Archive for August, 2009
Today we’ll be talking about listening to entire rock albums vs. individual MP3 song downloads, wine preservation systems, on-line store boycotts, Jenga, and Mozart.
Yeah, I know – how do I get myself into these messes, right?
Let’s start with the albums vs. individual songs thing. At heart, I’m an album guy. What I mean is, I find that on the whole, I prefer listening to an entire album of music vs. individual songs or best-of collections. Some of the greatest rock albums of all time – Who’s Next, Moving Pictures, The Queen Is Dead, Woyaya, Close To the Edge, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Let It Bleed – had an enormous amount of time and effort placed in the track sequence alone. Sure, the individual songs are quite enjoyable, but over the course of listening to an entire hour of a band’s work, the pieces can sometimes become more powerful when taken taken together. In rare cases, the construction of an album is so damn good that removing or rearranging even one track would be like removing an instrument from a Mozart work – the remainder starts to fall apart, like a Jenga puzzle with a foundation piece suddenly torn away. Sometimes, deconstruction isn’t worth it.
The funny thing is, when it comes to wine I’m in exactly the opposite camp. I love going through a great bottle of wine with friends, really “listening” to what the wine has to say as it unfolds and changes over the course of an evening, but all things being equal, I’d rather sample and enjoy several wines in the same time frame. And since they contain alcohol there is a simple biological limit to how many bottles can be opened and enjoyed in full by a small group of people in one evening. Not that I’ve tested that limit, of course. At least, not yet this week.
Which is why I fell in love with the wine tasting bar at the enormous Fairlakes, VA Whole Foods ‘mothership’ store while touring the Loudoun County wine country recently.
So, to recap: that’s Rock albums vs. MP3 singles, Mozart, Jenga, Virginia, and Whole Foods. Now we can talk about some wine!…
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As many 1WineDude readers know, my grandmother passed away this week at the age of 96, having suffered from Alzheimer’s for the past few years (you can read more on that and wine’s possible connection with dementia). Posting here at the blog is taking a backseat to family matters for the next few days.
Today is just a very quick blurb to let you know that I’ve been working with the folks at MyWinesDirect.com to set up discounts on their wine selections for 1WineDude readers. From now through the end of September, new MyWinesDirect.com customers can use the code winedude to save $10 on their order.
For more info. on MyWinesDirect.com, check out their blog, Through The Wine Glass, and follow them on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/mywinesdirect.
At the risk of sounding like a complete and total corporate brand shill, I’m going to mention that Black Box Wines, one of a few wine brands that have come on the scene offering higher-quality boxed wines, has been good to me and I consider them “friends of the Dude.”
It helps that their product doesn’t suck, of course. I’m not going to call their wines amazing, and while they claim that their boxes of wine will stay fresh for up to four weeks after opening, their idea of “fresh” after two weeks doesn’t coincide with my idea of “pleasurably drinkable.” But… if you’re looking for a larger volume of fruit-forward, easy-drinking wine for a party you’d do a lot worse than to pick up a box of Black Box Chardonnay, which I found to be a bargain in terms of quality / price ratio – you get a lot of decent, easy-drinking, tropical-fruit-driven Chard for a very good price.
GEEK-OUT ALERT: I need to mention that the term “boxed wine” gets on my nerves, since technically it’s “bagged wine” – the wine is in a bag that happens to be stored in a box. The technology behind the bag is pretty amazing, actually, since it needs to collapse at the same rate as the wine so that as little air as possible gets into the bag, thus preserving the freshness of the wine. To allow this, the bag is slightly permeable, which means it has a freshness shelf-life even when unopened. Ok, I’ll stop geeking-out now.
Black Box Wines happen to be running a video contest at the moment, which amazingly has fewer than 10 entries at the moment. I say “amazingly” because they are giving away $10,000. Even if people from CA aren’t eligible (I blame the broken CA state government, from which PA seems to unfortunately be taking its model), that’s a paltry number of entries for a prize like that.
The thing I can’t figure out is why there seem to be so few entries. The economy is in the toilet, and wine people came out of the woodwork for a chance to win a similar amount of monthly dough from Murphy-Goode winery.
So, what gives? Do people not want a chance at $10 Gs?…
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