculpture or whatever. I’ll look at something and I’ll be like, “I like this,” and then I’ll move on. That’s it. It’s very binary. I appreciate this or I don’t. Music, for whatever reason, I connect with it. I’m able to dive deep into it.
It strikes a different chord in me than other stuff does. That’s why I’ve always connected to it. It’s inspiring because you make them feel harder than they were going to. I’ve had moments where I’m in the car, I want to cry but I can’t cry, then I’ll play a song that I know is going to make me cry. You’ll get that moment of catharsis where it’s like, “Thank God,” or you can be happy and a song comes on, you’re like, “Shit, my dead dog or whatever.” A sad song comes on and it takes you into a different place. It’s a powerful medium.
What do you find most passionate about wine?
Wine is a super passionate substance. When you drink wine oftentimes excessively, that’s when you get in fights, have sex, talk about deep shit, and smoke cigarettes when you’re not supposed to. Wine goes into your body and releases these deep dark secrets that won’t come out that we’re able to hide. When wine comes out, it’s romantic, heated or visceral. Wine is cool.
I would say, I agree with that.
The thumbnail for this show is Wine is Cool with John The Dropout.
This is a harder question. Maybe you should drink more wine before you answer it.
You’re going to need to chug a lot before you answer this one.
You are going to need to open another bottle.
Can we do that?
Yeah, I do have another bottle.
Pop that sucker open. You brought the wrong person onto the show if you don’t want to open that second bottle.
I was planning on opening this second bottle. We’ve got Ray over here, engineering.Wine is a unique way to look into the different places and cultures in the world. Click To Tweet
Ray is my boo.
This is great. I thought both of you had wine keys. I better bring music in my show. I better bring it.
I’ll do that next time. I’ll bring a gift next time. I’ll bring some wine.
That would be great. Have a surprise wine. My question is, what tribulations or challenges have you had to face in your life?
Here’s something that I’ve struggled with my entire life is that my life has been pretty fucking good. All things considered and perhaps my base level is a bit skewed because I have a lot of friends that I have dealt with horrendous life issues, family issues, and whatnot. My life is great. I haven’t had to deal with that much. My family is phenomenal and we all love each other. I grew up in a middle-class family and never struggled for money. I always had food on the table, went to school, and was never got bullied.
Are you saying your struggle is not having a struggle?
It’s so fucked up. Whenever you hear about your favorite artist or something, they always have that backstory where it’s like, “I was bullied in school.” They were poor and had to come up or they got beat. Everyone has that thing and I’m over here, “Everything’s coming alright.” I feel awkward. I feel weird and guilty.
It’s the truth.
I think the reason you hear that is because most of the time, creative people can either go super deep and dark, then they go into a deep, dark depression. The other type of creative person takes that like the fire in their belly. They go and they’re so driven because they had the hardship.
Do you believe that in order to be very successful, you’ve had to have a hard struggle?
No, I think you need to work harder than everyone else. That comes a lot of times when you have a chip on your shoulder or when you’ve had some tragedy happened to. Either you have the grand delusion breaks and you’re like, “I can do whatever I want with my life,” or what have you. As long as you’re driven and you work harder than everyone else, you’re going to do better than everyone else. There’s a tie there, but I don’t think it’s a prerequisite. As long as you do more shit than the person next to you, that’s it. You’ve got to put the hours because someone else is going to.
What would success look like to you?
Success is baseline making money off my music and making good money off my music. I’m comfortable, get to wake up every day, write with my friends and random people, hang out in a dark room and talk about life. My favorite part of working with artists and new people is the first hour that you’re right with someone. I’ll drink my coffee, tea, water, beer, wine, tequila and be like, “Let’s get it going.” You hang out and drink whatever substance, and chat for an hour about what’s going on in their life and what’s going on in your life. You try to make a song out of thin air from that, which is super cool. I want to do that for the rest of my life. I would love to have fourteen Lamborghinis. If there’s any way that we could make that happen, that’d be great. If it not, fine but that’d be great. That’s it.
