I spend 40 hours a week, 650ish miles a week in my car as a wine and spirits specialist. I visit over 50 accounts a week selling magical snake oils and stories. The weather has been cooling, leaves are warming in color, and my ear candy has been stuck on soulful women. You can tell from Vinyl&Wine 28, my music preferences turn soulful in the fall. Sometimes I wake up and need a little more grease in my day. I’ll spend the day listening to some of the legends of Rockabilly, Roots, and Steady Beat Driving Music, but when I arrive home, the first vinyl to land on the record player is Untamed Beast by Sallie Ford and The Sound Outside released just last year.
Sallie Ford, known for her Bessie Smith, Tom Waits, Janis Joplinesque voice, brings a unique blues based sound reminiscent of the surf rock/ rockabilly days of the 1950s and 1960s. Originally from North Carolina, Sallie Ford transplanted herself to Portland, Oregon where her band The Sound Outside was formed in 2007. Upon first listen, Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside has a fun, clean throwback sound. As you listen to her lyrics you realize the rebel inside. The raw lyrics show emotional intensity, clever phrasing, and deep angst. The Sound Outside is like a beauty queen winner with hidden skull and crossbones tattoos; quite enchanting and surprisingly dangerous. Their recent Untamed Beast release is a vinyl I spin, pour a glass of wine, and just sit back in my large loveseat and just listen to the vinyl solo. Untamed Beast calls for a wine that may be a bit of a loner, feminine yet brooding, and deceptively precarious. I’ve had a few bottles in the cellar for a while, but one of my favorite wines in from Long Island, New York, produced by Pellegrini Winery, the North Fork Petit Verdot.
I traveled to the North Fork to visit wineries in 2006 and though I was already a fan of many wines from there, I was blown away by the vast amount of wines that were above average. I was really impressed with the sauvignon blancs and merlots of the region, but the winner for was at Pellegrini Winery and Vineyards. The petit verdot grape itself is typically a minor blending grape and it is very rare to see a 100% labeled varietal bottle. It is typically a grape used in Bordeaux style blends in very minor percentages. Its main objective is to add color and strong tannins, like the drummer in a swinging jazz band would add; firm backbone and pizazz. The reason not many people even attempt to produce a petit verdot is because what it has in tannins in color, it lacks in acidity and overall fruit flavors. Pellegrini, situated in the maritime climate, has figured it out and found out that it can stand on its own. Pellegrini makes a full bodied, medium acidity, rich in black fruit flavors, herbaceous aromas, and intense length. Every sip seems to change on the palate and fruit flavors come and go. It is the Untamed Beast of Long Island and is a perfect match of drink while listen to Sallie Ford sing her soul out from song to song.
When listening to Untamed Beast and drink some Petit Verdot, you can lose yourself in reverb, rasp, and tannins. You will flip from side A to side B then back to side A and B again. If you can’t find Pellegrini where you, try and have them ship you some. If that won’t work, then look for one from Australia, or Virginia. Those are about the only other two regions in the world where you will be single varietal Petit Verdots with style.