Pinot for Paws

pinot-for-paws-4

“Pinot for Paws”
A 2011 One Hope California Pinot Noir and the Beach Boys 1966 Pet Sounds

one-hopeThis pairing seemed pretty obvious. A great cause and one of the greatest audio productions of all time. Read more about One Hope Wine on their website. Lots of great causes and I can attest the wine is fine. The Pinot is light and yet lush like you expect from a nice Pinot grape. I truly recommend for both reasons, a great cause and a great wine. Cheers!

Born to Run

A 2009 Indelible Wines Vintage Ink Deepest Merlot
& 1975’s Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen

“Baby this town rips the bones from your back. Its a death trap, it’s a suicide rap, we gotta get out while were young. `Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run!”

Tattoo You!

A 2008 Napa Valley Cab Sav by Castle Rock
& 1981’s Tattoo You by the Rolling Stones

We’re making a return to Castle Rock winery with this pairing! We were so impressed with their Monterey County Pinot Noir that when I came across this Napa Valley Cav Sav, I had to pick it up for a taste. I’m truly amazed by the variety of grapes and the variety of regions Castle Rock manages to cover. They’re obviously “all in” when it comes to covering the many bases of winemaking.

The Stones are a band that you could easily say the same thing about; they are a band that knows how to cover the bases of rock and roll Tattoo You is a good example of this since it’s primarily composed of a variety of outtakes from previous recording sessions, a little of this and a little of that, some recordings dating back a decade, with new vocals and overdubs, it covers a lot of ground. Which might be why it’s still one of my favorite and in my opinion, most underrated, Stones albums. Sure it has their last #1 US hit “Start Me Up” but it’s songs like “Worried About You”, “Tops”, “Slave” & “Waiting On A Friend” that are at the core of this release.

This is another vinyl that I’ve had, almost since the day it came out and I can still remember the day I bought it in 1981. I was just a kid, not even a teen yet, but thanks to the early days of MTV (thanks Martha Quinnn you are awesome!), this particular Stones album ended up in my collection early on. Yes, it was my first Stones album, but obviously not my last.

The Castle Rock Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley is an extremely well-rounded wine. Maybe I’m just more partial to a Cab but I think if I came across both the Castle Rock Pinot Noir from Monterey County and this one at the same time, I’d go for the Cab Sav myself. It’s truly delicious and loaded with flavor. It’s got a nose that’s more to my preference with earthy nuances that seem to bring out the tannins of the wine in a more well-rounded fashion. Of course, many may say that’s just the difference between the Pinot Noir and the Cab Sav.

Regardless of the how’s and why’s, let me just say that this is a fabulous wine, not too expensive and well worthy of a trip to a friend’s house. Tattoo You is an album that many should go back and listen to again if they haven’t heard it recently. In fact grab it and take it along with a bottle of Castle Rocks Cab Sav to your good friends house and have a toast or two. Keep on rocking friends!

For Those About To Rock!


A 2009 Bodega Norton Malbec & 1981’s For Those About To Rock by AC/DC

A wine that starts with a little smack of graphite deserves a vinyl that also careens with a smack of metal and ends with the thunderous rock and roll of cannons, Angus Young’s guitar and the rest of the boys from down under that are AC/DC.

This Norton Malbec is a stout and hearty malbec grape with deep red color and hints of purple. Expressive on the nose with notes of ripe black fruits, violets, and tobacco. This wine has round and sweet tannins, ripe red fruit and figs followed by a long finish. “With a serious, generous opening of graphite, cassis and wild berry aromas, this Malbec is in good shape. It feels full, round and just right, with dark berry, spice and licorice flavors playing off one another. It’s sweet, ripe, dense and a touch woody on the finish.” 90 Points – Wine Enthusiast

As for the AC/DC, well we are all indeed about to rock. The vinyl pictured in this pairing is showing its age and certainly the amount of time it spent getting handled is apparent on the sleeve. A little worse for wear but the ragged shape of the cover only helps to compliment the blazing hard rock that was melted into these grooves. I can still remember the day this album came out. I rode my bicycle down the road to the Fred’s dollar store and bought it. I couldn’t wait to get back home in eager anticipation of the rock and roll that was within and once I did, the air guitar sessions began in earnest.

