Music to my Palate
Inspired by www.DrinkNectar.com
(@nectarwine on Twitter and www.facebook.com/drinknectar )
Link to original post… http://drinknectar.com/2009/11/23/my-rock-n-roll-wine-list/
When I read Josh’s post on pairing wine with Rock-n-Roll, I thought it was a brilliant idea. He was actually inspired as well. See his blog for more details on that. My own feelings of inspiration got me thinking, as I am an avid music fan and of course a wino. So, I started considering the music that I love (not just rock-n-roll) and the wines that I adore and here is what I came up with…
Nebbiolo is one of my favorite grapes. I love the old world flavors and aromas of earth and truffles married with dark fruit, tar and rose petals, but often the truest expression of a Nebbiolo comes with age, after the wine has had some time to reveal itself more fully. My music pairing would therefore be the Black Crowes, whose music, I believe, has evolved and become more defined over time. They were already great in the beginning, but like the Nebbiolo grape which can be aggressively tannic when young, I think the Black Crowes also had an abrasive edge which developed into a more cohesive and broad expression of their roots, producing music that shows them to be more comfortable in their skin now than they have been in years.
Ahhhh Pinot Noir…a grape which has such a diverse range of offerings based on region and the role of the winemaker. Every time I get my head around defining the characteristics of Pinot from a particular area, I discover a new Pinot and a winemaker who is taking an innovative approach in their attempt to capture the terroir or varietal expression. Sometimes a Pinot is spicy and rich with ripe cherry and strawberry. Other Pinots are light and delicate with floral notes. Still others are earthy and herbal. It is hard to pin Pinot down sometimes. Another great innovator who was hard to pin down in the world of Jazz and kept us on our toes was Thelonius Monk, whose unorthodox approach to music spawned the creation of a body of work that still inspires musicians today, much like Pinot Noir inspires new wine enthusiasts to delve a little deeper into the wine world. Monk’s originality also mirrors the unique expression of every Pinot Noir.
I would be remiss if I did not include Cabernet as one of my great loves. When I find myself shamelessly in love with a Cabernet, it is usually big and chewy and shows a complex display of aromas and flavors, which may include rich blackberry and raspberry, anise, roasted coffee or black tea, dark chocolate, rosemary, vanilla and toasty oak, only to name a few, and part of the joy of drinking a glass (or bottle-who am I kidding right?) of Cabernet is the journey it takes you on through these complexities. So I have to go with Josh on this one and pair Cabernet with Led Zeppelin, who are easily one of the biggest rock bands ever. Their complex melding of acoustic, heavy metal and blues music with intricate arrangements give my ears and my mind something to “chew on”, just like a glass of Cabernet. Boy this is making me thirsty!
One more grape…last but not least…Zinfandel. Anyone who knows me (or has read my article singing its praises) knows I love Zin. I find that it is often misunderstood by the average wine drinker, mainly due to lack of exposure, or the grave error of connecting it with White Zin. My twin sister introduced me to Zinfandel and I have been spreading the word ever since. Zin, like so many other grapes, is very diverse, but some basic characteristics always remain consistent…dark fruit and a touch of spice (usually pepper). The music I would pair this grape with would appropriately enough be from The Misunderstood, a 1960’s band from California (the home of Zinfandel in America) whose psychedelic rock, in spite of many people not knowing who they are, is considered to be pioneering by many musicians. The Misunderstood were certainly ahead of their time and definitely a little spicy, like my delicious glass of Zinfandel.
Well, these pairings are my current contribution to the notion of pairing wine and music.
Thank you once again Josh from www.DrinkNectar.com for inspiring this blog post.
It was a lot of fun! Cheers!