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Wine and music

I woke up and went outside to see what was happening and discovered a whole lot was happening.

Looking to the west, I was greeted by a magnificent silver white disc smiling at me which we know as the moon. It was awesome — full, bright and shining! Looking to the east, I was greeted by a long awaited yellow/red/orange sun as it rose regally above the horizon. It was awesome — full, bright and shining!

I couldn’t help but think how lucky I was to experience both of these natural phenomenons almost at the same moment. Nature makes my heart sing.

As we all know, the last week has been a bit challenging with the very cold temperatures, the blasting (and blasted) winds and the continual mixture of snow, sleet, ice pellets and rain. They didn’t make my heart sing but they are part of our existence and many songs have been written about these bitter natural elements.

It’s said that music is the one true universal language and many of us would agree with that thought. Each culture has its own musical beat, melodies, instruments and lyrical stories. Many of us have found it hard not bounce our foot, or try to sing along or even dance to new music, and in doing so, we’ve also laughed and met new friends. Music is as powerful as a night sky filled with a full moon or a dark night disappearing with the rising of the sun.

What I’ve also learned is that music and wine are extremely compatible.

Over the years and across continents, it’s been gratifying to sit, sip and sing — what a wonderful combination of activities. I must admit that, for me, the singing part usually occurs at home but the other two parts — sipping and sitting — have happened just a “few” times in many venues. I’ve tried to listen not only to the music but, also to the wine, to determine what type of music goes with what wine varietals and here are my choices for music and wine pairing.

From Rioja in Spain, we have the wonderful Tempranillo wines such a Campo Viejo — a fresh and feisty wine that reminds me of music for a tango. Upon tasting it, you can’t ignore it and when listening to a tango, you can’t ignore the driving beat and sassy actions of the dance.

Who doesn’t like champagne? The wine bursts with firmness and elegance which demands a loving and sturdy relationship. Maybe that’s why when I hear a Richard Georg Strauss walz, I am drawn to get up and dance. It reminds me of a wedding dance or a wedding anniversary event — you get up and toast the celebratory couple and then, take a nice long draw from your champagne flute which holds a nice amount of Chandor California Brut Classic. It’s elegance in a glass.

The other day I had lunch with some good friends and their young daughter. Our time together is always a special treat for me and as we parted, I asked their little girl if she would give me a hug. She embraced me. It was so sweet and vibrant that it reminded me of a Risata Moscato d’Asti — lots of potential and sweetness. On the way home, I played Ozzy Osbourne’s song “A Dreamer.” The song is full of goodness about taking care of the earth and I want to do that for my little friend.

I had dinner with some new friends and during our conversation, it was revealed that the mother of one of them has maintained a 50 year-old pen pal relationship with a French woman. That’s right! Fifty years and they have hardly met in person. The conversation brought to mind Vivaldi’s Four Seasons music. The music portrays the four seasons of the year and is beautiful — just like that jaw dropping 50 years of writing back and forth. Amazing!

During that same conversation, the other party and I reflected on visiting Germany and the great wines that can be found there. When I mentioned the Riesling I’d tasted there, the person’s eyes literally lit up! I will never forget those eyes and how we shared stories about our times in Germany.

I like a glass of Pacific Rim Dry Riesling and I’m always reminded of John Lennon’s song “Imagine.” Imagine if all the world could just get along over a glass of wine.

Malbec wines are sturdy and hardy. I like Alamos from Mendoza in Argentina which is powerful and meaningful like Disturbed’s “Sounds of Silence” rendition. Absolutely powerful!

Leonard Cohen wrote and performed many songs and I have always enjoyed his songs – especially later on in his life when his voice became more bass and raspy. One of my favorites is “If it be your will” which is about putting your fate in the divine and asking for understanding. I’m reminded of a subtle and firm Pinot Noir such as Meimoi – a very expressive wine with great depth.

Lastly, as the day ends, a glass of Port is always appreciated – just like listening to Edward Grieg’s “Solveig’s Song.” The song is gentle, loving and warm. You’ll find the same gentleness, love and warmth in a glass of Dow’s Fine Ruby Porto.

It’s not expected you will “hear” the same music I do when you drink your favorite wine. Just sit with friends and family, sip lightly of your favorite wine and talk with each other.

As always, eat and drink in moderation but laugh with reckless abandon!

Cheers!

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