The AC/DC catalog is truly a testament to doing one thing and doing it really well. You will never hear a ballad from AC/DC, nor would you ever expect it. They are primal rock and roll, nothing less and nothing more.This album was the follow-up to the highly successful Back in Black (which we are sure to get around to pairing at some point, if not Dirty Deeds as well) but FTATR stands on its own as yet another masterpiece. The album became AC/DC’s first US No. 1 album and after its release the band embarked on its first arena tour of North America (late 1981 through early 1982). For the title track, large cannons were placed on stage, set to go off in accordance with the song on the album. Fire!

Well there you have it. A lovely hearty wine and a lovely heavy vinyl to get the weekend started off right. Here’s hoping you are indeed all about to rock!!
If so, we Salute You!!

Castle of Destiny

A 2009 Pinot Noir from Castle Rock and “Sad Wings of Destiny” by Judas Priest

We’re breaking out the classic metal tonight to pair with this super fine Pinot Noir from Castle Rock wineries. This particular Pinot is from Monterey County and it’s my understanding, now that I’ve done a bit of research, that there is another Pinot that they have released from Mendocino County that gets even higher marks than this one. That said, the Monterey County Pinot is in no way anything to turn your nose up at, although it does have a very sweet nose. Much sweeter than the flavor and palate of the wine. I could truly imagine this wine going quite well with an Italian family style feast or a hearty beef fillet.

Sad Wings of Destiny is the second album release by Judas Priest released in 1976. It’s a surprisingly blues infused album that has a crossover vibe with the operatic vocal stylings of Rob Halford and blues rock musical themes. There’s even a few songs that feature the piano predominantly. Not exactly what most people think of when you say Judas Priest.

When all these genre’s merge, what you have is a very diverse album compared to their later releases. I for one really appreciate the blues and classical influences of their early material. Long before the leather and studs, yes friends, Judas Priest, much like Black Sabbath, started as a blues band and for a period of time, these influences still had a strong presence in their music.

These lingering influences of the blues make for what is in my opinion some truly powerful music. Now, that’s not to say that their later music isn’t powerful. Quite the contrary, Judas Priest remains relevant even to this day as a powerhouse metal band still evolving and adapting with the times.

This particular edition of Sad Wings of Destiny is a brand new limited edition 180 gram gate fold reissue by Koch Records. It is an excellent pressing and has such a low noise floor that it truly allows you to crank this puppy up super loud and enjoy all of the stellar vinyl quality. One of the things that I love most about 180 gram reissues is the super low noise floor. When you break open one of these releases and place it on your turntable for the first time, in super clean form, the noise floor is superior to that of a compact disc. Truly not even in the same universe as an mp3 or streaming internet media. In short, it will spoil you fast!

Together these two products of stellar craftmanship provide for a premium rock and roll evening. So until next time, bottoms up everyone!

 

Aguaribay Graffiti

A 2010 Aguaribay Malbec from Argentina
& 1975’s Physical Graffiti by Led Zeppelin

It’s about time we got the Led out, don’t you think? How could we celebrate vinyl without eventually getting to the Zep monsters. In a bit of fitting timing, to coincide with the news today regarding a certain new feature film hitting theaters soon, we present the evenings pairing. Led Zeppelin returns! Maybe not for the live tour we all hoped for but a tour of a single filmed show none the less.

Physical Graffiti has always been one of my favorite Zeppelins but then again, ya know, every album they ever made has a place amongst my favorite albums. Side three of this album especially holds some serious memories for me. I rank it amongst one of my most influential sides of vinyl of all time. I first discovered this particular album during my high school days (many moons ago) and it seriously struck a chord with me. It’s an album that has such universal depth that it floors me every time I hear it.

On to the wine! The Aguaribay Malbec is truly a pleasant wine and well worth the price, It’s not an expensive wine (we typically stay in the affordable price range for our wines) and certainly won’t break the bank at around $10 a bottle. It’s also not one of the heaviest Malbec’s I’ve tasted and I consider that a good thing. Many Malbecs for me these days can be a bit too heavy on their own. Lately I’ve grown to prefer them in a blend, that tends to mellow them out a bit and keep them under control. This particular Malbec is fairly mellow though. Maybe it’s the vintage or maybe it’s the particular vineyard; either way it’s the kind of Malbec that I truly prefer these days. It’s not one that will have you calling for the antacids in the middle of the night.

