Olafur and Silver Oak Pairing

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Varietal Vibes is created to celebrate the joining of two art forms: wine and music. Winemaking is sometimes referred to as art, but Monarch Magazine is about the art of enjoying wine. Drinking wine is an art form, but music makes wine sacred. Varietal Vibes features a wide mix of music. Everything from Classical to Hip-Hop. From Max Richter to Migos (our taste is all over the place). Every week, we’ll feature a new album and a bottle we’re dying to review. We’ll take up the job of sampling great wine so you don’t have to… of course you’re welcome to drink along if you feel so inclined.

Album: ReMember by Olafur Arnalds

Wine: Silver Oak

Among California wine lovers the Silver Oak name carries cache.

I personally enjoy Silver Oak. I can’t seem to remember tasting a bad bottle, though certain vintages are better than others. In this article we’ll feature Silver Oak Cabernet Alexander Valley 2014.

Olafur Arnalds is a genius. The 32 year old Icelandic artist is known for his ambient/electronic music. He achieves his signature sound by mixing instruments like the piano and violin with post-modern electronic beats. He is a hybrid: part classical musician and part DJ. He has played live at both the Louvre museum in Paris and Berghain electronic nightclub in Berlin.

Combining Arnalds and Silver Oak seems fitting to me, as they are both traditional in unconventional ways. They are both trailblazers, yet they both respect provenance. 

Here are notable tracks from the album:

“re member” – The first song starts off ambient ad somewhat somber. Arnald’s is a patient man. He plays a long game. Instead of shocking you with dramatic notes at the start, he seduces his listeners subtly. This wine on the other hand is far from subtle, but it’s as smooth as a fine perfume. This is a great track to pair with a wonderful bottle. Though let’s hope this vibe picks up soon, otherwise this album might put me to sleep.

“unfold” – Excitement consumes me as soon as “unfold” plays. You never know what you might get with Arnalds. This song is quite different from the first song, yet it is consistent with the overall feel of the album. Halfway through “unfold” the album takes an unexpected turn into sacred terrain. This is a pivotal point in the album because you can start to feel what is bubbling beneath the surface.

“they sink” – Arnalds named this album “re member” and there is a pensive, almost reflective, quality about the songs in general. I find myself calm yet pensive at the same time. That is not to say this is a somber album – because it isn’t. It’s merely retrospective. As it plays I feel like I’m taking an impersonal look at different stages of my life.

“ypsilon” – I don’t know how to pronounce the name of this track, but I like it a lot. Arnalds loves his synthesizer and it plays center stage on this album. I find “ypsilon”

“partial” – This is a beautiful track. Arnalds displays significant restraint in creating this album, and “partial” is an example of understated bigness. It’s amazing to enjoy with a great wine because it forces you to stop thinking. I consider “ypisilon” and “partial” 2 parts of the same song because they both flow together seamlessly. I my humble opinion this is the best song of the album.

VERDICT

What can I say? Arnalds and Silver Oak are a damn good combination. The wine was smooth yet powerful. I certainly noticed hints of berries, yet it isn’t sweet. On its way down the hatch: pure silk.

I suggest enjoying this bottle on a self-indulgent night at home or cuddled up next to a lover. This wine and album set the stage for an elegant evening and it deserves to be enjoyed by people who can appreciate it. This bottle will continue to get better for some years and the album is timeless so no rush.

Either way the pair make a sophisticated combination any wine lover is sure to enjoy.

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