The Slackers can legally drink! After 13 full length albums and almost 23 years on the road, the rock steady/ ska/ reggae/ dub/ soul group consistently makes it onto my record player, especially my favorite album from 1997, RedLight. When my wife and I have guests over, most are curious about my vinyl record collection and go digging to see what treasures are in there. Most of them don’t own vinyl records and aren’t aware that people play them and that the market for them is growing rapidly. RedLight always manages to catch the attention of guests. When they ask what it is and ask to play it, I just smile and grab the needle off whatever vinyl was spinning and lay down the Slackers.
Formed in 1991 in Manhattan, NY, the Slackers have been loyal soldier artist for Hellcat Records playing blend of reggae, jazz, and ska all over the world from punk tours like the Warped Tour to the Montreal Jazz Fest. Lead singer Victor Ruggiero carries a soulful whisky-laced voice over his keyboards backed by percussion, guitar, bass, and horns. The band dresses in black suits, ties, and sometime black fedoras and sunglasses. They may almost remind of the colorful men from the film Reservoir Dogs. The band is fantastic live and evokes movement from their fans. Whether you dance or bob your head to the upbeat rhythms, The Slackers always put me in a good mood and gives me the urge to dance. I like it when my wine dances too. I love watching the bubbles move in a glass of sparkling wine.
My wife and I share a common preference for sparkling wine and tend to always a bottle of two available in the cellar. Even when we go out to dinner, we will typically order a bottle of sparkling wine for share for no reason other than we agree on it and we are out to dinner. Most people will open a sparkling wine for celebration, which is great, but more people should drink it on a regular basis. Aside from being fantastic, it is a really good pairing wine because of the effervescence it has. It has the unique ability for a wine to cleanse the palate. CO2 bubbles can lift heavy fats off your palate leaving it refreshed for more food and wine, whereas a rich red wine is going to leave your palate fatigued and heavy. If sparkling wine had a personality, it would that one person in your circle of friends who is always having a great time.
One of our favorite sparkling wines is Schramsberg Mirabelle Brut Rosé from the hills of the Sonoma Valley, in California. All Schramsberg sparkling wines are absolutely fantastic, but we tend to always fall back on this one. It is a special blend of chardonnay and pinot noir grapes and after two years of aging, this rosé has a rich, fiery punch and is itchin’ to be drunk. It maintains a distinct creaminess and unique flavors of strawberry, guava, grapefruit, and citrus.
This pairing will never go wrong. When listening to The Slackers, you may think of drinking a Red Stripe and smoking a joint, but try some sparkling wine and barbecue chicken for you next cook out. Even if it is a cold and snowy winter day, the fiery bubbles of Schramsberg and cookin’ beats of The Slackers will keep you warm and moving all night.
Tonight is New Year’s Eve, if you are reading this at your office and watching the clock waiting for it to hit 5:oopm, forget your plans for the evening, plan a trip to your local wine shop before they close, and pick up a bottle of sparkling wine and find The Slackers on your favorite online streaming radio station, and have a relaxing and happy evening…