Together the senses of the two bring together a cacophony of universal bliss. The sounds of Zeppelin merge quite well with the flavors of Argentina in the grapes and earth of this particular Malbec. I can’t imagine much not agreeing with the soulful rock and roll sounds of a band such as Zeppelin but at this moment this particular bottle of wine is providing exactly what is needed.

Until the next pairing, we bid you a great weekend!
Cheers, Salud and Good evening!

Yoshimi and the Yamazaki

The Yamazaki 12 year old Single Malt Whisky
& 2002’s Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots by the Flaming Lips

Do you realize that everyone you know someday will  die?
And instead of saying all of your goodbyes
Let them know you  realize that life goes fast
It’s hard to make the good things last
You realize the sun don’t go down
It’s just an illusion caused by the world spinning ’round

So I’ve had a run on pairings the past few days but today was my birthday and I got this awesome bottle as part of the celebration so what better way to finish out the evening than to do a little work? Right? Well, it is a Monday night birthday, so we decided not to paint the town. Who am I kidding? This isn’t about work, this is all about the things I love, so on with the pairing!

Tonight, I’ve paired another Japanese whisky. This is the second in my sampling of fine whisky from the land of the rising sun. The Yamazaki is a single malt barley based whisky that I must say, even though it’s price is a bit less than the Hibiki I paired a few months back, it has a more buttery, peppered flavor that seems to be resonating with me much more than the Hibiki did. It’s sultry and it’s silky, much as the Hibiki was but with this rich and buttery under current; well it has me wishing I could fairly sample the two side by side. Since I can’t do that, I think if I had to pick between the two 12-year-old versions of these whiskys from memory, I’d probably have to go with the Yamazaki right now. Of course, it is the one that’s sitting in my glass in front of me at the moment, so I think that may be swaying the favor in its direction for sure.

This edition of Yoshimi and the Pink Robots has been issued on a beautiful red colored vinyl and sounds absolutely fantastic. It’s truly yet another one of those vinyls that I can’t imagine not having in my collection. I’m super thrilled every time I pull this album out and place it upon the platter. The Lips have a way of stretching the dynamic range of a composition to the point that you think your system is bound to start distorting and the speakers smoking at any moment. It truly rocks! The synth sounds on this album alone are worth the audiophile experience of playing it through a decent system on vinyl. Not to mention the freaking great songs that are on this release. Always one of my favorites from the Lips, Yoshimi certainly seems to coincide beautifully with the Yamazaki SIngle Malt.

All in all, it’s been a wonderful birthday and I have much to be thankful for. As I head into another year, I’m reminded of all of the experiences, joys and journeys this life has to offer us all. I truly hope you are all savoring it up like a whisky refined and aged for a decade or so to be sipped and enjoyed on a special occasion as each day is.

Many would say this blog is a fluff piece that has nothing to do with nothing but I suppose it’s all in how you look at the leisures of life. Are they fluff or are they inspiration? Are they necessary or are they distraction? For me personally, the pleasures such as wine, spirits, vinyl records, art, music and love are the things that inspire daily and remind us all of what we are here for. Believe me people, it isn’t politics and self-imposed borders that matter.

Matters of the heart get us through the day. It’s not bank accounts, jobs or family lineage that define us; it’s about how we choose to live our lives day by day and how we choose to treat each other. This is what defines us. It is what becomes us and it is what we reflect into the rest of the world about who we are, what we want and where we come from.

To me, it’s all just the stuff of life, which I truly hope we all have a chance to taste and enjoy, each and every day of our lives. The time is now because… do you realize…?

Until next time my friends! Cheers!

Noble Vines

2009 Noble Vines 337 Cabernet Sauvignon & Radiohead’s The King of Limbs

Epic on a grand scale. The music on the vinyl, the taste and palate of the wine as well as the story of how they both came to be. Generational depth on so many levels making this a pairing fruitful enough for the nobility of kings.

