For today's Wine and Music pairing I chose a refreshing 2006 California Chardonnay and a flavorful Dub album which was released in 2007. The wine is fermented in 100% stainless steel and therefore has minimal oak influence. Unoaked wine is known to emphasize the natural flavors of the grapes, along with elements of the soil in which they grew.
‘Dub', an increasingly popular offshoot of Reggae, is achieved by manipulating, remixing and reshaping previously recorded sound bytes. Dub music is known to emphasize the original “riddims” of a reggae track, and to expose the unique and new ideas of the dub producer. In much the same way that Dub producers do, Wine producers must also mix and test the results of their manipulations before releasing their product to the public. Both Dub and Unoaked wine are heavily influenced by their local region.
As the world's favorite white wine, Chardonnay is widely consumed in the summer time. Reggae music is also widely consumed in the summertime (having originated in Jamaica) and thanks to artists such as Bob Marley, is one of the world's most popular genres.
In the spirit of all things summery and refreshing, the song included with this post is titled “Sun Shines on You”. The track pairs fantastically with the Balletto 2006 Teresa's Chardonnay, but will also pair nicely with other whites being enjoyed during the summer months.
2006 Balletto Teresa's Chardonnay
Wine Region: Sonoma, CA
Wine Label: Balletto Vineyards
Wine Year: 2006
Wine Type: White: Chardonnay
This pale straw colored wine is refreshing and delicious with enticing green apple and melon flavors that harmonize well. The grapes were harvested in October of 2006 and 722 cases of this wine were produced. Balletto has been named one of Santa Rosa's top ten wineries and offers Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel. The 2006 Teresa's Chardonnay is estate bottled.
John Balletto, founder of Balletto Vineyards, began farming at the age of 17. After expanding from vegetables into grapes, John eventually decided to release his own wine. All of his grapes are hand picked, and the company's slogan is “Taste the Bounty that is Balletto”. The Balletto Winery is located in the southwest area of the Russian River Valley in the middle of the 280-acre Balletto family property.
Music Region: London, England
Music Label: Interchill
Music Year: 2007
Music Type: Dub: Electronic
Ashtech, who started his music career in Italy at the age of 12, is a solo artist, a musician (in the Italian mainstream pop band Almamegretta) and as a producer whose style combines original dub and urban electronica. Ashtech's works are uniquely characterized by the flavor of his heavy and dubby bassline. Ashtech's premier solo album titled “Walking Target”, was released in the summer of 2007 and has been considered a masterpiece of dub by the worldwide music press.
According to Ashtech: “The way I play the bass is very instinctive - many artists ask me how do I get this sound. I always reply that it is the way your fingers touch the instrument, that give the right resonance to the strings.”
Ashtech releases his music on a number of music labels including Interchill Records. Founded in 1995, Interchill got its start in the in Montreal with a focus on ‘organic electronica for expanding minds'. Now, after 13 years in operation, the label has soundly established itself as a key player in the downtempo/electronic scene and is known worldwide for releasing hi-fidelity music that lasts.
The chardonnay grape is very malleable, in that it reflects and takes on the impression of its region and is sensitive to its local soil. Dub is also very malleable in that it reflects and takes on the impression of the original sounds and regional creativity of its producers. As with Reggae, Dub initially came from Jamaica, but has since expanded to have uniquely routed scenes in regions such as London and San Francisco.
As I am not as much a fan of buttery/vanilla as I am of crisp/refreshing, I prefer my chardonnay on the unoaked side. In this pairing, I find that the metallic and crisp, yet bright and flowery sounds of the dub sit nicely with my understanding that this wine was fermented in stainless steel.
This wine and this music compliment one another in many ways - contextually in that they are both seasonal and great during the summer, but also philosophically in that they are hand picked, and produced with extreme personal care.
John Balletto began farming in 1977 at the tender age of 17. Ashtech began music at age 12. John Balletto was a successful grape farmer before releasing his own wine brand. Ashtech was a successful bass player before releasing his own album. Both John Balletto and Ashtech still make a living selling their craft to others (John as a Grape farmer, and Ashtech as a remixer), but focus their truest and most passionate attention on their own work.
Ashtech's entire album “Walking Through” is a great dub experience. I recommend it in it's entirely. I find that the track “Sun Shines on You” is an especially good example of the benefits of pairing Dub music and good summer wine. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
For more information on Dub, and to access some great (free) mixes check out www.dub.com
Ashtech - Sun Shines On You
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.