The Death Whisperer Series

The Death Whisperer Series
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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Ana Popović and Robert Mondavi Private Selection Pinot Noir

Ana Popović was born May 13, 1976 in Belgrade, Serbia, although she’s now based in Memphis TN. As far as I know, she’s a rarity as a Serbian blues guitarist. She was introduced to the blues through her father’s extensive collection of blues recordings.
Her early influences were Otis Spann and Buddy Guy, but judging by all the people she’s played with, I’d say her style is a conglomerate of many blues artists. Her fiery style has earned her the nickname of “The Serbian Scorcher.”

Ana grew up playing the blues in Belgrade during the turbulent time of the fall of communism and the dissolution of Yugoslavia. In 1995, she formed the band Hush with Rade Popović (guitar, vocals), Milan Sarić (bass guitar) and Bojan Ivković (drums). Within a year, with the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe, she was playing blues festivals in Greece and Hungary and working as an opening act for American blues masters, including someone near and dear to my Chicago heart, the great harpist Junior Wells.

In 1999, Ana went solo and formed the Ana Popović Band based out of Amsterdam.
Her last two albums, “Still Makin History” and “Unconditional” reached number one on Billboard’s blues chart. Her latest, “Can You Stand The Heat,” released last April will undoubtedly join them at the top of the charts. She’s been either nominated for or won too many awards to name. she now calls Memphis home and continues to tour hitting blues festivals and clubs across the U.S. and Europe. She truly is a scorcher when it comes to the blues. Enjoy!

Can’t you see what you’re doing to me:
U don’t move me/Voodoo woman:

Blues players like Ana don’t really call for fine wine. Good whiskey is more the beverage of choice. But since this blog focuses on wine, I’d pick something that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg and that you gulp rather than sip. So I suggest the 2011 Robert Mondavi Private Selection Pinot Noir ($7.50). I’m always a little suspicious of wines that cost lest than $10.00, so I decant them into a wide-bottomed flask and let them breath for about an hour. For some reason, this always seems to remove the harshness that can plague wines in this price category. After aeration, there are aromas of bright cherry, strawberry, vanilla, and little bit of pepper. The taste follows the nose, ending with a warm berry finish. Mind you, this is not a fine French Burgundy or even a premium California or Oregon Pinot Noir. Rather, it’s something you can quaff on a hot summer evening because at this price, you can afford two bottles; one for you and one for your significant other. It’s just the ticket for the music of the Serbian Scorcher.


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