Noble Vines winery who’s slogan is “Not all Vines Are Created Equal” have brought selected vines from France and transplanted them in California. Quoting from their website “Over centuries, vintners have carefully singled out the most admired vines, naming each vine with a unique number to identify its exceptional attributes. Here in California, we’ve planted a selection of these vines exactly where they will flourish best: in select locations on the red soils and cobblestones of our family-owned vineyard in Lodi and on the gentle slopes of our cool-climate estate in Monterey.”

So the pairing for the night takes vine 337, the Cab Sav, and pairs it with one truly epic release from Radiohead. The King of Limbs is a vinyl that once I purchased it; it did not leave the turntable for weeks. Still to this day when I put it on, I end up listening to it four or five time in entirety before I’m ready to swap it out for anything else. What may appear simple on the surface has so much depth. Depth which is truly only noticeable if you take the time to listen for it. One can dig as deep as they like into the layers of this masterpiece wall of sound that is The King of Limbs. I highly recommend headphones or to play it REALLY LOUD.

In much the same fashion as the vines for the wine were transplanted from France and then the grapes grown in California, Radiohead took their previous recordings, the vinyl releases of course, placed them on a turntable DJ style and sampled their own music to create the layers of musical bliss that are on The King of Limbs. In no way is this a technique you’d expect from a band known for Progressive Art Rock but the end result is a beautiful example of how deconstructing and reinventing that which has already existed can yield some very interesting new fruit.

The 337 is an amazing wine and I would have to say a real success. I may still be learning about the exquisite complexities that are present in French wines but to my meager nose and palate, I would have to say that many of the same qualities are present in this grape grown in California as the French grown sibling. It’s elegantly smooth and robust. It’s so well-rounded and seductive that the experience of flavor lingers lightly and long enough to make you think you can truly taste the south of France in the grape. A-maz-ing.

Not only are there vines and limbs present with this pairing but there are some serious roots involved as well to make both of these selections. What was before is new again and I have to say, to my ears and taste, both are masterpieces that blend together seamlessly and sound as solid as the ground beneath our feet. I’ll certainly pick up another bottle of Noble Vines creations next time I come across them and I’m sure to keep branching ever deeper into the King of Limbs.

Until next time! Keep the limbs and vines growing my friends! 😉 Salud!

Lilac Wine

Jeff Buckley’s Grace and a 2010 TAZ Pinot Gris

I couldn’t help but follow-up my last pairing ( Jeff Beck – Emotion and Commotion ) with this selection. In that pairing, I began my conversation about Jeff Buckley and in this pairing. I’ll continue that conversation. As it should be.

About two weeks ago, I received an email from Amazon that had this album listed as “on sale”. It’s been on my short list of must have albums since I bought the turntable but I had never pulled the trigger; that is until this email arrived. The 180 gram vinyl edition of Grace for only $14.99!! Can you say one click purchase! Yes!  Done! I clicked and about a week later, I received, what is without a doubt, one of the best sounding vinyl records that now sits in my collection. Top 5 easy!

Jeff Buckley was one of those rare musicians that was so tapped into the creative source of our universe that he simply couldn’t hang around here any longer. Gone, at such an early age. Man but what little music he left us, truly has everything we could ever need or expect to have from an artist. Grace is a masterpiece start to finish. Every song on this album is “soul eternity” encapsulated. This album is like going to church only better because it’s Jeff, his guitar and his band resounding like angels in the throes of heaven laying it down for us mere mortals to catch a glimpse of what being there might feel like. He was already half way there when he made this album. Grace is like tapping into the potential beauty of what could be in this world.

Okay, yes my friends, I really like this album allot and I could probably enjoy it with most any wine. Yet, I’ll give the TAZ some props as well becasue it truly is a lovley, silky nice Pinot Gris that any Pinot fan should get aquainted with at some point. The chilled TAZ Pinot Gris has a lovely rounded palate that sings of buttery lemons. It’s a great wine for the patio on a summer night and yet; I’m truly right at home with it here in the living room with my turntable and “Grace” blasting as loud as my neighbors can stand it.

Happy Cinco De Mayo all!! A  “Lilac Wine” pairing that truly encapsulates how lucky we all are to be here now. In this space. In this time. So Real.