I’m picturing a video that’s being made of all these Lamborghinis lined up in the mansion.
When I finally get my fourteenth one, I’m like, “I’m out. I retire.” I wouldn’t have fourteen Lamborghinis. I’d have 1 or 2, and then a bunch of other cars.
Do you want to be a car collector?
I like cars. I don’t need a collection, but cars are great.
Do you want to collect wine, a wine cellar?
The only way I’d have a wine collection is if I have the money for cars on cars. I would need to have excessive amounts of money to the point where I could buy cases of wine at a time. Otherwise, I get a wine and I’m like, “I can’t wait to drink this,” and a week later, it’s gone. I’ve had wines where it’ll make it a month or two, like a special occasion wine. It’s 5:00 in the morning and you’re like, “Every day is a special occasion.” You pop it.
Let’s celebrate life.
That’s what happens with wine. You’re like, “God, life is beautiful. This wine is beautiful. You’re beautiful. I love you,” and then you pass out. That’s how wine goes, and that’s the way the news goes. There are probably, Rick and Morty fans that read this. When is the new season coming out?
I don’t know.
When did you get into wine?
I got into wine in 2020. I started a job at the Sheraton Downtown, Grand Sheraton in Nashville. I was running their champagne bar. A good friend of mine is a level-2 somm. He got certified and we drink a lot of wine together. I thought it would be a great idea to get certified and go down that route.
Have you done your level-1?
I passed and I’m taking the WSET 3.
I’m going to keep going up.
It’s funny where certain people get bit by the wine bug and they’re like, “I’m going to try to learn everything there is to know about wine.” It’s such a weird endeavor to embark on.
It’s cool. What I realized is it’s not the wine itself, depending on what you’re drinking. You’re tasting more than alcoholic beverage. It’s the world. You can pinpoint it to a place. Also, you’re learning about that region and the history of that region. That’s the most fascinating, and the people of that region. That’s what’s cool about it.
It’s a way to look into different places in the world.
It’s a universal language. The same way that music is.
That’s what’s so cool or why I love it.
You can play music with people that don’t speak your language, and you can drink wine with people that don’t speak your language.
There are not many things that you could say that about, maybe food is another one.Your work must be something you really like since it's what you do your entire life predominantly. Click To Tweet
People like food. What’s your favorite grocery store wine?
I don’t buy wine at grocery stores.
A lot of people do though.
I haven’t in a long time.
I remember having an Apothic wine.
That used to be my favorite one.
It was like a Bourbon barrel-aged wine. It was the grossest shit that I’ve ever had in my entire life. It was horrendous. Cupcake is great too.
No. I would say the best place to buy wine in town is Corkdorks.
The one on Church St.
I love Grand Cru. If you haven’t been to Grand Cru, they’re phenomenal.
They are 10% off on Tuesdays.
The Wine Shoppe at Green Hills, they do it on Wednesdays. I used to go there a bunch. They had some fun wine. I got Pintia there, which was stunning. It’s a Spanish wine made by Vega Sicilia. It’s this beautiful, big Tempranillo. It’s rich and almost cloudy. As soon as it hits your mouth, you envelop with this strong bunch of mixed berries, but they are made out of rocks. It sounds so stupid but it makes sense in my head. Everyone’s going to make fun of me. You know it’s berries somehow but it’s so mineral-driven. You swallow it and it hangs out in your mouth for another five hours. The finish is stupid long. It’s unbelievable. I love that one so much.
Maybe that’s your a-ha wine.
I don’t know if I’ve had an a-ha wine as the thing.
It’ll stay with you. It’s ingrained in your being.
