The Death Whisperer Series

The Death Whisperer Series
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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Acoustic side of Rock & Calatayud Las Rocas Garnacha

Tonight I’m taking a look at a different side of a bunch of hard rocking blues guitarists and shredders. Each has put out some acoustic unplugged material that is quite classy. Who would’ve though Joe Satriani or Yngwie Malmsteen had a quieter side? Quiet, but still powerful. I love Yngwie with the symphony. Malmsteen is reputed to be the fastest picker in rockdom, but just to keep it honest, I’ve included an acoustic version of John McLaughlin’s Birds of Fire, played by McLaughlin himself. You tell me who’s faster.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Blue on Black:

Johnny Lang
Wander This World:

Stevie Ray Vaughn
Pride and Joy:
Life by the Drop:
Twelve String Blues:

Eric Clapton
Driftin Blues:
Key to the Highway:

Joe Satriani
May this be Love:
I Believe:

Yngwie Malmsteen:
With symphony:
Guitarra Acustica:

John McLaughlin
Birds of Fire solo:

My wife and I were in our hometown of Chicago last weekend enjoying some of our favorite comfort foods, one of which are Chicago hotdogs from Henry’s, a little greasy spoon on Ogden Avenue in Cicero. I was faced with a real challenge, namely, what wine goes with a hotdog smothered in mustered, relish, and onions? The answer: a Calatayud Las Rocas Garnacha 2007 ($12.00). Las Rocas, or "the rocks", is 100% Garnacha (Grenache), from vines that are 70-100 years old. Aging is split 60% in a tank and 40% in a barrel for a total of approximately 6 months. The wine is deep purple with aromas of cherry, plum, black raspberry, and what I finally decided was a touch of whiskey. It’s medium bodied with succulent dark fruit on the palate and nice acidity. Very smooth with enough strength to weather the mustard and onions on the Chicago “dogs.” Robert Parker's Wine Advocate gave it 90 points. He didn’t say anything about how well it accompanies a hotdog, but believe me, it’s a great match. So enjoy a bottle while you listen to the acoustic side of some electric rockers.


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