“Lilac wine is sweet and heady,
like my love
Lilac wine,
I feel unsteady,
like my love

Listen to me… I cannot see clearly
Isn’t that she
coming to me
nearly here?
Lilac wine is sweet and heady
where’s my love?
Lilac wine,
I feel unsteady,
where’s my love?

Listen to me, why is everything so hazy?
Isn’t that she,
or am I just going crazy, dear?

Lilac Wine,
I feel unready for my love…

Up on Paso Creek

A Remembrance Pairing for Levon:
A 2009 Paso Creek Cabernet Sauvignon and The Band – Cahoots

There will never be another like Levon. His vocals were always raw with passion, they were the sound of the lusty wildcat, the stern Southern preacher, the depleted Confederate soldier, the dirt farmer at the end of his day. His vocal delivery of “When I Paint My Masterpiece” on this album is but one of the many masterpieces that Levon left behind. Levon’s music and vibe spoke directly to your soul, you know he meant everything he put down. He embodied the music in a way few ever could. The fact he did it from behind the drum kit is just another proverbial icing on the cake to the level of this mans talent. Drumming is a tough enough to master on its own and there have been very few that could deliver a lead vocal from behind a kit.

“The Weight”, while not on this particular album that I paired this evening, has always been one of my all time favorite songs ever. It embodies everything you strive for as a songwriter. It encapulates an entire world inside those few minutes that transports you immediatley into a story. “The Weight” takes the folk music motif of a traveler, who in the first line arrives in Nazareth in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania. (The band Nazareth took its name from this line.) Once there, he encounters various residents of the town, the song being a story of these encounters. Nazareth is the hometown of the guitar manufacturer C. F. Martin & Company.

Robbie may have been the main songwriter in the group but Levon was truly a vessel for its delivery. A vessel that had the touch, the style and the grace that left no room for doubt that he certainly meant every single word he sang and every beat he played. As a southern boy, Levon’s voice and style always resonated with me. It would stop me in my tracks and make me stop what I was doing, capturing my full attention. I just couldn’t help it. The night they drove old dixie down indeed.

I’d be a bushwhacker
Even be your hijacker
Keep your candle burning bright

When we cross that railroad track
There’ll be no turning back
Come tread softly through the night

Don’t leave me sitting here
Up on top of your fence
I’m like an alley cat up here, without a lick of sense

Volcano–I’m about to blow
Volcano–Gonna overflow
Volcano–Look out below

RIP

Levon Helm, May 26, 1940 – April 19, 2012
Life is a carnival, believe it or not.

Stay Frosty!!

Van Halen – A Different Kind of Truth & A “Frosty” Monks’ Ale

“Made with care and made with prayer” is the writing on this Ale’s packaging and indeed I’ve been praying for this album release since around 1986! Finally, a follow-up to “1984” that rivals any and all of the Diamond Dave era releases. Yep, I said it and I went there! This album has the same spirit and energy as their debut album when it came out in 1978. Containing elements of “Women and Children First” as well as “Fair Warning”, many would say this is because most of these songs were written back then. To that I say, who gives a shit when the songs were written! Did you listen to this album! In my opinion, this album is a breath of fresh air that has reignited my memories of youth and the spirit of rock and roll from days gone by.

Van Halen, you either love them or you hate them. When I heard the first single “Tattoo” I was honestly not expecting much from this release. What I truly discovered was that it was I that had changed and that I just wasn’t relating to the old Van Halen spirit anymore; that is until I had heard the entire album. Once I did, everything was back as it should be. It was as if a chapter of my life, finally had some sort of resolution. Upon the second playing of the album, I actually thought “Tattoo” was a pretty cool song. Still, it is probably the weakest song on the album but the fire that burns throughout the rest of this release, more than makes up for whatever may or may not be lacking from the lead off single. For the record (no pun intended) every time I hear the song “Tattoo” I like it a little bit more than the last time I heard it.

Deciding on the pairing for this album was fairly obvious. It’s not an album you want to sit back with a glass of wine to, it’s instead an album that needs a cold beer in a frosty mug and preferably a beach to go with it.

