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Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Pair of Gems To Get You Through A Cold Prairie Week

Many of us in Western Canada will be hunkered down this week, or at least this weekend, hiding out from winter's angry return.  Sure, I braved the cold yesterday and hit the slopes at Mt. Norquay in Banff to take advantage of a rare good snow day (boot deep powder) up there, but now I've learned my lesson and retreated to my wood burning fire place, my music collection and my wine cellar.  That cowardly run from the cold has compelled me to dive into one of my favourite white wines and one of my favourite musicians, one of whose songs can now be found in the bowels of I-Tunes.  Just who is that? Billy Cowsill, that's who.

Awhile back, I pointed y'all to his work with the Blue Shadows, which is amazing by any standard.  This time however, I have stumbled across a gem on a compilation album from Tom Phillips & The Men of Constant Sorrow that is not the product of Tom and his gang but instead, of Billy Cowsill.  The track is "Vagabond", the lonely tale of a drifter, who has taken to the rails in the wake of a failed relationship.  As always, the song features Cowsill's stellar voice and showcases his ability to capture the human spirit in song.  Download this track and throw it on repeat for the balance of this cold and snowy stint.

While your at it, get yourself a bottle of 2008 Mulderbosch Chenin Blanc from the Stellenbosch region of South Africa.  This wine is extraordinarily drinkable and features an off-dry style with subtle citrus flavours, making it downright delicious with a variety of food pairings and particularly, Asian food, especially Thai food.  While Chenin Blanc remains one of the world's most underrated grapes and nearly all of South Africa's Chenin Blanc wines are outstanding values, this one is something special.  At $15-$20 in most wine stores, it will also leave you some money for a nice fresh tin of mint Skoal bandits, a marginal cigar, or a pack of cigarillos, whichever you fancy, to also help in getting you through this grim, grim, weather.

Hope this helps warm your souls as we gut out another fierce blast of Canadian winter.  Excelsior! 

Posted by Knox Harrington on January 30, 2011 in Canadian music, Food and Drink, Music | Permalink


"At $15-$20 in most wine stores,"

For that price get a bottle of Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc. It's infinity better.

Posted by: The Stig | 2011-01-30 4:59:31 PM

Billy Cowsill suffered the same fate as many teen idols. Everyone shunned him as soon as they turned 16. That club includes David Cassidy, Mike Nesmith, Donnie Osmond.

Drinking that shit is just about a half rung above smoking crack. Before we had crack-heads, we had winos. From what I remember of the wino generation, they were actually worse than today's crack-heads. We used to call it porch climber when I was a kid. It was a sure thing when a group of people got into the wine that someone would end up on a roof with a shotgun.

Posted by: dp | 2011-01-31 9:27:18 AM

Wine = crack? God love you DP, but that's one of the craziest things I've ever heard.

Stig - couldn't agree more on the Crawford. A great wine that I thought I had reviewed before? My only beef is that all of the Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs taste the same to me, with little distinction between producers.

Posted by: Knox Harrington | 2011-01-31 9:32:28 PM

My only beef is that all of the Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs taste the same to me, with little distinction between producers.
Posted by: Knox Harrington | 2011-01-31 9:32:28 PM

I tend to agree that New Zealand is flooding the market with a lot of cheap sauvignon blancs. You should try some of the North Island sauvignon blancs such as anything from Martinborough or Hawkes Bay. The North island terroir gives it a distinct and I believe superior taste.

Posted by: The Stig | 2011-01-31 9:47:15 PM

Of course wine=crack. Only an addict would be incapable of recognizing that. Crack is to cocaine, as wine is to liquor. It's quick, easy, and cheap. Do you really think making a few brands more expensive changes the fact it's the most unrefined, and toxic of all liquors? It must have a masking affect on the sense of smell, as well. Any time I've been around a group of wine drinkers, I've noticed an overpowering smell of urine, and vomit. Even if the group were dressed in suits, and drinking from long stemmed glasses.

Posted by: dp | 2011-02-01 11:09:41 AM

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