Alpha Omega II and London Grammar’s If You Wait

absolutely! DELICIOUS | By Paul Killingsworth –

300-headphoneRecently, a winemaker came in before noon to show me some new wines. This is a normal part of the wine business, as it’s good to be exposed to as many different wines as possible. Instantly, I knew that this tasting was going to be different – and awesome.

The very second he walked in, he was behind our turntables digging. He was digging for a few albums he thought we should listen to while we drank – I’m sorry, tasted – his wines. Sure enough, literally within about one minute, he picked three or four albums, and we were jamming. Out came the wines, and we were off! It was a cool tasting, probably the most fun I’ve had in a while. It was like I was in the back seat, and my taxi – sorry, Uber – driver was going 100 miles an hour to show me places I’d never been or seen.

Somewhere in my creative and adventurous heart, I know it is possible for people to experience something really amazing by pairing wine and music. There have actually been studies done to show the affect that music has on taste! I suppose, hypothetically, it would be feasible to say, “When you drink this, listen to this,” but for most people, that’s not very practical. It’s way more complicated than just putting down a needle and pulling a cork simultaneously. It would be next to impossible to give a track-by-track correlation of what is going to happen to your taste buds along the way. If I did, the funniest part would be toward the end of the record, when the listener would be pretty happy from just simply trying to keep up, volume-wise, on the wine side of things.

What I hope to accomplish is give a little information on some wine and music I’m particularly jazzed about, choosing two that compliment each other stylistically. At the end of the day, “you the reader” may think, taste and hear something completely different than me. I just hope to get people trying new stuff. If you sip the wine and spin the record at the same time, my hat is off to you.

The Perfect Pairing Alpha Omega II

Alpha Omega means the beginning and the end. It’s where the old becomes new, and in the wine world, what started in Bordeaux is arguably being continued in the Napa Valley. The winery even put together a winemaking team that reflects this type of heritage: Jean Hoefliger from Newton Winery and Michel Rolland, as put in the Wine Snob’s Dictionary, “celebrity winemaking consultant, based in Bordeaux.” Both bring something to the table. One brings energy and passion, the other experience and history.

The winery was started by college baseball player and grape grower Robin Baggett, who married lawyer and hospitality consultant Michelle Baggett. Since their inception in 2006, they have spared no expense in terms of their fruit, winemaking and barrel program. Alpha Omega has their own estate wines that are mainly sold at the winery, wine club and fine restaurants, but their second tier, the II, was made exclusively for wine bars and restaurants.

This red, a blend of primarily Cabernet Sauvignon, also has Petit Verdot, Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc to give it complexity. At 14 months in 40% new French oak, this is a beauty. Cherry-vanilla on the nose and smooth red currant in the mouth, it is stunning in balance and beauty. Bordeaux restraint and acidity meets Napa’s fruit and structure.

London Grammar’s If You Wait

Classical. Inspired. Brooding. Unexpected. That’s what comes to mind when thinking about this band and record. Lead singer Hannah Reid seems to take her inspiration from the past and breathe life into sounds and emotions that are familiar and nostalgic, yet seem to come from a position of creativity and freshness. The small, three-piece band has incredible depth and maturity way beyond their years and shouldn’t be judged on their date of birth. The album If You Wait was released in 2013, and while they’re working on their second full-length project, the band members are all still in their 20s. What’s surprising to me is that when you listen to the record, it’s like you’re transported to a more mature Annie Lenoxx and Jessie Ware or somewhere between Florence and the Machine and Imogen Heap. I have loved this record for quite awhile now and highly recommend it!