Van Halen has always been good time California Rock and Roll, nothing more and nothing less. Anyone trying to read anything more into it than that truly doesn’t understand where this band is coming from. So based on this, I went with the “Stay Frosty” theme and paired the album with a Monks’ Ale and a bowl of rice. Anyone that has already heard the song “Stay Frosty” will get this immediately. David Lee Roth is about 85% attitude and about 15% vocal and songwriting talent. Without the attitude he wouldn’t write what he does and it surely wouldn’t have the lighthearted wit about it that Dave’s contribution has always had. I truly missed him, there Dave, I said it and I said it like I meant it! 😉 They are a band that has the jovial off the cuff spirit and vibe of a 1920’s ragtime quartet (think “Big Bad Bill”) wrapped up in a monstrous locomotive called rock and roll. Van Halen music is music that never takes itself too seriously and is always about having a good time and enjoying life.

The Monks’ Ale is a smooth and creamy ale a bit on the pale side but not so pale that it avoids a rich body and silky follow-up. It’s more of a flavorful and full-bodied red ale that’s not so heavy as to weigh you down like you’ve eaten a loaf of bread. lol Actually made by Benedictine monks in New Mexico, all proceeds truly benefit the monastery!

I pre-ordered this vinyl the day the album was released and one of the coolest things about this pre-order was that you were able to also download the digital album immediately upon purchasing the pre-order! I downloaded the high-resolution mp3’s and straight away burned a couple of CD’s of the album, one for the car and one for the house. Having the digital version for a few months before the vinyl was released allowed me some time to get used to the material and know what was coming down the pipe once the vinyl arrived at the door.

I think this is a stellar way for the music industry to operate. Pre-ordering of the physical product in advance and upon ordering you get the portable digital version. The record label then knows how many to print, they have the money in advance to print it and the consumer gets to hear the music immediately, which is evidently what we all love about our digital music; immediate gratification. Even if it is a vague representation of the final product. 😉

Yet again, as I’ve been preaching allot lately, the mp3 version is nothing compared to the wealth of sonic information that is contained on the 180 gram double red vinyl. The intelligibility of what is going on is 1000% improved on the vinyl edition of this album. As with any and every album, vinyl is truly the preferred way to actually hear 100% of the music that the musicians are playing and the words that the singer is singing. Vinyl brings a natural clarity to the audio that allows the material to be represented without digital artifacts. Essentially, the vinyl absorbs sound waves much as our ears do, depending on pressure and amplitude, not one’s and zero’s.

Vinyl itself is a different kind of truth that I truly hope more and more people remember and return to or even discover for the first time. The younger generation is truly finding it out for themselves and I think this is a big reason for the resurgence in vinyl sales. It’s not just the older generations longing to reminisce; it’s the 15 to 20 year olds that have always driven music sales and they still do. Vinyl is no exception to this.

This blog is but one way I hope to remind and teach that truly wonderful recordings are still being produced today. There are tons of awesome albums coming out every year, it’s just that the end user’s playback format has degraded to the point that everything sounds somewhat lifeless. Still people say that the talent pool has degraded over the years and that this is what is wrong with the industry today. Baloney. I believe it is the extremely low quality of internet media that has degraded todays musical experience. There’s much more going on in your brain than one may realize when you’re listening to music. Digital media tens to fatigue the ears way more quickily than live or analog sources.

There is still an immense talent pool of musicians out there producing great music but the problem is that it’s rarely truly heard the way music “back in the day” was heard. CD was and is certainly light years better but it was made to create a compact format that now, the mp3 has blown out of the water.

Streaming media over the internet will never compare to an analog groove that was made by sound waves melting into vinyl. Period. I’m not saying streaming media doesn’t still have its place for marketing purposes but If you truly want to enjoy a bit of quality music listening from time to time, I highly recommend you reinvest (or invest for the first time) in a turntable that you can plug into your existing home entertainment system. You will not regret it!

Until next time, “Stay Frosty” everyone!! – John

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.

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

Double Fantasy pairing for John’s Birthday

A double pairing for John Lennon’s Birthday
“Double Fantasy” paired with a Taza Chocolate Mexicano (yerba matte) & a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Chiarderi

“People say I’m crazy doing what I’m doing,
Well they give me all kinds of warnings to save me from ruin,
When I say that I’m o.k. they look at me kind of strange,
Surely you’re not happy now you no longer play the game”