By Joe Colgan
Welcome to Friday! I think it's about time we address the subject of Steely Dan here at CORKZILLA. Since the early '70's the Fagen/Becker duo have been responsible for producing some of the greatest and sophisticatedly distinctive music in Rock and Pop's history. In the early years the group was mostly viewed as a studio-based band, concentrating on creating near perfection when recording. Intelligent/sarcastic lyrics paired with utilizing an arsenal of top-notch studio musicians from LA & NYC has always been their modus operandi. Some of my favorite musicians have done stints as members of the constantly rotating band roster. As a musician growing up, I viewed the slot of lead guitarist for Steely Dan as being sacred gound. The list of players that have held that position is impressive - Denny Dias , Jeff "Skunk" Baxter , Larry Carlton , Wayne Krantz , Jon Herington , etc… The tune we're featuring below is a classic and one of my favs. Learning the song's guitar solos off the Royal Scam album was a big goal for me as a kid. It took me a while.
I'm thinking we need to go red, dark, and smokey for this week's pairing. I've had Chappellet's 2007 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon a few times and I think it will go nicely with the mood of the tune. Born in Napa, this cab (76% Cab, 18%Malbec, 4%Petit Verdot, 1%Merlot, 1% Cab Franc) is Chappellet's flagship wine and comes from the rocky soils of Pritchard Hill. It's medium bodied and dark. Lot's of currant and black raspberries on the palate with some very delicious smelling espresso/coca on the nose. Decant and let this one sit for a while. At about $40 it's a great mid-range cab.
By Ben Heskett
The scene: It's been a long, fruitful evening of wine drinking on a lovely California summer night. Maybe some bubbles, onto a good Pinot, perhaps a Spanish Garnacha, or a Syrah, all part of a fun night of wine and food. With all of those built up tannins in your mouth, wouldn't a nice palate cleanser be just the thing?
This is a recounting of an actual recent event. As the evening was winding down, the music selections turned mellower, and just as J.J. Cale's "Call Me the Breeze" started coming out of the speakers, a solution to our problem was found - The Novy Family Winery (The same folks that bring you Siduri Wines) 2009 Viognier from the Russian River Valley. It was the perfect combination - a Wine and Tunes Pairing fully realized in the moment.
The Novy 2009 Viognier is an interesting bottle, with hints of apricot jam, citrus and overall sweetness, with a long, crisp finish that will wash away your evening of red wines. A white wine as a wrap up? Indeed. Think of it as almost a dessert wine. As a shameless plug for the Siduri folks (One of my Pinot favorites), they're trying to get rid of their 2009s, so there's some deals to be had on the Viognier at the winery and perhaps via the mailing list, if you're on it.
Below is a version J.J. Cale does with Eric Clapton as part of the latter's sometime music festival. For the somewhat mellower version that graced our evening, click here. Enjoy!