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The day has finally come!!!

November 2, 2010

www.vinostereo.com is now active! this will be the last post/email that I will be sending from this URL. please delete the old vinetunes URL, check out the new site and sign up for email updates there. lots of goodies and exciting stuff to come soon. you wont regret it!

SEE YOU THERE!!!!!

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Sometimes you feel like a nut…

October 17, 2010

This one’s tough.

I’m sitting here drinking a 2007 Mercer, Columbia Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon (Washington State) and, honestly, the only thing coming to my head is “Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t”; probably because this wine tastes equal parts Almond Joy as it does Cabernet Sauvignon. Seriously.

That being said, my husband, Chris, is sitting here insisting that the vino pairs well with Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy”.  To try his pairing, click play here:

But me, personally, I usually go on instinct, and other than a 1970’s commercial; there is one thing popping into my head, at the current moment.

Although  Mtume’s “Jucy Fruit” may seem a little “cheesy”, so to speak, for a big nutty cab. This is wine with personality! It’s a wine that’s screaming to be paired with an 80’s funk/soul classic; and Jucy Fruit, Pre- Notorious B.I.G., is just the track, that keeps popping into my head.

Keep in mind, that the Mercer Cabernet is neither overly Jucy nor Fruity (think more along the lines of slightly dry and nutty), but equally as delicious.

fun. playful. yet psudo-sophisticated. Keyboards blending with horns. Coconut blending with Oak. Inexpensive and impressive.

Just open and enjoy!

Click Here for some Jucy Fruit

Click Here for more on the Mercer Columbia Valley Cabernet

Thought of the day….

October 14, 2010

 In honor of the 33 miners, all of rescue workers, and the entire country of Chile… Let’s take a moment to celebrate with my, personal, favorite Chilean wine, (2007 Marques Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon) and el Himno Nacional de Chile (the Chilean national anthem).

Oak heavy with deep concentrated flavors of dark fruit, this strong yet smooth wine, perfectly represents the strength and class of the Chilean people… and the song ain’t half bad, either.

Thank you, Chris, for the blog suggestion! 

Thank you, CNN, for the on-going coverage, that kept me glued to the TV, while home from work sick, yesterday! I was teary eyed!

Click Here for Música Chilena

Click Here to read more about Concha Y Toro wines

mixing things up… a bit

October 12, 2010

Veering away from the “popular music” tone that this blog always takes; when you compare something to classical music, primarily opera, one would tend to think that said product is dramatic. Correct? Dramatic and good (well, if the music is in a major key anyway). I mean, lets take a look at modern day commercials, for instance: this, or even this … The music “lends”  itself to the product, while telling a story of a greater good. A story of “this is it”.

OK, so you get where im going with this….

It usually takes me a while to ponder the perfect song to go with each glass that I drink (Hell, I still haven’t come up with a pairing for the ’03 Henry). But immediately, within one sip of tasting Trefethen 2006 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley), I turned to a friend and said, simply… “It’s like I drink it, and hear Andrea Boccelli singing”.

Take that whichever way you like (I tend to have a flair for the dramatics), but with firm yet smooth tannins, wrapping around dark cherry and poignant plum, deep and ripe to the taste, this wine (though it can be described as your “Classic Napa Cab”), has a flair for the dramatics, all its own.

Slight hints of Oak and Nutmeg, balance out the lush fruit in this bottle and leading to a long, lingering finish. This is not a simplistic bottle for your everyday wine drinker (and neither is the price).  This is one to appreciate, and while still young, it is one that is timeless and will only better with age.

Now sip on that, with another young but timeless love song, and know, that although this one was written in 19 (not 18) 94, it bears all qualities, all the beauty, all the “ah ha” moments that you would find in the great tenor performances of way back when.

Click Here to check out wines by Trefethen

Click Here to buy Andrea Bocelli “Romanza”

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: vineTunes is now vino/stereo…. and some more exciting news..

October 10, 2010


I am very proud to announce that there are some exciting changes coming to the vineTunes blog. The first, of these changes, being the name.

As this blog grows and begins to take on a life of its own,  I felt that it needed a name that did it more justice. While “vineTunes” will always hold a special place in my heart, change is not always a bad thing; and vino/stereo is more “me”, so to speak. It speaks about a blog that’s a little more modern and maybe even edgy.

I fully intend for the format and tone of the blog to remain just as it is, however, the frequency of entries will be more often, and there will be some exciting additions coming in the near future, as well.

For now, you can still find us at vinetunes.wordpress.com, however in a few weeks we will be moving everything over to a new server, and will reside at http://www.vinostereo.com. I will send out a notice when we’re up and running.

For those who are registered and receive my updates, this should, hopefully, be an easy transition. You should still be getting email alerts (unless you decide to opt out 😦 ).

As always any and all suggestions are welcome and I look forward to hearing them all.

Thank you for all of the support!

Elena

A Surprising Depth.

September 15, 2010

About a year ago, a friend of mine hosted a  “wines of the world” party, and I got tasked with bringing some Vino Italiano. Makes sense, seeing as how I was always the Chianti drinker of the pack; I like my big reds (Brunello, Barollo, Barbarossa, etc etc etc).  But  Italian wines can often be, one-dimensional, in my opinion, and having won 1st prize, at last years party, with a ’03 Chianti Classico, this time I wanted to do something completely different.

