01 Dec 2009
“You can’t be greater than Elvis, change things as much as The Beatles, or be as original as Led Zeppelin. All you can do is rip them off.” Billy Corgan
As promised, here is part 2 of my rock n roll wine pairing (See Part 1). Thanks to the comments and suggestions from my fellow bloggers (1winedude, vinegeek, weeklywinejournal, rocknrollwine and coffeenate). Part one of this post was viewed more than any other post I’ve contributed to this point.
The rules: These are my pairings from my experience with wine and music. The pairings all come from music that I listen to and wines that I drink. BUT – I would love to hear how you would pair the music you listen to. Would you put Josh Groban with Sauvignon Blanc or Aligote. Would it be Dave Brubeck or Dave Mathews with Grenache? Is Carlos Santana a Tempranillo or is that too cliché?
Malbec – One of the noble Bordeaux varietals that has experienced a resurgence in popularity, even as a stand-alone grape. It is rich, and dark in color and juicy with tannins for structure. Malbec tends to be fickle and doesn’t always produce the highest yield. Young wine drinkers are consuming cases in quantity from Argentina (due to the lower price). This old classic blend is making a comeback tour. MY ROCK-N-ROLL PAIRING: Aerosmith - The bad boys from Boston are rock nobility. Like the Malbec taste, their music is rich, bold, classic, and part of the blend of classic rock from the 70′s. After disappearing from drug abuse in the 80′s, Aerosmith made a comeback in the 90′s and today with the younger generation providing poppy rock jams. The band is still volatile and their latest records don’t produce the consistent high quality yield but still offer some good tracks.
Sauvignon Blanc – I like a good Sauvignon Blanc. This amazingly talented grape is grassy and sometimes sweet and tropical. It’s lighter in color and sometimes lighter in body and structure than wish it was. This Bordeaux / Loire Valley grape for some reason reminds me of California. MY ROCK-N-ROLL PAIRING: One tweep suggested Janis Joplin or Hendrix, but I went with the more modern John Mayer. Mayer’s guitar playing is among the best alive, but under-rated. His records are often a blend of retro earthy sounds and sweet pop. I always come away from a studio record wanting more substance (which is how your high volume Sauvignon Blancs fare). Get John live and he shines! A well-made Sauv Blanc will rock your pants off.
Sangiovese – This Tuscan Italy super-grape, best known for Chianti can range from strawberry and mild cinnamon to very oaky, musky and thick. Sangiovese is Italy’s most planted grape and is quickly becoming popular for superblends in CA. I really like well made Sangiovese. MY ROCK-N-ROLL PAIRING. I’m going to go with the supergroup Cream. With Jack Bruce on Bass, Ginger Baker on Drums and the incomparable Eric Clapton on Guitar, Cream influenced Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Rush, Black Sabbath and more. Their music ranged from the pop, I Feel Free, to the dark White Room. If it’s been a while since you tried a Chianti or listened to some Cream – try them both together and rediscover the appreciation.
Viognier – This once nearly extinct grape is the only approved varietal approved in Condrieu of the Rhone Valley. It’s scent is floral and sweet but the sip is rather dry. I think this is a sexy varietal. It pairs very well with spicy food. I think hot, I think Viognier. The lower alcohol and mid-high acid are great to cut through the spice of Thai or Spicy Tuna Roll. You’ll find this grape planted in WA, VA, CA and Australia. This wine also blends will with other varieties too. MY ROCK-N-ROLL WINE PAIRING is the hot, sexy Alicia Keys. She is smooth and flowery but her amazing talent is hot. She can be dry and raw or silky and sultry. Miss Keys is getting the credit she deserves but, similar to Viognier, I think we’ll see more from her in the future. Lately, she has lent her talent through ‘pairing’ collaboration efforts too!
