Dubber Dreaming

A 2009 North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon by The Dreaming Tree
Dubber Side of the Moon by Easy Star All Stars

Since I have no Dave Mathews on vinyl yet and this is his wine collaboration, hopefully I did ok by him in pairing this wine with one of the coolest reggae vinyl’s of 2010, Easy Star All Star’s Dubber Side of the Moon. Which is an album of remix versions of their original Dub Side of the Moon album that was released in 2003 on fabulously sexy marbled green vinyl.

Dubber is an entirely new level from the original album. The remixes take more liberties whereas the original album was more about faithfully recreating the Pink Floyd classic in the reggae style. I truly love them both!

The Dreaming Tree Cabernet is an extremely rich and smoky cab, which makes perfect sense when pairing it with this extremely smoky reggae vinyl. Classic aromas of blackberry, cherry, and dry herb notes are wrapped by toasted vanilla and soft, mouth-filling tannins. Elegant and supple, it’s an easy-drinking wine with a lot of character.

Tarima Orb

A Tarima Monastrell from Spain
& The Orb featuring David Gilmour – Metallic Spheres

Dark, inky hue entices into the rich, sexy body.  Notes of dark cherry, spicy cedar and chewy sweet tannins.  While this wine is huge, it is also quite elegant & so is this vinyl.

“The 2010 Tarima is 100% Monastrell made from Alicante grapes. It was fermented and aged sur lie in stainless steel. A glass-coating opaque-purple color, it displays notes of under brush, brier, violets, blueberry, and black cherry. This is followed by a spicy, forward, nicely proportioned effort that has enough structure to drink well for another 4-5 years.” 88 Points – Wine Review by JM, The Wine Advocate, Issue 195

The Orb’s Metallic Spheres featuring the guitar work of Pink Floyd axeman David Gilmour is a hypnotic ambient journey that is constantly on the move. It’s a piece of work that hints but doesn’t linger long in one place without evolving into something new.

As a musician, this is one of the things that I truly love about this album. While reviewers were less than favorable towards this release when it came out; the very things that bothered them most about the release are what I find to be so refreshingly hypnotic about it.

It’s best played as background music to wash over your evening. It’s not music that is meant to “entertain you” as much as it is music meant to fill your environment and set a trance like mood that elevates whatever activity you are undertaking while listening to it. It’s perfect mood music. It is the sound of Flow. It is music for the moment when you are so engrossed in something that you can actually leave time and consciousness of what you are doing behind and journey through the love of existing at that specific moment in time. It literally is an album that washes over you like the scent of a passing flower.

I truly have to come clean about one thing though, when I first purchased this album, I spent the first month listening to it on 33 1/3 speed on the turntable. To give myself some credit, this is actually the speed that the label designers printed on the vinyl! Only once I redeemed my complimentary digital copy of the album, did I  figure out that I had been listening to the album on the wrong speed! Imagine my surprise as I was on a plane heading somewhere the first time I brought up the digital version on my iPhone, I was like, well the digital version is a completely different album! lol :)

Surprisingly, the album actually worked at the slower speed as well! While Gilmour’s guitar parts are not nearly as obvious on the slower speed, it still has a cool vibe to it when you play it slower than it was recorded. Crazy! Needless to say though I only play the album on 45 rpm now and I still really love this vinyl!

In conjunction with the Alicante grapes of the Monastrell, the album has a smoky otherworldly quality that gives you a great sense of peace and tranquility. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for mood music to put yourself at ease. Cheers!

Longhair and a Sazerac Cocktail

For 2012 Mardi Gras we’re making our first cocktail pairing in honor of the Crescent City. Happy Mardi Gras everyone!

Mardi Gras in New Orleans 1949 – 1957 by Professor Longhair
A Thomas Handy Sazerac Cocktail

Nighthawk records put together this collection of early recordings of one of the most creative and important figures of the New Orleans school of Rhythm & Blues, the late Henry Roeland Byrd, better known as Professor Longhair. Released in 1981 this collection is a great introduction to the heritage of the Professor and provides a wonderful retrospective for those not fortunate enough to own more of his work on vinyl.
In 1981 he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. He was awarded a posthumous Grammy for his early recordings released as House Party New Orleans Style, and in 1992 was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Sazerac is a pretty exquisite cocktail with many layers of flavor to savor, sip and take in slowly. The cinammon essence of the rye whiskey, the bite of bitters and the anise essence of the absinthe laced glass make for a truly unique nose and drinking experience. The Sazerac was dubbed the official cocktail of New Orleans in 2008 by the Louisiana State Legislature. Makes me think, what other cities have an official cocktail? :)

Combining these two truly makes for an evening feeling as though you could be a few blocks down from the quarter with the windows flung wide open, hearing the music traveling down the alleyways and the smells of creole cooking wafting in the night air.
The sounds of brass bands and boogie woogie piano mingling like the layers of spices in the Sazerac to form a complex and yet very inviting combination much like the Big Easy itself.

