Odd Pairings Can Be Simply The Best

A concert at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA), pretty cool backdrop. Falcon Stadium is not huge, so I am thinking an up and comer or someone fading out but still loveable.  Nope, it was Tim McGraw. Now, that is pretty awesome and I told my husband go ahead try to get some tickets…but then, they announced who is also high on the bill…I think co-lead—Train! Yes, Train, Train…I said get those tickets now!

Now, on paper this may seem like an unlikely pairing. But, it has been proven and many times here I have written about the need to break from tradition, because it works.  Well, this worked and it worked really well. Both played to the audience that sang along note for note and word for word with both of them. It was unforgettable.

The music played was ageless as little kids were there and old fogies, even older than me. Yes, it is possible. (wink, wink). Pat Monahan , didn’t think anyone in the audience was old enough to remember Drops of Jupiter and Tim McGraw, thought he might be too old to remember Indian Outlaw.  The crowd had their backs and I lost my voice. You can hear the applause right from my kids…shuddup 😉 jk

The pure talent of Train really performed that night as they did a few tributes. Opening with Let’s Go Crazy from Prince and then later on Under Pressure, Queen and David Bowie and then Hotel California, for Glenn Frey.  Although, they didn’t do any of the songs from their cover album of Led Zeppelin, they played almost all of their big hits plus a few. It was amazing and for the first time in a long time, I and I think everyone else, really heard the lyrics.  If you think you know them, go back and give them a listen, it is amazing.

I have to say I am grateful to Tim McGraw.  I love my husband but after he was listening to women of all ages swoon, and comment about this man’s pecs, my husband decided to follow the paleo diet that Tim sort of follows and we joined a gym.  This man is no slouch and his songs all sound like he is singing to you or about you or something we all have experienced.  That takes talent and although already a fan, I am much more of one now.

Now, to the surprising part and what gets me my name, The Blonde Grape.  I was looking for something to drink at the stadium and they had beer. I can do that, but hello, this is Train, they have their own wine, I want to be on the wine Train.  Yes, I said it, not well, but you read it, so there.

Train has several respectable wines and the brand is called Save Me, San Francisco…one of my fave songs. They donate a large part to charity if not all of it and they have several varietals. Some are: California 37 a nice Cabernet Sauvignon, Drops of Jupiter, a California Red Blend, Marry Me Rose’ ( I have yet to try this one, looking forward to it) and Calling All Angels, a Chardonnay wine. I was having trouble with their website but I can tell you although it has been a while since I have had some of them, I did recently have Calling all Angels and their wine is really good. Not just a celebrity wanting to do good, but the wine is great and can and should be paired with whatever you like. A nice article on how Train is successful in wine by Richard James of BuzzFeed can be read here.  In fact, Train now has a Save Me, San Francisco chocolate through Ghirardelli, a great pairing.   I say pair it with food, but pair it with good music and turn it up. I am thinking you can pair it with any of the artists above or you can even try Sting‘s new song 50,000 which is a tribute to the above artists and I am certain Train would approve.

Here is a video or link to a video that I found with Jimmy Stafford, guitarist for Train
talking about Save Me, San Francisco wines and the development of the winery. He likes to have a glass or two of wine before a concert, that pleases me. Be daring, be bold and drink what you like. Cheers!

 

The Slow Press

How many grooves in a 33 rpm vinyl record?
vinyl record w color
The answer is one.  This is a little more insight into me, making it easier to follow my words.  My love for music and the business of music is well-known and makes me smarter than I really am, because I can spout any useless information on the topic but can’t tell you why I walked into the kitchen. That’s me.

In this edition, I will introduce you to an interesting blend of style with wine and music. Sit back, relax and open your mind.

Since the beginning of time as much as we have loved the convenience of speed, we turn to relish the classics that took a bit of time.  Whether or not it is actually better, that is a long debate that I feel depends on what you are debating. But, when you hold some of these items that took more than a keystroke to print and disperse, it does cause you to pause.  I think the use of the pause button would save a lot of aggravation today. For example, type a text, press pause, read the text or auto corrected text  and correct the auto-correction and then push send. Oh, imagine the possibilities.  Now, think of Gutenberg if he printed a typo.