Enter the Sams Club (Hey, dont mock it…. the “buy in bulk” wholesaler actually has a great wine selection ranging from Dominus to Stags Leap to Manage a Trois): While I left my husband to “geek out” in the electronics section, I decided to take a nice stroll over to the wines, and pick up a bottle for dinner. That’s when I saw it (plain white label, all written in Italian) “Cannonau Di Sardegna” (2004, Stella & Mosca, Reserva) . Now, my last name may end with a vowel, but (unfortunately) the extent of my Italian verbiage consists of a few choice phrases in Napoletano (Thanks Dad!) and anything having to do with maccaroni; but, that being said, I did know enough to know that this bottle came from the Island of Sardegna (the first sign, that this bottle would be different from the stereotypical Italian red). And at barely $11, this I had to try. 

Although I didn’t know it at the time, Cannonau comes from the same grape as Grenache. That’s why, at first pour, this wine is a lot lighter in color then you’d possibly expect. Medium bodied, at most, you can almost compare this to a french style pinot (note the word ALMOST). On the nose there are light scents of violet and plum/berry jam. To the taste – berries meet coffee with some  subtle peppery spices, and surprisingly a tiiiiiiiiny bit of oak. 

There are many things that this bottle has to offer, and more depth, then you’d expect, at first glance.

Speaking of first glance….

Mickey Mouse Club 1993…. a playground for tweeny bop sensations, who (as we all know the story) would later grow into cheesy popstars by way of Lou Pearlman, or the like. arguably, much of todays popular music relys on good production, anyway. The producer is the artist and ProTools is his instrument. So, when you see a Britney or an N’Sync, does it really matter if a true talent emerges (and that’s not my way of calling these few examples “untalented”, I will leave that argument to personal preference)?

And so, when “Genie in a Bottle” hit Top 40 radio, and another former Mouseketeer hit the scene, i am pretty sure, that most of you, not unlike myself thought nothing of it. But, we were probably all wrong…

As a child, Christina Aguilera aspired to be a singer. She was known locally as “the little girl with the big voice”.  But looking at her first album, hearing her first chart breaking single, seeing the video, you get the sense that this is just one more pop princess competing for the title of queen.

However, dig deeper, in fact, pop on the singers 1999 Self-titled Debut album, and the depth first becomes apparent on “Reflection” (recorded a year earlier for the Disney Movie “Mulan”) . A depth so unexpected, yet so wide that has made Christina Aguilera one of COVE magazine’s 100 Best Pop Vocalists; and fifth in MTV’s 22 Greatest Voices in Music, as well as, earning many many other well deserved, accreditations.

Leiber & Stoller; Pinot & Noir

August 24, 2010

It takes a very special wine to be compared to the greatest songwriters of all time. So, why am i not writing about the ’03 Henry (Lagarde) Private Reserva Cab (Mendoza), you ask?… Because, it’s not “Poppy” enough, so to speak. The 2007 Lynmar Zephyr Farms Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley/Sonoma Coast), however, is.  

I know we’ve spoken about Lynmar before (“Thought of the Day” July 12, 2010), however this bottle is completely different. With a distinct Cherry-Cola-Candy-Meets-Floral-Rose nose, and a beautiful ruby color, you can automatically guess that this is not going to be your average Pinot Noir. Rich and luscious, silk cranberries combined with complexities such as vague hints of oak (not over powering, for those of you oak haters) and exotic, almost curry-like, spice,  are just a few of the qualities that make this wine, so special.

However, the thing that REALLY gets me about this particular bottle is that it’s very structured. It has more depth then you’d expect out of your average “Joe Schmoe Pinot” but at the same time, it isn’t too intense, and over powering like a California Cab. the Zephyr Farms Pinot is light bodied (and light-hearted), but has more substance than “bubblegum pop”. It’s a wine that everyone can enjoy, on a number of levels. Call it, “Love Potion #9“………

If you ask me, there is no greater time, in the history of American Pop Music, then the 1950’s. Rock N’ Roll became a household term, and like it or not, the big band days of old were gone. America had found its defining music; and it was founded on a blend of R&B (“Race” Music) with guitar-heavy Bluegrass, and mixed with influences of, well, EVERYTHING. 

In brief, (because I can go on about this for hours) Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller wrote, arranged and produced countless recordings during this time, including some of the most notable and memorable rock and roll songs of all time. “Leiber and Stoller advanced rock and roll to new heights of wit and musical sophistication…They brought a range of stylistic flavor to their story songs, which ranged from wisecracking, finger-popping hipster tunes to quieter love ballads”, http://rockhall.com/inductees/jerry-leiber-and-mike-stoller/bio/

From “Hound Dog” & “On Broadway” to “Spanish Harlem” &  “Stand By Me”, they took chances and it paid off tenfold.

Constant, Structured, Hooky-Pop, yet with depth and meaning. that’s the business that Leiber and Stoller were in, and that’s the business that they perfected.  It doesnt get any better than that!

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