Zinfandel – My final pairing is my favorite varietal. To me, Zins are floral and fruity in smell, big and bold fruit and spice in taste, high in alcohol, and pair well with the food I like (BBQ, Pizza, Steak – although a good Cab is preferred, and Pasta). I’m not a fan of the White Zin, but always will choose a big red Zin from the wine list if I don’t feel confident in the other choices. MY ROCK-N-ROLL WINE PAIRING: KISS! Bwahahahaha. While Kiss doesn’t get the respect of other bands, they have stood the test of time and with world wide record sales approaching 100 million, they, like Zin, are a household name. They are the kings of commercializing themselves and never believe in overexposure. They are big and bold in everything they do. Like the red production of Zinfandel, they provide just enough sweet and sap but are not overly offensive (okay maybe sometimes). Through their glam phase (especially Paul Stanley), they could be compared to a white Zin. Most importantly, like the Zin, they tend to be the group I can count on to power me through a run, push me through a slow afternoon, and pump me up.
What about you? What wine would Lady Gaga be? Is there a wine that is similar to Michael Jackson? I would love to hear it. Comment below!
Enjoy life with friends and DRINK.HAPPY
23 Nov 2009
Inspired by mega wine blogger 1WineDude (@1WineDude) and Rock and Roll Wine (I decided to put my Rock-n-Roll perspectives on the wine varietals (types of grapes) that I’ve had the pleasure of ingesting. Wine itself, doesn’t get its due in rock music. The most common reference is to cheap wine (ala Billy Joel and Neil Diamond). True rockers (and hillbilly) go for beer and whiskey references. The best props to wine, at least the Champagne variety, comes from the hip-hop world.
Below are my rock-n-roll reviews of the basic wine grapes from music that is on my Zune (yes, I own a Zune and not an iPod). Feel free to pass this along as a form of reference and awareness to your beer swilling, martini sipping, Jack and Coke slugging friends. (Part 2 is here)
Merlot - The Merlot grape is very palatable and an easy to drink red. Can be paired with lots of foods and rarely is it found offensive. My music pairing is Bon Jovi. Their music is still relevant and tasty, but rarely is there anything memorable from their recent records. They can make a crossover to other genres, their music is rarely bold or offensive and they reach a broad audience.
Chardonnay - Popular and hearty. Grows in a number of climates Can come across mis-understood by some and smooth and buttery by others. Overall, a decent white wine to cut your teeth on and an overall classic. My musical pairing, U2. Making chart topping AND socially conscience music for over 25 years, U2 can be smooth but also abrasive. Wide appeal but losing their former luster.
Cabernet Sauvignon – Rich, bold red that is considered the king of red grapes. Very strong flavor, tannins and acid that cut through food, often overpowering to be consumed without food. Can be offensive to some but to those who understand its brashness is very much appreciated. Music pairing - Was torn on this one, so I chose ACDC and Led Zeppelin. Both bands are kings of their genre. Hard hitting, in your face, and often under appreciated. Can be tough to listen to in their entirety, but very much a delight when a song comes up on shuffle. The bands are huge in sound but still have an amazing appeal. Some are completely turned off by their sound.
Riesling - In some regions this wine provides a dry flavor that is great with fish, chicken and pork. California Riesling tends to be sweet and lacking acidity and balance. Liked by many and a great crossover wine grape that tends to be popular among the female crowd for social drinking. Music pairing – Taylor Swift; While I don’t have any Taylor on my Zune (I swear), you can’t help but notice that her music is sometimes dry, sometimes sweet and sappy, lacks balance and has a hugely wide appeal…just sayin’.
Pinot Noir - This difficult to grow grape is rarely blended with other varietals. Can range from sweet and fruity to rough and earthy. The Noble Pinot Noir is either loved and cherished for its complexity and terroir specificity or disliked for the same reasons. Musical Pairing – Beatles (specifically the later years). While I have yet to discover a palate for Pinot Noir, I am a huge Beatles fan. In my interactions with people, I find they either are passionate about them or could take them or leave them. Regardless of their like or dislike people always respect their influence in music and popular culture. While their early success was based on hysteria and less substantive music, their best stuff came as they explored the boundaries of music and what was considered ‘popular.’
I think I’ll make this post a two parter. I would love to hear your thoughts. For my wino friends, what musical pairings would you offer to the varietals you enjoy.
DOTD? (Drink of the Day) – Finished of the last of the 2004 Brassfield Estate Bottled Round Mountain Zinfandel. You?
Enjoy life with friends and DRINK.HAPPY