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Wine labels to record labels

Ali Coyle, a Santa Ana-based singer and songwriter, poses for a portrait at the Wayfarer on Tuesday in Costa Mesa.
Ali Coyle, 32, a Santa Ana-based singer and songwriter, poses for a portrait at the Wayfarer on Tuesday in Costa Mesa. Coyle embarks on a West Coast Tour for her 2021 album release, “Songs for My Therapist.”
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

For singer, songwriter and sommelier Ali Coyle, wine and music aren’t so different.

“I see a lot of similarities with music and wine,” said the Santa Ana resident during an interview at the Wayfarer in Costa Mesa. “Primarily, the fact that a bottle of wine represents time. Some years are harder than others and every year is different. I feel when you write songs, it represents a certain time in your life as well. I have a romantic view of the two of them.”

Coyle is the wine director for her Irish family’s restaurant group that includes Wine Works for Everyone and Dublin 4 Gastropub in Mission Viejo and Fable & Spirit in Newport Beach.

But when she isn’t decanting wine, she is composing music.

Her album, “Songs for My Therapist,” dropped last year. On May 26, she kicks off her first solo West Coast tour at the Wayfarer.

“This show is a big celebration with my band before I embark on my own,” said Coyle. “I’ll be playing most of the stuff from my last album as well as some new songs that I am working on.”

The Wayfarer is an appropriate place for a send-off, since Coyle considers the Orange County music venue a second home of sorts.

“The very first time I played here, I was 20 and it was for the Orange County Music Awards,” said the now 32-year-old. “They just let us in to play and then we had to leave. So this place is really special to me. This is my hometown place and I am excited to see everyone.”

Singer-songwriter Ali Coyle holds her guitar.
Coyle’s album is “Songs for My Therapist.”
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

She will be joined on the 26th by her bandmates and fellow O.C. locals, Ben Kashuk (piano/vocals), Timmy Andrews (guitar), Brandon Ramirez (bass) and Shaun Carmer (drums).

Coyle’s music blends indie, folk, rock and pop and she also draws inspiration from her Irish heritage, which she said can be broken down into categories.

“If I am looking to my heritage there is a lot Irish rock ‘n’ roll…Thin Lizzy and U2,” said Coyle. “Folk could go back to Irish fighting songs that people sing over the years that are more about the message than the artist singing it.”

After playing the Wayfarer, the tour will make stops in San Francisco, Portland, Seattle and Denver. That means time away from work, a freedom Coyle said she has her family to thank for.

“I am grateful to be a part of an industry that allows me to tour and to be a part of a family that supports me and I support them,” Coyle said. “I will probably get some text messages with wine questions though.”

Coyle has also had the chance to combine her two passions. When her album dropped last year, she partnered with a winery to release a limited edition red blend with a custom label featuring her album cover.

“I thought tying the two sides of me together as one would be really special,” said Coyle. “I have been lucky enough to help out with two harvests in Paso Robles and through that, I have made friends with different wine makers.”

She asked one winery if they might be able to spare some juice so she could make a private label.

“I released 150 bottles, all hand numbered,” Coyle said. “It allowed me to do something different, but also something true to myself. It was an awesome opportunity and I don’t think it’s the last time I am going to do this.”

If music be the food, or in this case wine, of love, Coyle intends to play on. A live album and a studio album are in the works after her tour. Coyle said she plans to continue her wine work too, with the help of her family and team.

When her album dropped last year, Coyle partnered with a winery to release a limited edition red blend.
When her album dropped last year, she partnered with a winery to release a limited edition red blend with a custom label featuring her album cover.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

“I can’t half do things,” said Coyle. “When I am doing what I am doing at the restaurant, I am fully there. When I am playing music, I am fully there. You have to believe in other people and believe in yourself to commit fully.”

Tickets for Ali Coyle are $10 and available at wayfarercm.com.

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