This week's Wine and Music Pairing includes a 2006 Pinot Noir from Kent Rasmussen's Esoterica label and a track called ‘Vine to Vine' from Matthew Dear's most recent full length album titled “Asa Breed“. It's a rather enticing match which exemplifies the concept of pairing “dark and mysterious” music with red wine.
“The synergism of nature and technology - the old and the new - makes for a very centered and peaceful life.”
The above quote is from wine maker Kent Rasmussen, but it could very well have been from musician and producer Matthew Dear. In the same fashion which Kent has created a lifestyle and product which cull from new and historical methods of wine making, Matthew Dear crafts amazing and globally recognized music which blends live instrumentation (old) and modern sampling techniques (new) to form a unique and highly enjoyable result.
The Esoterica label according to the Kent Rasmussen website, is a “weird and wonderful” brand. The Ghostly International label, of which Matthew Dear was the first artist to be released, is also of this mind set. Both the wine and the music label are known for bringing a consistent flow of top quality and innovative products to the market. Kent Rasmussen Winery has released a number of impressive wines, but prides itself most on its flagship Pinot Noir. Ghostly has also released a number of quality artists but maintains an immense pride, and has had a series of global success with its flagship artist Matthew Dear. Kent Rasmussen has released wine on both his Kent Rasmussen label and its sister label Ramsey Wines (named after Kent's wife Celia), and Matthew Dear has released music on both the Ghostly label and its sister brand Spectral.
Kent Rasmussen is known both for his wine making and his willingness (in 1979) to plant and harvest grapes in a region not yet established or trusted. Similarly, Matthew Dear was willing to blend the electronic genre with songwriting at an early time in music history when the electronic genre was not as favorable. In releasing products under different names and in different styles, both Kent and Matthew have stayed relevant and have carved out niches for themselves which allow for innovation and an established consistency of excellence.
Esoterica – 2006 North Coast Pinot Noir
Wine Style: Red: Pinot Noir
Wine Region: Carneros, California
Wine Year: 2006
Wine Label: Esoterica - Ramsey Wines / Kent Rasmussen Winery
Wine Link: http://www.snooth.com/wine/kent-rasmussen-winery-pinot-noir-north-coast-2006-1/
Wine Description: - The website for Kent Rasmussen Winery says “if I could tell you only one thing about us, it would be this: we make ‘Purely Poetic' Pinot Noir“. Many historians in Northern California will claim that Kent is a not only a great wine maker, but a visionary based on his willingness and success in farming a region once considered too harsh for quality Pinot Noir. Carneros, CA is now considered one of the best growing regions in the world for this grape. Kent and his wife Celia Ramsey operate the winery with the help of their two sons. Ken originally caught the wine bug while living in Germany during his college years.
The grapes in this wine were grown on the Rasmussen Napa estate as well in Mendocino's Potter Valley. This wine is rich and complex, but smooth and soothing. Flavors of ripe berry -especially cherry are complimented by a nice toasted oak. I enjoyed the feel and texture of this wine in my mouth especially when enjoyed with music. It's a fine example of Pinot Noir and well worth the $20 dollar price tag.
Music Style: Electronic: Pop
Music Region: Detroit, Michigan
Music Year: 2007
Music Label: Ghostly International
Music Link: http://ghostly.com/artists/matthew-dear
Music Description: Texas born, Detroit based Matthew Dear has been releasing albums since the early 90's and has won international praise for his work. The son of a folk singer, Mathew Dear also records under the successful techno moniker Audion.
Matthew Dear records for the prestigious Ghostly International label and its sister label Spectral Sounds (as Audion) and makes genre bending blends of pop hooks and electronic rhythms which he combines with sensible lyrics and layered vocals. No matter what moniker or genre, Matthew Dear always provides a unique musical experience with a spectacular fusion of live and electronic instruments. Unlike most electronic music, lyrics and story telling are a staple of Matthew's sound and have helped achieve a high level of pop sensibility – one which is evident in the success of his most recent album. Be sure to keep an eye out for the deluxe packaging of the “Asa Breed Black Edition” (including remixes by Hot Chip and Fourtet as well as other bonus material).
The song itself was written about Mathew Dear's great grand father who was killed by Texas rangers in the 1920's. I must point out that this track is VERY unconventional for Matthew Dear in the sense that is has a country tinge and he is a known electronic/techno superstar, however I find it blends fantastically with the wine as do most tracks on the “Asa Breed” album and of course the track name “Vine to Vine” is appropriate for a pairing of this nature.
Check out videos from Mathew Dear by visiting his website or more of his music selections at his Myspace page.
Matthew Dear - Vine to Vine - Vine_to_Vine
Adam Rabinovitz is Senior Director of Retail Marketing at IODA, the global leader in digital distribution, marketing, and technology solutions for the independent music industry. IODA distributes music from over 4000 labels, representing over 50 different countries and over 170 different genre styles.