EP 825 Guitars, Grenache, and Cabernet

Gary sits down with Billy Penn to talk about their music, wine, and taste. They try a Spanish Garnacha and an Australian Cabernet.

Wines tasted in this episode:

2006 Algairen GarnachaCarinena
2004 Limb Cabernet SauvignonBarossa Cabernet Sauvignon

Links mentioned in todays episode.

Latest Comment:

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luca bercelli


line of the day – ‘Mark Macguire – your neck is the size of my house over the top’

Good episode, solid guest who didn’t pretend to be an expert

Tags: Australian, cabernet, Carinena, red, review, Video, wine, wines

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  • Anonymous

    Billy, will make sure I check out your website, please do the same and let me know what your think. http://www.winelx.com Brian

  • Al

    Mott Steely Dan Wine Pat Metheny

    Life just keeps on getting better. It's always great to meet another Dan fan.

  • mikeyworld

    Yes!! Not much good californian wine available in Ireland, but Bruce Cakebread is doing a tasting in Dublin this month and I TOTALLY scored a ticket. As a guitar player, reds, reds, reds baby. Great show today, as always. Thanks guys.

  • QOTD: (guitar player) definitely lean towards the reds but also dessert wines, love me some pino and port

    Also, I began playing guitar before Guitar Hero, but have to say it got me more into classic rock

  • mattgmann

    no problem with being first, just maybe a meaningful contribution other that the general “I'm #1” spam

  • castello

    Comments make GV happy. Leave a crapload. I read them and I'm damn good at it.

  • Totally cool guest! More musicians please! Invite one of those celebrity musicians that e-mail you or something :P.

  • castello

    Quite possibly the best and worst interview EVER! Was that you Murso? Thanks! Never heard of them but will check them out.

  • castello

    What's not to love, you self professed pedantic sob 🙂

  • that guitar wine holder is the coolest thing I've seen since sliced bread….where do I purchase one?

  • Mott

    You can find it here;


  • AmyNYC

    GV, even when you don't like the wines it's still very informative. In NYC City Winery is a great place for music and wine.

  • Django…..awesome! Ever listen to Bireli Lagrene?

  • Cool list! I used to see Les Paul at Fat Tuesdays when he had his steady gig there for years. He was a nice guy and even signed my Telecaster pickguard!!

  • divyamistry

    No guitar skills for me 🙁 But here it goes anyways… QOTD: If I *did* play guitar, I can see myself drinking some dry white wine.

    Funtastic show! Loved it. Great guest, btw! Always good to see guests who stand on their own and represent their true selves. Thumbs up for authenticity! (Where's that stupid facebook “Like” button when you need it!)

  • I so am a beginner taster…..factoid. And for the record it did have an apple thing going on to my nose…. I spend much of my time studying guitars, players, amps, components and such that there is little time for really studying wine. I hope to create some time and headspace for it. I LOVE that two-tone Strat that Frusciante plays…! He has great taste in guitars.

  • Kristen at Wine Library helped me pick the wines. She was really nice and everyone at Wine Library made me feel very welcome. GREAT people…period. Thanks for the kind words. Let me tell you that Gary has nuclear energy and the vibe was just off the charts for me….!!!

  • Doc Watson!!!!! I love his style and reminds me of Merle Travis. My parents are in central FL..!

  • murso

    Cast – you're too kind. and funny. The sense of humor's importance can't be over emphasized! I even had to rely on it, in order to survive, at times.

    As you can see, I'd just figured out how to get m' dam avatar/icon up… kinda dumb, as cyber stuff goes… but … are we facebook friends? I always feel your presence when I'm in the WLTV house! link it up, if you like! Maybe one day, we'll have that glass of wine…

  • RaffiAA

    I'm probably as passionate a wine drinker as I enjoy playing guitar, I dunno why that would make my drinking choice exclusive in anyway. I love variety and different characters on a regular basis, however I do lean towards red wines. I guess the stereotypical image of the traditional guitar player also conjures up the sentiment of the romanticsm associated with rich exuberant (parker) red wines, and I can't say that my palate doesn't enjoy that too.

