7 Deadly Zins

Fathers and Sons

A 2010 Lodi Appellation Zinfandel & Muddy Waters Fathers & Sons

Somewhere within the realm songs within “Fathers and Sons” as well as most classic blues albums, there is going to be a reference to at least one of the seven deadly sins as listed in Christian ethics. It’s a pretty bad pun that they used to name this wine but there actually is some meaning behind it. The grapes that go into 7 Deadly Zins come from seven different growers in the Lodi region. It’s not clear if the concept came first or the name but either way the results are actually quite amazing for this fairly inexpensive bottle of Zinfandel. Average price around $14.00.

7-Zins-WMThe wine truly was a surprise. Typically Zinfandel’s are not my first choice when selecting a wine but I have to admit the name concept caught my eye and I thought it could make a cool pairing with an appropriate vinyl. The wine is surprisingly smooth, not too sweet and the spicy notes that are typically found in a Zin are balanced amazingly. There’s a zip to this zin that you don’t normally get in a single grape zin. It had a supple cinnamon like front that was balanced by a full bodied grape that would go well with many meals. I truly enjoyed this wine!

When you glance at Don WIlson’s take on Michelangelo’s design on the Sistine Chapel, something somewhat angelically cool is obviously taking place on the cover of Fathers and Sons and if you dig the blues, then the same vibe is also pressed onto this wax. The album features both studio and live recordings recorded in April 1969 with an all-star band including Michael Bloomfield and Paul Butterfield of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Donald “Duck” Dunn of Booker T. & the M.G.’s and Sam Lay in Chicago, Illinois. This double LP gate fold vinyl is a testament to the way the blues should be heard.


The blues of Muddy Waters is timeless and epic. It’s the vocabulary and the soul of rock and roll. The attitude, the feeling and the spirit. Any student musician that claims to have mastered improvisation without some reference to the blues is missing a big piece of the heart in my opinion. In fact I would dare say that you can’t master improvisation in any style of music without at least a minor study and appreciation of the blues.

chess labelLust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth. Wrath, Envy & Pride. In many ways, they are the vocabulary of the blues when you think about it. I think you need at least one of these sinful elements to have a decent blues song anyway. I’d have to believe that’s why in the past it was often referenced to as the Devil’s music by many that never bothered to look below the surface. The blues are something everyone needs a little taste of from time to be human. Much like dealing with the 7, you can do your best to avoid them but no person is completely without them and this my friends is why we all have the blues.

muddyMany think the blues are all about sad, these people truly don’t understand the music of the blues or they just aren’t capable of feeling anything below the surface. The blues run deep. The blues are both joy and they are sad but mostly, it’s something that  just makes you feel better and that’s the whole point. Kind of like tasting a bit of fine wine.

Ask anyone, anywhere, if they’ve ever had to deal with at least one of the seven deadly sins and if they say no, they’re either lying or they’re not human. I believe the blues is much the same. It’s unavoidable if you want to understand how to feel anything.

Does the name of the wine level up to the size of the pun used to market it? Yes, I believe it did and did so very well. Until next time! Relish in the joy my friends!

Primal Roots III

Primal Roots 2

 1970’s Led Zeppelin III & a 2010 Primal Roots Red Blend

III-2My day went pretty well today. On my way home this afternoon I stopped in one of my regular vinyl haunts here in Austin (End of An Ear) and came across a missing piece of the vinyl collection. Every time, over the past few years, that I’ve come across Zeppelin III, it has been an utterly thrashed copy. Beaten, abused and loved to death you might say. Today however, I found this gem! A VG+ condition, US gate-fold edition, complete with volvelle intact. A copy of what has to be one of my favorite Zep albums of all Zep albums. It’s an album that I refused to settle for a dilapidated copy of. I might add, it was not a bad price considering what many of the thrashed versions I’ve seen have been going for. Today, I reap the vinyl reward and pair this gem with Primal Roots 2010 Red Blend.