I’ve had a bunch of wines where I’m like, “This is the shit right here.” More so the moments I have with wine are the nights or days you have, or the experience around the wine. Some of my favorite wine nights have been a shitty Bourbon barrel, Apothic wine. You hang out until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning. You’re outside on the patio and it’s freezing, you’re smoking a cigarette, and you have a wonderful conversation with a person. You talk about life and death, and the universe. This is a conversation I was having with Molly. He was talking about the universe. He was like, “The universe is always expanding.” Are we all on the same page there? The universe is expanding. What the fuck is it expanding into? What the fuck? Where’s it going? The shit fucks with my head. It makes me so happy. Someone way smarter than me knows.
I got the Stephen Hawking book. It is the Brief Answers to the Big Questions.
Is it fucking you up?
It is. I haven’t gotten into it yet. I started reading it. I’m sure it will fuck with me.
I’m excited. Let me know what happens.
I will give you updates.
I’m too stupid for that stuff. I can’t read a book and get it. I need to talk to someone about it because I’m going to ask a bunch of questions. Books don’t respond when you’re asking the questions, so that one doesn’t work for me. I don’t think I’ve read a book in a couple of years. I don’t think I have read a book from start to finish in maybe 5 or 6.
I have no balance. I can’t do it. I’ve tried, it didn’t work. Either I’m all in or I’m all out with anything I do.
That’s a good way to live.
I don’t think so. It’s a terrible way to live, but I think the most successful people are that sort of person who we’re obsessive and have no idea how to balance anything in their life.
Who do you look up to?
I looked up to Mac Miller when I was growing up because he was a white suburban dude, middle-class, and you could tell that he had the music in him. He worked his ass off and he became a phenomenal artist. I related to him a lot on that. I’m a big fan of Mark Ronson, who’s a producer-songwriter. He did a lot of stuff with Amy Winehouse. He’s put out a song with Miley Cyrus. That’s phenomenal. He’s worked with a bunch of people and he did a cool project with Diplo called Silk City. I think they are still working on that. He can do Amy Winehouse, old-school disco records, hip hop, pop, all over the place. He’s phenomenal. I like him.
They don’t have any balance in their life or they have less so than less successful. Think about LeBron James. LeBron James didn’t get to where he is by being like, “I should shoot another 500 baskets, but I’d like to sleep.” He stayed up and shot another 500 baskets. Beyonce, her shit was crazy if you’ve ever heard her story growing up. She was in a boot camp when she was a little kid. She was singing at a boot camp. They would run and be singing. It helped strengthen their lungs and get them ready to be prepared. Her dad is fucking mad. It worked but no balance. They’re not going to summer camp. They’re not going to fucking singing boot camp. Normal people don’t do that. That’s why normal people hate their lives. That’s not fair. A lot of people love their lives. A lot of people have a lot of balance and love their lives.
I think there’s truth to both.
Do you know what I hear in Joe Rogan’s podcast? Something like 13% of people love what they do every day, and then it was like 60% something doesn’t love it, but they’re like, “I’ll do it,” and then the rest fucking hate it. Thirteen percent wake up every day and they’re like, “Let’s do this shit.” That’s crazy, 13%?
That is sad.
That’s what you do predominantly with your day is you work at whatever you work at. If you’re unhappy with that, what the fuck are you doing? I’m getting weird. The wine is getting to me. I’m getting passionate.
I’m going to pour myself some more. It’s that time to drink more wine. Do you have any closing thoughts or advice that you’d like to give to music or wine lovers in the world?
Drink more wine with people that you love. Stop doing shit that you hate, then drop the mic.
I’ll cheers to that.
Thank you so much for having me on. This was a ton of fun.
John The Dropout, cheers.
- John Dyke – Facebook
- Barcelona Wine Bar
- Brief Answers to the Big Questions
- Big Magic
- Eat, Pray, Love
About John Dyke
John The Dropout is a Nashville-based songwriter/producer making music that leaves listeners thinking “Hmm. Well I guess that was a music”. He started his musical journey at 7 writing shitty love songs on his guitar.
I drink wine. And I do the musics. — John