    Gary, you mentioned in this episode how bored you are of the international style of red wines. Have you watched the documentary “Mondovino” created by Jonathan Nossiter. It interviews most of the key players around the globe that have influenced modern wines, along with the purists who reject how these few individuals have globalized wines to the one type flavor profile that you passionatelty inquire about. I highly reccomend it, and I am curious about your opinion if you have seen it.


  • “Get along, get along Kid Charlemagne, get along Kid Charlemagne….”

    Yeah!,,,, the Dan made music!!

  • You need to check out John Martyn, he was also a fantastic guitar player. Echoplex anyone?

  • Hey Gary, would like to know what's on Fridays show, wine wise….?? could be cool sipping along with you.

  • Dan

    Actually I thought this guest was terrible, he had no real reason to be on the show besides exposure. wow….cool…..you like wine and guitars.

  • GLrocks

    One day I hope you will help your listeners understand the nuances and differences from French, Hungarian and American oak.Clearly this wine used all American oak (less expensive) as well Australia is notorious for using American oak in their red wines. Oak from from different areas have consistently unique characteristics and flavor profiles. The trend still in hearty red wines under $20 is to over oak (with American or Eastern European Oak) and blend away (mix varietals).Great show but regarding the Aussie Cab I have to disagree with you pertaining to how many people would like it. Already we know that young winedrinkers and novices may like it but not much more than that. So, maybe 50%, not 77%.

  • abrams7

    It's funny that you say that about music and wine. I've noticed that a lot to. Even more so for pilots. It seems like every pilot you run in to plays some kind of instrument. I notice this, the more I fly to different places they all seem to have similar intrest regardless of where you go.

  • Phil G

    interesting show – but all those analogies with the second wine, you went with a wrestling one to finish it off? How about “this wine is like the guys from Kiss showed up on stage with the NY philhermonic”

    QOTD – I play Bass guitar poorly, but am mostly a drummer, so I will not answer. I will bring up a lame old music joke:

    Q: How do you get a guitar player to stop playing?
    A: Put sheet music in front of him!

  • castello

    Yes I'm Ed West on the faceneck thing. Don't tell anyone this isn't my real picture 😉

  • Anonymous

    I got you, I came from a rock guitar background into jazz guitar and now I’m playing the big bass! It takes time and a lot of listening. I enjoyed the show, keep rockin it!

  • Stratocasters and Oregon Pinot Noirs RULE!!!

    Go Billy Penn!

  • randinthecity

    Wow..I wanna buy a guitar and then sell it to Brian Setzer.. :o)


    Fun episode.
    I love guitars, the music they make & guitar players…but other than guitar hero..I cant play… 🙁

  • seb10

    Dear Gary,

    Still addicted to the show. Liked your guest,but he should stick to playing the guitar and singing. I completely understand you remarks concerning the Napa Cab style. We (in Europe) can finally afford them and we like the fruit, but it is soulless wine. So I'm sticking to 8 dollar Cotes du Rhone 2007 by the better producers. Kinda feel sorry for the US winedrinker. The market is dominated by thes wines and the European wines are getting more expensive due to the Euro. If I were American I would probably drink Malbecs all day.
    Vayniac for ever !

  • brianrichards

    Gary I'm shedding my lurker status! I'm a Canuck that came across your blog about sixth months ago. I really liked how you approached this guest as a potential customer, it gave me a little insight to the service aspect of Wine library. Props to you for sharing your opinion about the Cab, I have found it hard in the past to smash a wine in front of someone, after they have said that they liked it!

    P.S. I hope someday the British Columbia Liquor laws change, so can actually purchase wines from WL

  • seb10

    Dear GL,

    I don't thing that the oak monster appears only in wines under 25 bucks. It isn't a price thing,it a winemakers choice. I have had Santa Rita cabs that cost quit a bit more and they were still overoaked. There is also this idea that the oakyness could in some way mimic age,which of course isn't true. The country where the oak comes from also isn't always decisive,because of the fact that the oak can be older or the barrels can be treated to influence the tasts it will transfer.
    Lots of greetings,
    Seb 10

  • ipbrian

    Always fun….I have been leaning a bit more to the whites lately when I do drink a bit of the vino. No guitar playing, but I do play a bit of keys as well as sing.

  • Anonymous

    All instruments present challenges…and let me say that because of my classical training on cello, I have had an extremely difficult time playing improvisational parts. I feel very uncomfortable without sheet music in front of me! When I studied abroad in Scotland I experienced many “jam sessions” and saw how people just drew music from their minds – as you did on the show – and it made me really jealous!