Primal Roots 4I’d been studying the Primal Roots label for some time trying to decide what vinyl would be the best to pair it with. Their website describes the wine as “Provocative, Sensual & Luscious”. This sent me down a few paths before deciding on the Zep. If I had any Robert Johnson on vinyl I would have probably gone with that instead. Yes, the holes in the vinyl collection are endless I suppose.

I also contemplated other more “provocative” artists such as Prince and Sly Stone but I kept coming back to the “Roots” in the name of the wine and to me there has to be some type of blues reference there. So after the days purchase, and knowing what I know about the evolution of rock and Zeppelin’s influences, I felt this album certainly maintains some primal roots and deserves the pairing. It’s not a far stretch to call this album Sensual & Luscious by any means. The second sides’ acoustic numbers alone have enough sexuality to breed what should be, an enjoyable night by the record player with your companion and this bottle of wine.

Primal-Roots-3The wine is a blend of Merlot, Zinfandel and Syrah that tends to linger a bit on the sweet side for my palate. It’s a bit of a surprising start as you’re hit with a flourish of the sweet Syrah and Zin, followed by a more mellow earthy vibe from the Merlot in the finish. It did take a glass to settle into the ride. It’s a bit of a roller coaster really but that can be a fun adventure for any wine enthusiast. To actually be surprised by where a wine takes you is part of the joy of tasting a wonderfully crafted wine. Blends can certainly have that effect and this tasting adventure is much like life itself.

III gatefold

Life is a ride and you never know where it might take you. The year is still young and we have so many new adventures awaiting us. I’m truly excited about what all life has on the horizon and as for Vinyl Pairings, well let’s just say the voices are growing and things are about to expand significantly. Very exciting stuff. I’m off to blast “The Immigrant Song” one more time!

Until next time my friends! Cheers!



Afterglow takes Root for the New Year

Afterglow takes Root

Black Country Communion’s 2012 release “Afterglow”
& a 2010 Root:1 Cabernet Savignon from Chile

It’s been a couple of months since our last post. We truly hope that everyone enjoyed the holiday season and is ready to rock and roll through 2013! It’s time to take Root in a New Year and we’re kicking it off with a bang, pairing a Chilean Cabernet Savignon with the super group that is Black Country Communion and their release Afterglow.

Black-Country-CommunionBlack Country Communion, for those that don’t already know, is composed of bassist and vocalist Glenn Hughes, guitarist and vocalist Joe Bonamassa, drummer Jason Bonham, and keyboardist Derek Sherinian. This band has the chops and they truly show them on this release.

From the lead off track “Big Train” all the way through to the finally “Crawl”, this album delivers exactly what you would hope for. Bonamassa is a monster on the guitar and Hughes sounds better than ever. Bonham, well do you really have to say anything other than “Bonham”? He’s laying it down in true family fashion.
I can’t say enough good things about the musical performances that are recorded in the grooves of this vinyl. Many a new band could learn a thing or two from these veteran performers. Glen Hughes as so much depth and grace on this record, it’s truly amazing, in my opinion he outshines the others a tad on this particular release, the bands third album. Hughes is a top notch rock and roll vocalist of the highest caliber and his bass playing on this record is phenomenal. My personal favorite stand out tracks, “This is Your Time” and the title track “Afterglow” on side one and the second sides’ “The Circle” & “Common Man”. Chops galore! Truly not a dud on the entire album and well worth the price of admission.

The Root:1 Cab Sav (average price around $12.99) gets its name from the fact that it’s crafted exclusively from grapes grown on the oldest root-stock system in the world. This original ungrafted root systems tended by the master winemaker in Chile gives the wine a rich, pure, fruit flavor and aroma. It’s a very well-defined and well bodied wine. A supple nose and a silky cab body that truly makes for an enjoyable wine.

Pure Ungrafted Rock and Roll and a Pure Ungrafted Grapevine

As we let the “Afterglow” of 2012 fade behind us, we look ever forward into the New Year with excitement and anticipation for what the future has in store for us all. Keep those Roots planted and until next time when we can again savor the fruits of life via some tasty tunes and some tasty wine, cheers my friends!