Friday, November 16, 2007

In Harmony (installment 1)

I'm trying out a new regular feature on this blog. Last weekend, when making stock, I finally brought a CD player into the kitchen (I usually just have the TV on in the background) and was amazed how much more fun cooking was with some of my favorite tunes playing. Later in the week, I went to a wine class, and it occurred to me how much more pleasurable wine drinking might be with a soundtrack. Like pairing food with different wines, doesn't it make sense to pair music with certain wines? Looks like I'm not the first one to have this thought...though this article gets into brain waves and stuff...makes my head hurt a little. I'm more interested in mood. Certain wines, with their flavors and aromas and mouth feels, put you in certain moods. I think music to compliment this mood would most likely enhance the wine tasting/drinking experience.

I recently opened a new favorite find...Garnacha de Fuego.

I think I've pretty much liked every blend wine I've had that included Grenache, so it makes sense that I would like straight-up Grenache. this is a bargain at about $8 a pop. Here's a professional's description:
"Bright red. Smoky cherry and dark berry aromas are complemented by candied licorice, dark chocolate and zesty minerality. At once silky and lively, with impressively complex cherry and dark berry flavors joined by an exotic floral pastille quality on the finish. This boasts remarkable focus and persistence for the price."

I pretty much have to agree with that assessment. Furthermore, I see it as kind of a casual kind of wine that most people could groove with. Fruity, but sultry. Which brings me to my playlist (these are amazon links, and you can listen to little previews of the songs):

-Badfish, Sublime- such a chill-out song, with a nice slow beat and rich bass. One of my favorite summer driving songs.

-Son's Gonna Rise, Citizen Cope. This is such a good album. I highly recommend it. This is the song that hooked me (actually a co-worker discovered it from a car commercial).

-It Was a Good Day (Remix)-Ice Cube. From an album celebrating NWA and it's individual members, called N.W.A. legacy. While the original is great, this one is more mellow and smooth with some funk.

- Freedom Hangs like Heaven, Iron & Wine. Nice guitar, slightly upbeat...And "Wine" is part of the bands's only natural!

-Like the Weather, 10,000 Maniacs. My favorite Maniacs song. Laid back, sad without sounding too melancholy, Natalies's unique fluctuating voice.

-What a Fool Believes, The Doobie Brothers. What?I I like, darn it. You need a little cheese with your wine, right? Anyway, this song is fun and (I think) pretty darn cool.

-Moondance, Van Morrison. God I love this voice. Brings in the "smoky" aspect of the wine, and the sultry nighttime relaxed mood.

-Doors of your Heart, The English Beat. Another slower, but not dragging, deep bass beat. Plus, it's all romantical and crud. Nice!

So that's Granacha de Fuego playlist. please let me know what you think!

Meanwhile, to sort of bring this full circle, an see, I was drinking the de Fuego (I love saying that!) while I was making my onion butter the other night, so to follow up... for "dinner" tonight (had a big, late lunch, so didn't have a real dinner), I put the onion butter with some Cabot's Seriously Sharp cheddar cheese on a shredded wheat cracker (store-brand, not Triscuit, because Racheal Ray needs to get off my box of Tricuits already!).

Wow! Although my initial taste of the uber-caramelized onions the other night was a little too bitter, this was fantastic! The creaminess and sharpness of the cheese balanced the bitter out, and the salty cracker enhanced the sweetness of the onions. Success! It's been requested for Thanksgiving, even.

ETA: While barely awake yesterday morning, I remembered that there is a song to go along with my little onion butter cheese snack, and nearly laughed out loud:

It's so perfect!

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