  • jayhitek

    Good guest. Refreshing to have one on that actually knows the show.
    QOTD: Never played a guitar, but I like Red. I do sell potentiometers to a bunch of small guitar companies though.

  • lawrenceleichtman


  • What kind of pots do you sell? I have been using the RS pots in my guitars….

  • jayhitek

    Hey Billy,
    Could be the fastest reply in the history of posts..
    I am a distributor for nobleusa.com Rotary, slide, trimmer pots; encoders, etc..

  • Hi there seb10. Let me ask you a quick question…. Why do you say I should stick to playing and singing. I already do that…. I find wine very interesting because of the taste and the creative process of grapes growing from the earth and then people putting their energy into making it into wine. Very much like people taking raw materials like wood, metal, etc and creating a guitar for a player to enjoy and express themselves with. Energy went into making both and I appreciate the people behind it and the process of making it…

  • GLrocks

    disqus you are not too versed on oak as far as I can tell. The key word Gary used in his description of the Aussie Cab was VANILLA. Anyone who knows oak knows that is the single biggest and most obvious adjective used for American oak and even more so American oak from Missouri (hence the bourbon guys who buy more American oak than anyone) VANILLA …a dead give away.
    As far as Santa Rita…you obviously are talking about pinot noir which may be the easiest varietal to “overoak”. Especially nowadays where winemakers a trying to make pinot drink like cab (aggressive oak and overripe fruit).

  • GLrocks

    disqus you are not too versed on oak as far as I can tell. The key word Gary
    used in his description of the Aussie Cab was VANILLA. Anyone who knows oak
    knows that is the single biggest and most obvious adjective used for
    American oak and even more so American oak form Missouri (hence the bourbon
    guys who bu more American oak than anyone). The origin of oak is EXACTLY
    what is important in marrying a wine with the barrel.
    As far as Santa Rita…you obviously talking about pinot noir which may be
    the easiest varietal to “overoak”. Especially now adays where winemakers a
    trying to make pinot drink like cab (agressive oak annd overripe fruit).

  • jason carey

    That was a fun show

  • jason carey

    Some of the all time greatest Riojas and Ridge Monte Bello Are in American Oak. It is how it is dried, handled and treated that makes the difference. This wine would have been over oaked tasting with French wood (chips or dust) because that is the style they were going for. Some of the most ghastly overoaked tasting wines are many Napa Cabs that are All in French oak..

  • GLrocks

    Tell me the next time you hear a winemaker use the adjective VANILLA when
    referring to any wine made with French oak. I sell barrels for a living. You
    will find that the barrel guys have (for the most part) the most skilled and
    accurate palettes out there. I do barrel tasting ALL the time from
    cooperages all over the world. Where the wood comes from is THE MOST
    IMPORTANT PART OF THE PROCESS . How it is dried and treated and even the
    grain is secondary.

  • GLrocks

    Jason I have drank a ton of Ridge and all the wild blends and one consistent
    adjective in almost all of the wines…. VANILLA . I can sniff out American
    oak a mile away. As well some of the wines have been wonderful on the whole
    I have had a fair share of Ridge disappointments (yes I do know how many
    different wines they make)

  • Wow, what a great guest! Billy you are one cool cat.

    QOTD: I like to drink my reds while playing my Ovation…I'm not very good at it…but that's ok, cause the cheapo wine isn't that great either! Heh…my normal goto everyday wine is Argentine Malbec, Petit Syrah, Cab, Merlot…just the basics, but always on the lookout for something new.

  • Pazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!

    A new year's resolution that I will try to keep is to help Gary with his resolution not to have as many WLTV episodes with guests.

    I won't even open this bottle.

    These guest episodes are the video-blog equivalent of what happened to the Wine Spectator, and why I have long since let my subscription last and don't even read it any more: it started off being passionately and almost exclusively about wine and deteriorated into a lifestyle mag that occasionally dealt with wine.


  • alienrelic

    Good show! Interesting that you make the music/wine connection, as those are my two favorite things. Nothing else has the complexity and variety of music and wine. There are wines I don't care for and wines I think are outstanding, and the same goes for music (even more so), but both always hold my interest.


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