Burnin’ & Lootin’ with Campo Viejo Rioja

1973’s Burnin’ by The Wailers and a 2010 Campo Viejo Rioja Tempranillo

 It happens from time to time. I go deep into reggae and it’s all I want to listen to for a while. Now is one of those times. I’ve been on a reggae tear for about a week and a half now and Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Easy Star All Stars, Peter Tosh, Culture & many many more have been spinning in the air lately. Reggae music is music that you can’t be sad and listen to. It’s music that puts a smile on your face and a boogie in your bones. It just truly makes you feel good, it’s heart and soul fire music for sure.

The Wailer’s album Burnin’ is one of the finest testaments to definitive reggae there is. In 2003, the album was ranked number 319 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Containing the hits “Get Up Stand Up”, “I Shot the Sheriff”, “Burnin’ & Lootin’ ” as well as the classic “Duppy Conqueror”; it’s an album filled with pure reggae bliss. Marley’s music has always touched my soul, so much so that I went out-of-the-way while in Jamaica to visit his birthplace and mausoleum in the town  of Nine Mile in St. Ann’s Parrish to pay homage to this gentle soul of a song smith. It was an afternoon that will stay with be the rest of my days. A gentle soul for a gentle wine.

The Campo Viejo Rioja Tempranillo has a classic soft palate that is truly gentle and swaying. Smooth is not even the best word to describe this caress of light vanilla ripples that linger in this wines finish. It retains a ripe and zesty spice that stays somewhat in the background allowing the wines mellow nature to stand out as the main presence of body. I’d recommend this wine with truly high regard and I’m eager to try other vintages and grapes from their vineyard to learn more about them. Check them out on Facebook, they have a great following and add truly great content to their page, although I’ll warn you, all their posts are in Spanish, as it should be. :)

So there it is, tonights winesday pairing  to start us out in September. Until next time, I reccomend you add some reggae to each and every day and keep the grapes in moderation while truly loving this life and taking inspiration from everywhere, everyone and everything. I leave you with some lyrics from Bob:

“Be not selfish in your doings
Pass It On
help your brothers in their needs
Pass It On

Live for yourself and you will live in vain
Live for others and you will live again”


A Day at the Races with Ramon

1975’s Queen – A Day At the Races and a
2007 Ramon Bilbao Tempranillo from Spain

Well we’ve had nearly a month off here at vinylpairings due to the fact I moved and the personal life has been a bit disheveled of late. While there has still been vinyl and wine over the past four weeks, I truly haven’t had the time or energy to sit down and write about some of the pairings I’ve posted on Facebook recently.

Time to get back down to business though! The boxes are getting unpacked, the shelves of vinyl are almost organized and we are truly ready for a Day At the Races!

This particular Queen album (though there are many) has always had a soft place in my heart, with tracks like “Tie Your Mother Down”, “You Take My Breath Away” & “Somebody to Love”; this album is a filament of rock and roll legacy that can not be denied. The 180 gram gatefold reissue by Hollywood Records is a testament to the albums longevity and every classic rock vinyl collector should certainly have this monument upon their shelves.

Paired with Ramon Bilbao’s Tempranillo, which has a well-balanced palate and a spicy finish, Queen’s music sizzles and sways with a rock and roll swagger that truly is not present in most modern-day rock bands.

It’s a lovely wine that could be paired with many foods or vinyl selections. The bottle recomends a salted pork dish and I concur with this recomendation. Although I would imagine a tasty BBQ would be a nice food pairing as well. As for the musical pairing,tonight was all about the majesty of Britain’s royal rock icons Queen. Inspired a bit by last weeks London Olympics closing ceremony, the time was right.

We’re glad to be settling back into a somewhat normal routine again after our relocation. The move was truly worth it, even though the vinyl collection gets heavier and heavier… it is still the superior format and worth every crate haul to move and crate dig to discover.

Until next time! Sooner than later we hope! Drink up and keep digging into those grooves folks!

Wild Is the Wind

Nina Simone – Wild Is the Wind and a 2002 Vinasoro Merlot

A Winesday night pairing to get ready for the weekend? Why not?! This vinyl came in the mail today and you can probably guess if you’ve been following the past few weeks pairings how I came to this particular vinyl. The thread has gone from Jeff Beck to Jeff Buckley and now to the queen herself Nina Simone. Lilac Wine to Lilac Wine to Lilac Wine. It’s a song that’s seriously resonating with me these days. So much so, I’ve learned it and will probably be performing it in the future.

Yes indeed this song has taken me on a journey into the deepest of soul music and this particular album from Nina, while it is evidently a leftovers compilation from her days on the Phillips record label, it actually meshes quite nicely as an LP and provides a nice glimpse into this multi talented performer. The highlight without a doubt is the title track followed closely by the tracks “Four Women” and the aforementioned “Lilac Wine”.

The Vinasaro opened with the bottom quarter of the cork breaking off while opening. Luckily any real damage was averted by using another corkscrew to lift the broken cork out of the bottle. Upon pouring the first taste to ensure the cork was not compromised, seeing how it was so brittle, I noticed the strong aroma of this 13.5% alcohol content Merlot. The Vinasoro is a wine that truly needs to breathe on the counter for a minimum of fifteen to twenty minutes before you can truly get a taste of the grape.

Once the Merlot opened up and revealed itself, at about the start of side two of this luscious vinyl, I realized that what I had on hand was one truly robust and well nurtured Merlot. While it is an extremely dry Merlot, obviously from the high alcohol content, there is enough of the grape flavor there to still enjoy the wine at the finish. It’s a woodsy stout finish that would be perfect with a pairing of a red sauce based pasta or pizza.

While I would probably recommend the vinyl more than this particular Merlot, if you crave a hyper dry Merlot that is held up by a stout Merlot flavored grape, then this wine would fit the bill for many occasions and meals. Nina is pretty fine anytime. If you are not familiar with this classically trained pianist and bluesiest of the jazz singers, I highly recommend you search out her work, you will not regret it. Fans of Billie Holiday or Etta James will surely find solace in Nina’s work. Just remember, when you hear that awesome piano; that’s her as well!

Till next time! ¡Salud!

Segovia and the Mysterious Mountain

“Segovia and the Guitar” paired with a 2010 Borsao Garnacha

The original gold label Decca mono recording of one of the greatest classical guitarists of our time, paired with a Spanish Garnacha that heirs from under the mysterious Mt Moncayo, which has legends of strange caverns underground complete with glittering cities.

The Borsao Garnacha has a slightly above medium mouth feel, but the tannins remain light as the majority of the wine is Garnacha. The wine reverses direction from the nose as the tempranillo grape adds a bitter cherry and raisin character to the raspberry background. The finish is all fresh zesty raspberry making this wine perfect for any desert course pairing filled with spicy chocolate.

In conjunction with Segovia’s delicate yet masterful touch on this vinyl recording, the experience leaves one yearning to sit back and gaze at mysterious Mt. Moncayo while sipping the zesy sweetness that the grapevines before you have brought forth, leaving you truly ready for a romantic Spanish night.


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!

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).

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”