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!


Out of the Box

Well, I couldn’t resist myself when at one of my favorite restaurants Villagios in Lutz, Florida we ordered a really great, Italian wine to accompany the meal.  It was a Summus by Castello Banfi.  We ordered the larger bottle, the 1.5 and when it came to the table, it was the grandfather of boxed wine.

By now, you may know a little about my sense of humor.  I couldn’t resist, I said, “boxed wine”, laughter from the table from the owner not so much, then he joined in…yes, you are now understanding why I call this blog, The Blonde Grape. For the record, this place is authentic Italian. Italian owner, much of the staff is Italian and I am talking accents in all, which alone would make it great but the food is authentic and molto bene. The decor is a little different but reminds me much of the Italian Restaurant in Moonstruck


This beautiful Summus, whether 750 or 1.5 is a perfect accompaniment to eggplant, veal and I even liked it with my grouper. It must be the Italian but they pair very well.
20160627_181342_resizedBut, all this thought about boxes got me thinking about the phrase, think out of the box.  Now, I just wrote that I drank this red wine with fish and so yes, I drank outside the box and I think you should too.  I say, never get into the box and then you are not encumbered by other people’s rules.

Now, to further invite you to my world, there are two types of music going through my head. One is the song about Little Boxes, but the version I have linked you too is really quite creative and again outside the box. Why, because all you see and hear is from boxes. It is worth a listen, so feel free to click on the link. Here it is again: Little Boxes.  The other one is a kissing cousin of our beloved Italian crooner, Frank Sinatra.  It is Sammy Davis Jr. in Vegas with Buddy Rich. These two are beyond talented and although not Italian, I am pretty sure Frank thought of them as such.  The song currently being played is “Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone” which after having you think outside the box and laugh at my joke on boxed wine, I guess I will be asking the same thing.

Now, I would be remiss if I didn’t share with you that tonight at one of my favorite wine shop, Loop Liquors, I saw a real boxed wine that had me giggle at the name a bit, but I may have to give it a try.  I mean with all the talk that a glass of red wine is worth an hour of exercising, may a glass of this wine is worth a face-lift.

Bota Box

Go have some fun, drink what you like and raise a glass to celebrate you!