Hope you are all having a wonderful Fat Tuesday!

Here’s the recipe for the Sazerac cocktail:

1 cube sugar
1½ ounces (35ml) Sazerac Rye Whiskey
¼ ounce Absinthe
3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
Lemon peel

  • Pack an Old-Fashioned glass with ice
  • In a second Old-Fashioned glass place the sugar cube and add the Peychaud’s Bitters to it, then crush the sugar cube
  • Add the Sazerac Rye Whiskey or Buffalo Trace Bourbon to the second glass containing the Peychaud’s Bitters and sugar
  • Empty the ice from the first glass and coat the glass with the Absinthe, then discard the remaining Absinthe (or drink it)

Empty the whiskey/bitters/sugar mixture from the second glass into the first glass and garnish with lemon peel.

Toasted but Not Wasting

Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
a Toasted Head 2009 Barrel Aged North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon

A celebratory 2012 Grammy pairing of sorts for National Drink Wine Day 2012, as the Foo Fighters scored five honors, for Best Rock Album (Wasting Light), Best Rock Song (“Walk”), Best Rock Performance (“Walk”) and Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance (“White Limo”), and Best Long Form Music Video (“Foo Fighters: Back and Forth”).

Wasting Light was recorded in Dave’s garage (although a snazzy studio it is) all on old school analogue tape. The result is one of the best sounding vinyl albums (45 rpm 180 gram double album gate fold) that has been released in a long time. It remained in the analogue realm up until post mastering and the end product is warm and shimmering! It truly gleams with full body and attitude.This album is not for the faint of heart audiophile that mostly listens to laid back chill out music; this album rocks your face off!

Toasted Head is named for the age-old process of toasting barrel heads with fire, which is what helps to create the distinct tasty flavor in all of the wines. One certainly tastes the smoky hints that run through the body of this wine. I think this process also relates quite well to “Wasting Light”, which overall has an urgent plea for us all to quit waiting for our lives to begin and start living our dreams. Like a toasted charred barrel we all still have to rise from the ashes from time to time and savor the smoky perfumes that crashing and burning leaves behind. Life goes on. There will always be a before and after, all we can really do is just enjoy now.

Valentines Day Pairing! Sparkling Strawberries & Soul

A Special Valentines Day Pairing
The Reverend Al Green’s masterpiece “Let’s Stay Together” paired with a batch of fresh dipped chocolate covered strawberries & a
Cordon Negro Sparkling wine from Sant Sadurni D’ Anoia, Spain
for all the hopeless romantics!

Let’s Stay Together is a 1972 album by soul singer Al Green, and is the follow-up to his moderate success Al Green Gets Next to You. It was recorded at Royal Recording Studio, 1320 S. Lauderdale, in Memphis and was a success, peaking at number eight on the pop albums chart and became the first of six albums to peak at number-one on the soul album chart (where it claimed the position for ten weeks).

Yours in a Simple Rhone!


2009 le Clos du Caillou Vieilles Vignes – Cotes du Rhone

Red Rhone Wine from the French Rhone Valley and “Women and Children First” by Van Halen!

Rock and Roll Royalty meet a Royal Rhone Valley Wine. Yes Indeed! Celebrating the triumphant return of a band that the universe has been missing for many years! Welcome back Diamond Dave and welcome back Van Halen! “A Different Kind of Truth” will be getting a pairing from us as soon as the vinyl copies are delivered! 😉

“Women and Children First” This is the first Van Halen album to feature all original band compositions. The opening track, “And the Cradle Will Rock…”, begins with what sounds like a guitar, but is, in fact, a phase shifter-effected Wurlitzer electric piano played through Van Halen’s 1960’s model 100-watt Marshall Plexi amplifier.

In a Simple Rhyme we set sail for the Rhone Valley!

Cover photo: Norman Seeff

Late for the Sky

“Late For the Sky”

A 2011 Yellow & Blue Malbec Tetra Pak paired with the Jackson Browne masterpiece “Late For the Sky”

Late for the Sky is the third album by American singer/songwriter Jackson Browne, released in 1974 (see 1974 in music). It was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1975. It peaked at #14 on Billboard‘s Pop Albums chart. It is considered by many fans, critics and musicians to be his best and most influential album

Triple V – Vaughan, Violins & Vegantigua

Vaughan, Violins & Vegantigua

Perfect Temperanillo from Spain and a perfect recording produced by Quincy Jones. The voice of Sara Vaughan and a silky spanish red.
Yes. Yes. Yes.

The Allmusic review by Dave Nathan awarded the album four and a half stars and said that “these sessions catch Sarah Vaughan at her magnificent best. There may be claims of overdoing it or garishness. But her set of pipes and her willingness to use them dramatically, and sometimes coyly, to bring out the best of everything she sings brushes aside such criticisms as unjustified. Classic standard or novelty tune, she had full command of the vocal art”