Archive | January, 2016

Weekly Wine – Novello

13 Jan

SONY DSCNegrar Novello Del Vento Igt
2015
Italy
750ml
12% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

New wine is always exciting. The reason – it is new. It tends to be a bit raw. It tends to be a bit unrefined. It tends to be a bit of a wild ride.
Look closely at the label – see the man, I’m assuming it to be a man because who ese would be so stupid, sticking his head in a lion’s mouth. That is the experience of drinking new wine – especially on the low end of the price spectrum.
And this wine … well the first sip felt like I stuck a small fury animal in my mouth. Perhaps that is a bit harsh. It was akin to what I imagine licking my daughters Guinea Pig would be like. I never even contemplated doing this deed by the way.
That being said – about half the bottle is gone and this wine is starting to grow on me. It is raw, untamed, biting … its initial harshness is then mollified by a burst of fruit flavour – not the fresh picked fruit off a vine or tree but that of nibbling some concentrated fruit.
This wine is not subtle.

David Gone

11 Jan

It is never good to wake up to such news.
David Bowie has taken on his final persona and left us.
Not much to say in the sadness.
I reviewed his David Live album nearly a year ago.
I guess I’ll find it and listen to it.

So long Star man…

Pelican in the sea

10 Jan

SONY DSC

It was warm and the summer sun was setting.
The beach was getting deserted as everybody started heading back to the hotel.
It was very nice and pleasant with a nice breeze and the ocean waves lulling me into somnolent bliss.
This pelican kept me company – alternating between rest on the waves and dive-bombing for fish.

Weekly Vinyl – Live tapes

8 Jan

Live Tapes
Barclay James Harvest
(1978)

SONY DSC

This is Barclay James Harvest. It is a band. It is not a law firm. Nor is it an accounting firm.
It is, how to describe it, a soft rock kinda progressive band from the UK.
This album is a mix of their hits, (Poor |Man’s Moody Blues, Child of the Universe, Suicide, Hymn, Taking Me Higher) recorded at some shows in Europe. They still tour there – I looked this upon their site.
What strikes me by listening to this album after all these years of not hearing them is how laid back, mellow and … well … lame this music is. Even when the band tries to rock out a bit, like on the song Crazy City, it really falls flat. I think the studio albums were better – which is weird because usually live albums capture the spirit and energy better.
Perhaps this album does capture the spirit of the music properly – everybody is sedated, including the band.

Weekly Wine – Kressmann

6 Jan

SONY DSCKressmann Selection Merlot
2014
France
750ml
12.5% ABV
$8.95 (LCBO)

The first sip of this wine puts a little grimace on the lips. Some might take it as a smile – suggesting that you are enjoying this wine.
But no.
The wine is dry, acidic and has a distinctive sulphite aftertaste.
With subsequent tastes the sensation remains and I get confused as to how to rate this wine. It ain’t bad but it ain’t good.
This wine used to be a staple at weddings, funerals, and other such events. It is a very standard table wine. And it’s French so it has some cache.
But there are better French wines at or near this price point. Not to mention Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, or other “new world” wines. In France, in Parisian shops, there are much better wines for about half the price. (And they say Paris is expensive…)
The more I drink this wine the harder it goes down. I think about the weddings and functions I was at and had this wine in my very, very youthful era. I enjoyed it then because it was free and plentiful. Time has moved on and this wine feels nostalgic and old – it is harsh and uninteresting.
What a pity.

Resolution Evolution

5 Jan

I was thinking recently about resolutions.
This is a thing you do on new years.
Resolutions are hard and fast pledges that you make to oneself.
And then you break them.
So I resolved to make no resolutions.
But I will make evolutions.
In a way I resolve to evolve.

 

Winter kite

3 Jan


Who said kite flying is just for summer?
This image was not taken this year… This lake is not frozen and there is very little snow here.

Weekly Vinyl – Jeff Healey

1 Jan

See the Light
The Jeff Healey Band
(1988)

SONY DSC

Jeff Healey grew up not too far from where I live now. For those that might not know, Healey was a blind guitarist who played the guitar in a unique way – it lay on his lap.
This was his first album and created quite a sensation back when it was released. This was in the last era of a blues music revival… when the blues as a genre was played on the radio and there were lots of musicians working with this music. Heady times…
With the record on you can clearly hear the musical influences that Healey has taken to heart, Willie Dixon, B.B. King, Muddy Waters. These are the roots but I can’t help hearing a lot of Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughn in his music.
I have not heard this album in a very long while – I even forgot I had it. It was wonderful to rediscover this album. It was also sad to remember that Healey passed away a few years ago and won’t create any more music.
Well, I have this great album. 

 

Happy New Year

1 Jan

Happy New Year.
There, I said it…

So 2016 will be happy.
And new
And a year…

Happy New Year