Monday, August 3, 2009

WINE AND MUSIC: CHICKENFOOT AND MONTE XANIC

The term “supergroup” is often a ridiculous term in the business of rock ‘n’ roll, yet every so often, you come across a band that deserves that moniker and then some. So goes the newest supergroup, Chickenfoot, with former Van Halen frontman, solo performer (and lead singer for the band Montrose – going WAY back) Sammy Hagar, plus ex-Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony, renowned guitarist Joe Satriani, and drummer Chad Smith (of the Red Hot Chili Peppers). Born out of jamming at Sammy’s infamous club in Baja California, the debut CD has all you need in some good, dirty rock ‘n’ roll: screaming vocals, shredding guitar solos, great hooks, and a rock solid rhythm section.

As hard as it is for me to say, since I grew up idolizing David Lee Roth, I really liked Sammy’s version of VH, with more accessible songs, and a broader vocal range. Though more melodic, I could listen to those CDs all the way through, while I found myself fast-forwarding through a lot of DLR’s VH stuff. And for those of you who have no f’n idea who Joe Satriani is, he taught a lot of the axe slingers coming out of San Francisco in the 80’s and 90’s, and even before then. I remember hearing that he taught Kirk Hammett of Metallica and Steve Vai (of David Lee Roth’s solo band, Whitesnake and Frank Zappa). The end result is a radio-friendly rock record the likes of which I don’t think I’ve heard in a long time. (I am in fanboy mode right now, I know.)

Check out Chickenfoot’s song “Down the Drain” here:






Sammy’s big tie to the wine & spirits industry is of course the Cabo Wabo tequilas. Having given up most hard liquor for eternity (drank too much in my rock days), I still like me some tequila, and while there are other premium tequilas that are just as good or (forgive me Sammy) better, for the money, you can’t really beat Cabo Wabo Reposado.

But I was recalling a wine a friend had brought me one time, that unfortunately, you can’t get here in Kentucky, the Monte Xanic Chenin Blanc, a white wine from the Baja California region in Mexico, to be more precise, the Guadalupe Valley. Now, most folks don’t realize that there are some good wines produced in Mexico, but as you might guess, they are a hard sell here in the States. In fact, I know Monte Xanic used to be available around here, but that was years ago.
The Chenin Blanc, as I recall, was clean, and quite fruit-driven, with ripe honeydew melon, kiwi and hints of star fruit and crème fraiche. It was a surprisingly good wine that was shared by a few friends alongside some sushi.

So Chickenfoot and Monte Xanic, for some fun and relaxing summer days. And if you can’t find the Monte Xanic, Cabo Wabo will do just fine.

1 comment:

Deanna said...

You can purchase MX Chenin Blanc online at www.shwc.com :-) They ship wine throughout the U.S. It's worth a check to see if they can ship to your State.