Deep Rooted Tradition Meets Ground Breaking Technique

A 2010 Noble Vines 181 Merlot & 1965’s A Love Supreme by John Coltrane

“Deep rooted tradition meets ground breaking technique”, this is the motto of Noble Vines and the obvious title for this pairing with John Coltrane. This is the second time we’ve paired a wine from Noble Vines Winery, the first being our pairing with “The King of Limbs” by Radiohead. Let me just say that the 181 vine brought from Bordeaux and transplanted in California seems to be doing just as well as it’s sibling the 337 Cab Sav. This is one delicious bottle of wine. From the first hint of the nose just moving the glass in front of me, I could tell they have another winner here. The nose, the palate & the finish of this wine is top-notch Merlot and by all regards, a French Merlot at heart.

From the 181 Merlot to the 180 gram reissue of the masterpiece that is “A Love Supreme”, how can you say what needs to be said about this definitive album? Often listed amongst the most influential jazz albums of all time, this puppy sings of the universe and is life incarnate in the modern movement of what would be defined as the medium of jazz. As further testimony to the recording’s historic significance, the manuscript for the album is one of the National Museum of American History’s “Treasures of American History”, part of the collection of the Smithsonian Institution. Put it this way, if you are not familiar with the language of jazz, you would be doing very well to start here.

So for another “Winesday” / “Humpday” pairing, we leave you with a bit of the prayer John included in the liner notes of this grand gatefold.

May we never forget that in the sunshine of our lives, through the storm and after the rain – it is all with God – in all ways and forever.
ALL PRAISE TO GOD.
With love to all, I thank you, – John Coltrane

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!

Resurrection via Heritage

 

Resurrection Reserve California Merlot & Opeth’s – Heritage

The wine label for Resurrection was painted by Phil Galatas world champion wood-carver and artist who was inspired in his home state of Louisiana by hurricane Katrina. The reflection of the fleur-de-lis suggests the devastation from Katrina, while the top represents the re-birth and growth. The golden oak inside the fleur-de-lis represents the strength and endurance of the people of the gulf coast.

The album Heritage by Opeth represents a true departure from their normal metal fair and instead reflects a band with a serious amount of depth that has yet to be tapped.

In a review for Allmusic, Thom Jurek called Heritage the band’s most adventurous album, describing the songs as “drenched in instrumental interludes, knotty key and chord changes, shifting time signatures, clean vocals, and a keyboard-heavy instrumentation that includes Mellotrons, Rhodes pianos, and Hammond organs”.

Mixed by Stephen Wilson of Porcupine Tree, this album is considered by many to be part one in a trilogy of albums involving Wilson and Opeth guitarist Mikael Åkerfeldt. This album being the first, Wilson’s album Grace for Drowning being the second (a phenomenal recording not to be missed) and the upcoming collaboration entitled Storm Corrosion which is now available for pre-order, being the third part of this trilogy of esoteric thought-provoking metal, jazz & rock. So far the trilogy is two for two in my book and I can’t wait to hear the third epic conclusion of this saga.

The double 180 gram gatefold vinyl truly focuses on rebirth and new beginnings as is also reflected in the label for the Resurrection Merlot. This album is haunting and enchanted, which in my opinion gives it a real New Orleans kind of vibe. A gothic legacy of progressive metal that strays into ancient realms with the addition of some truly spooky instrumental arrangements. If you want to focus in and look up one song that defines this album, have a listen to “Nepenthe” and you’ll have a true taste of what the vibe of this album is like. I’m just sorry I can’t link to what it sounds like on vinyl. Streaming youtube videos is hardly my choice for quality audio but for those unfamiliar with this band, it will at least help to give you a taste. Just remember, each and every track of this album provides a new layer of depth. It is an album to be appreciated as an album and not as individual songs cut up on a digital hard drive. If you’re not convinced by “Nepenthe”, another one to check out is “Famine” a song that truly reaches new metallic heights with its Jethro Tull like flute glissandos while lashing out like an early Black Sabbath locomotive.

There is always a deep embroidery of a family tree behind each and every one of us, yet the world around us continues to change and each of us continue to adapt to it. Heritage, while maybe a basis for all that we have come from in the past, also represents the potential and possibilities for what is in store for each of us down the road as well. What once was will be again. We are all but a branch of the same tree.

A smooth, rich, fruity, robust wine that is barrel aged with grapes from Sonoma County and paired with a robust and adventuresome album. I recommend them both!
Let us all drink to rebirth and continual growth!
Cheers All! 😉

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”

Green Fairy Grace For the New Year


Absente Absinthe from Paris France & Steven Wilson’s Grace For Drowning

New Years Pairing! Happy 2012 Everyone

Grace for Drowning is the second studio solo album by Steven Wilson, producer, songwriter, and frontman of Porcupine Tree. It was released by Kscope Music Records on September 26, 2011.[1] The album received a nomination in 54th Grammy Awards for Best Surround Sound Album.

“Grace for Drowning” on 180 gram vinyl certainly resides within my top 5 releases for 2011. It’s Progressive Rock, meets Jazz, meets electronica and it’s a sonically stellar album that you can truly get lost in. As for the first taste of the green fairy, well I found this to also have a truly stellar pallet for the senses. I think it’s a drink you either love or hate and not much room for anything in between. I really anticipated that I would only have one or two cocktails for the evening and then move on to something else but I actually enjoyed the absinthe throughout the evening.

  • Lasse Hoile – photography, film director
  • Bettina Ejlersen – photography assistant
  • Carl Glover – art director