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!!

Wish You Were Here

A 2010 Vino de Eyzaguirre Merlot from Chile
and the 2011 reissue of Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd

When I first started getting back into collecting vinyl records a few years ago, the thought crossed my mind soon after, that I sure would love a 180 gram version of some Pink Floyd to replace all of my thrashed copies from back when I was younger. Well it wasn’t much longer that Pink Floyd announced the reissue vinyls to coincide with their immersion box sets and the remastered digital releases of the albums for the first time to add into the iTunes black hole.

Naturally I was more excited about the vinyl editions. Even more so than the immersion Compact Disc box sets with all the extra material. For me it’s not about the extra stuff, the demos, the alternate takes, the leftover tracks, whatever; all of that was left off for a reason. The final product is a masterpiece and obviously the band, producers and engineers thought so enough to leave all the other hyperbola where it belongs. In the draft bin. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as big of a Floyd fan as you can get but as a vinyl purist; I’m still really only interested in the final version, the full release on 180 gram pristine virgin vinyl. That’s all I need. Well, that and the cool poster that came with it as well as the groovy post card, all rekindling the memories of the original release.

At first glance you’ll notice that the wine bottle is wrapped in a burlap sack. A truly easily identifiable marking for remembering this wine but it does have more significance and history behind it than just being a nifty marketing ploy. Evidently the tradition stem from monks living near the village that would transport the wine for the bumpy horse carriage ride back to the monastery, by placing the jugs of wine in burlap sacks to prevent them from breaking. The tradition caught on and still continues to this day.

As for the wine in the bottle, the Merlot is an extremely smooth and super palatable wine that is well-defined and well bodied with an elegant subtle finish that is perfect for sipping on its own or for pairing with a dish of your choosing. I would recommend it for a nice evening chilling at home or for a picnic in the park.

This particular pressing of Wish You Were Here is truly high quality, as is the packaging, simply top notch. The biggest difference for me here lies in the mastering of the audio. It’s a bit flatter than the original 1975 release, but we are in the digital era so this is not too surprising. I have no doubt that this particular print was pulled from a digital environment at some point and then went to vinyl. Luckily the deep rich 180 gram pressing allows for you to get some pleasing quality but it still remains a bit flat when compared to the earlier pressings. While I’m thrilled to have this reissue amongst the stacks; I won’t be getting rid of my older more thrashed copy anytime soon.

Until next time folks!
¡Salud!

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!

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!

Bohemian Highway

A Bohemian Highway 2008 Merlot and the 1967 Cream Classic “Disraeli Gears”

Tonight’s pairing takes us for a ride, reminiscing down the Bohemian Highway with an album in true bohemian form. The second album released from the British supergroup featuring Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce & Ginger Bruce. They deliver what has always been one of my favorite vinyls. Featuring such pivotal tracks as Strange Brew, Tales of Brave Ulysses & Sunshine of Your Love; this album still stands up amongst the best of classic rock albums. In 2003 the album was ranked number 112 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.VH1 also named it their 87th greatest album of all time in 2001.

The Bohemian Highway Merlot is an inexpensive bright ruby-red merlot that truly pleases the palate. As with any wine it’s better to let it breathe in your glass for a period to allow the wine to truly aerate and present itself. By allowing wine to mix and mingle with air, the wine will typically warm up and the wine’s aromas will open up, the flavor profile will soften and mellow out a bit and the overall flavor characteristics should improve. Once the Bohemian Highway catches some air, the resulting wine is quite fine indeed.

Paired with classic Cream the two make for a Friday night combo that hits the spot. After a long week at work, many of us are ready to dream about a weekend journey down the Bohemian Highway to sites unseen and destinations unknown. Happy weekend everyone! Cheers!

 

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!

Purple Haze

 Jimi Hendrix – Are You Experienced &
a 2010 Alex Elman Malbec from Mendoza Argentina

There are lots of Malbecs out there that I find a bit too strong. They have me reaching for the antacid before I can even finish a glass. This particular Malbec is one that is quite pleasing and so well rounded without the harshness or acidity of many Malbecs. Still, it’s a very hefty wine with a pleasingly smokey grape nose that once it opens up, truly just screams “yummy”! There’s a haze of licorice and currants that runs deep but the grape always rolls out on top in the end.

Perfect for gaucho style Argentinian grilled cuisine this is truly one of the better Malbecs in its price range that I’ve experienced lately and it is just that, an experience ;).

So without further ado, let’s get to the vinyl for the evening. Without a doubt it is one of the most quintessential rock albums of all time. Truly an album that changed the game, changed history and laid the groundwork for what rock and roll was to become. Along with the likes of Jim Marshall, James Marshall Hendrix (born Johnny Allen Hendrix) reinvented the nature of what is expected from the electric guitar as an instrument of rock and roll. He was a master of the blues and a purveyor of the infinite universe. The man had soul and he knew how to pour it into his music.

When Jimi came onto the scene he changed the game and influenced everyone else that was making the scene at the time. He became the scene.

This 180 gram reissue of Are You Experienced is a true treasure for any Jimi fan with a turntable. The sound quality is pristine and the track list of this album, well, as many of you well know, every song is a classic, start to finish. An encyclopedia of rock guitar.

As a guitar player myself, I’m a bit surprised that there hasn’t been a Hendrix pairing yet, there are surely many more albums by Jimi in my collection that are worthy of a pairing but it seemed appropriate to start at the beginning.

Released in 1967 this album was #2 on the charts next to Sgt Peppers. In March 2000 a poll from Guitar World Magazine named Are You Experienced the greatest album of the Millennium. Later, in 2006, a reader’s poll from that magazine placed the album at #3 on a list of the greatest guitar albums of all time. “The Jimi Hendrix Experience are a musical labyrinth—you either find your way into the solid wall of incredible sound, or you sit back and gasp at Hendrix’ guitar antics and showmanship, wondering what it’s all about,” a review from the article “Walker Surprises” by Keith Altham from the New Music Express Magazine on April 8, 1967.

All in all, this album and a tasty bottle from Alex Elman is truly a safe bet for stirring up the haze and getting the emotions flowing. Third Stone From the Sun, we should be so thankful for such awesome wine makers and master musicians that allow for such evenings as this.

Until next time! Cheers! Salud!
Enjoy!

 

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.

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! 😉

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.

¡Salud!

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.