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The Terroir of the Tune

Posted by guest, Jun 13, 2008.

The website for Roots Run Deep says this about its flagship wine, which they call Educated Guess - "We use our knowledge, intuition, and years of experience to make the best possible decisions; however at the end of the day it still remains an "Educated Guess"."

This philosophy resonates with me in regard to pairing music and wine so I thought it would be a great wine to include in my next post on Snooth. One aspect of pairing wine and music which does not leave as much to guess work is the combination of products that are similar in their region of origin or in wine terms - the terroir. As I understand it, this is also a great way to match wine and cheese.

For this post, I have paired singer/songwriter Emily Jane White with the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Educated Guess. Both the wine and the music were produced in Northern California and are distributed by local labels.

Emily Jane White - Hole in the middle - hole_in_the_middle.mp3

2005 Educated Guess

Wine Region: Napa Valley, CA
Wine Label: Educated Guess / Roots Run Deep
Wine Year: 2005
Wine Type: Red: Cabernet Sauvignon

Wine Description:
Fresh and focused with ripe-berry and oaky vanilla flavors, this wine maintains the complexity I like in a cabernet, while remaining approachable and fun. The grapes in this wine are 100% organically grown.

Proprietor, and 15 year Wine veteran Mark Albrecht produces this wine in Oakville, CA at Napa Wine Company. The label itself is rather unique and shows actual winemaking formulas that are either induced or naturally occur during a specific winemaking process. There are two primary sources for the Educated Guess - Beckstoffer Vineyards in Rutherford, and the Napa Wine Company in Yountville and Oakville, California. Created with the philosophy that superb Napa Valley Cabernet can be affordable, this wine is indistinguishable in quality from its higher-priced Napa Valley competitors.

Emily Jane White

Music Region: Sebastopol, California
Music Label: Double Negative
Music Year: 2007
Music Type: Folk: Blues

Music Description:

San Francisco based Emily Jane White's debut album includes a medley of haunting songs that represent a rare and dark brand of folk. Her contagious voice floats through each track with grace and beauty while her instrumentation (generally guitar and piano) maintains an inviting sense pop sensibility. Emily's musical blend is a combination of blues, folk, and American spiritual traditions.

"Dark Undercoat" was recorded in 2006 with Wainwright Hewlett in Sebastopol, California. Emily developed her song writer craft during a degree in American Studies at UC Santa Cruz. She then took a trip to France perfecting her performance in cities such as Bordeaux and Grenoble. Upon returning from France, Emily moved to San Francisco and started working on this album. This album represents the collected works which Emily has been working on for the past 5 years. Included with this post is a track from Emily's album called "Hole in the Middle".

Tasting Notes:

The Heriot Watt study (which I referenced in my last post) on the effects of music on wine says that "powerful and heavy" music influences red wine 60%. Emily Jane White and her brand of "dark folk" is both powerful and heavy and is a perfect match for a full bodied and rich wine such as this.

We have determined that both Wine and Music have a "mood" - these two products are both from the same region and they share a very similar mood. Both the wine and the music are dark and lingering, yet pleasant and inviting. In same way, wine is blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and Petite Verdot; Emily's music is a blend of folk, blues and country.

The 2005 Educated Guess is the flagship product for Napa based Roots Run Deep. "Dark Undercoat" is Emily's flagship album and was released on Oakland, CA label Double Negative. Both the wine and the music represent the culmination of worldly experiences which produced a unique and favorable product.

Both Emily Jane White and the Educated Guess share a level of complexity, which is complimentary when these two products are enjoyed simultaneously. Both products also have good length and a great finish that resonates in a natural and organic way. I certainly expect to be back for more of this pairing.

Emily Jane White - Hole in the middle - hole_in_the_middle.mp3

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.


Reply by Philip James, Jun 13, 2008.

Adam - awesome pairing. Am falling more and more in love with this music and wine pairing idea. I created a category 'music' on the blog so people can easily find posts about this subject

Reply by Mark Angelillo, Jun 13, 2008.

Even the artwork -- the wine label and the album art -- pair in a jarring but pleasing way.

Reply by Chris Carpita, Jun 13, 2008.

For those of you who want to buy this wine, it's available from Zachy's, and at least one other fine establishment:

Reply by Kirstin, Jun 15, 2008.

This is fantastic- thanks for the music suggestion too. We sell this cab at our shop, and it FLIES off the shelf. Sure, some people buy it for the label (I work in the midst of academics near a college), but they always end up buying more buying it's tasty, and cheap-ish. Looking forward to listening to your artist pairing, and maybe even a little Bahamadia.

Reply by John Andrews, Jun 17, 2008.

Funny, it is a Napa Wine and I can't find it at any of my local shops. There is a place in San Jose but that is a long way for me to go to get a $20 wine. I definitely want to try Educated Guess.

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