I was at an arcade recently with my daughter and found an old video game, Ga20160801_124119_resizedlaxian…like Galaga (but that was being used) and after I put a quarter in the slot, (yes, still a quarter)  I had to keep pushing the button to fire. Now, I’m Jane Jetson and “I’ve Got the Push Button Blues.”  I actually got tired and I am thinking to myself, damn I’m old. Actually, I am just thinking that I just proved my point remembering a song sung by Jane Jetson. There was also the episode where…I’ll leave it for later.

Maybe this is one of the reasons I enjoy wine so much. It cannot be made well if it is rushed. It cannot mature and become robust if made in a hurry.  It can’t go back and bring forth centuries of flavors if the older vines are destroyed so that we can consume a history of the region.  You should know, that although I am a slow runner, mid-paced hiker, strong but not speedy cyclist I like fast cars, fast wit and do not like to linger when shopping. But, drinking wine and enjoying the outdoors, I will say should be savored slowly.  It is my attempt at controlling time and although I never truly succeed at it, I do create great memories and that works for me.

Slow Press CabEnter the Slow Press Cabernet Sauvignon. I automatically think of vinyl records but this even echoes my sentiments on the bottle when it prints “never rush a great wine”. This 2014 wine out of Paso Robles, CA is oak barrel aged. Like a vintage recording such as Sammy Davis Jr and Buddy Rich on the album Sounds of ’66, the intro to “Come Back to Me” is a genuineness and beauty that can only be augmented by the tracks on the record such as “What Now My Love”.  Now, due to tempus fugit,  vintage means more the artists of my youth like the Rolling Stones, Beatles, Journey, and much more.  Back to the wine, this Cabernet is dark and the process has been slowed down to be more concentrated, which proves sometimes, slowing down demonstrates the
well-intentioned effort and show the true amalgamation of when art meets craft. Delicious!

Enter perhaps the purest of methods to record an album.  It was not done by many but was used most often in the 60’s and 70’s.  It is when an album was recorded direct to disc, not first to the tape and then transferred. Thus it removed some of the hissing (a well-loved memory of vinyl) but created a truly honest reproduction and if you pause well enough to listen, you can hear a breath taken. See for yourselves a great article on the process here. 

Although, Sammy eludes to the live recording being pressed to wax during the performance, there is no guarantee but here is an example for you by the great Harry James, and “Sweet Georgia Brown” recorded direct to disc by Sheffield Lab.

So endeth the lesson on this process. Friends, listen to what brings a smile to your face and drink what you like and makes your taste buds happy. Cheers!

 

Life With Water Restrictions

One of my favorite Bible passages is when Jesus turns water into wine. It is proof that wine is a necessity in life and a reminder that good people, work hard, play harder and celebrate the wonders of the grape. Recently, where I live one of the water tanks is now missing water. This post is not a post about anger and the fact that we can’t water our lawns or the fact that they have no idea where the water went (grumble, grumble)  but a post on what would be the best wine to quench our thirst when H2O is lacking.

Krug with rose bush

Let’s start with a refreshing chardonnay from perhaps one of the oldest vineyards in Napa Valley. Charles Krug, in particular, the 2014 Chardonnay.  It is a light and crisp chardonnay that as the sun descends upon the earth will not cause you to sink with it. Rather, you can sit back and stay cool as you go about your evening routine. I placed this bottle next to our rose-bush, for no apparent reason other than I think it is cool and although tempted to try to reverse wine into water, I am selfish and prefer it as wine. I really like the Carneros area as well and this is a good wine to have while you are standing in your yard ranting with the neighbors about how you have to water the yard by hand.

As the evening progresses and you settle in for a movie, I often like to change direction and add some color.  One of my favorite vineyards is Dry Creek Vineyard.  I have never had a bad bottle and I absolutely love the ships they use on the their labels. So, it is a dry red with a ship on the label, so I placed it on the cement and in the grass…again for no apparent rhyme or reason other than I thought it was cool and a bit ironic that it has been dry docked.

This wine is too good to spill a single drop.  It is full of flavor but again not heavy.  This zinfandel is excellent as the seasons change from summer to fall or late spring, but you really can never go wrong with this fabulous red. A side story,  I ordered this in a restaurant once and the waiter still addressed my husband saying how it was such a great choice for wine and then looked at me (the one who ordered it) and said, very pretty bottle.  Yes, that could be a rant for later.

20160622_212227_resized (2)  So, to conclude. Don’t waste water and never waste wine. To reverse the blessing and make wine into water may be divine intervention but I think He got it right the first time. Enjoy and celebrate you!