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

Episodes >

  • Good job Billy, I've had the pleasure of meeting Danny Gatton and Jim Campilongo and was out at the NAMM show this year too. Make sure to say hello to Richard Goodsell at the Austin Amp show and keep on pickin'. QOTD: Loving the Malbec lately.

  • Thanks paryb! What Ovation model do you have? Next time I go to the wine store near me I will try some new ones and post on corkd.

  • KOdyssey

    Great attitude from Billy – good guy. 🙂

    QOTD: I'm not sure if I count, as a grossly amateur guitarist (started playing about 3 years ago, probably once a month!) who always wished he could play, and grew up playing piano (eww)… but love singing.

    Tyically red varieties more, used to be big Barossa Shiraz, then graduated to Merlots and the medium bodied Hunter Valley Shiraz, and lately cooler climate Pinot and Burgundy…

    I do think that the medium bodied Shiraz are grossly underestimated even though I'm moving on from them a bit lately.

  • Don Simpson

    Well that was FUN!!!!! Nice Johnny Cash, enjoyed that quite a bit. Billy was a great guest, and it made me realize how badly I miss playing guitar… I was the lead guitarist in a rock band all through high school & college but we stopped playing when our singer moved (and nobody else could sing!!!!)

    QOTD: My oh my, thats a tough one to answer. I enjoy reds and whites equally. It depends a lot on the weather, food, company, budget, etc. Recenly I've been drinking a lot of underappreciated value driven Italian white varietals (Vernaccia, Fallanghina, Vermentino, etc.) Also really enjoy whites from the Loire and Alsace. I drink reds from everywhere (Tuscany, Piedmont, Bordeaux, Rhone, Burgundy, Rioja, Priorat, Dao, Duoro, Mendoza, and the good ol' USA). I haven't really gotten into Australian, New Zealand, or South African wines. But overall I try to adopt Gary's motto of trying new things!

  • Don Simpson

    Acoustic = Martin D1R
    Electric = Ibanez RG570 (old guitar w/ wooden body, sunburst, 2 double humbuckers and a single coil)

  • Don Simpson

    Amp = Marshall Half Stack JCM 900

  • Meh, even with the Cash going on.


  • Anonymous

    I’m a conductor. And in a former life oeboe player.
    Are you a musician?

  • Fewer guests for 2010…nope

    Laid back Friday couch….nope

    More blind tastings…nope

  • djmacabre

    Interesting show… and first time poster! I got to confirm something I've suspected for a while now – that Gary and I share similar tastes in music. And the reference to butter face, while brief, was memorable.

    I'm looking forward another episode where you get to see the layout of the place – maybe just pick a couple bottles with an impromptu stylio. That would give us fledgling vayniacs a better idea of what you're working with, floor-plan wise. And it would give Mott a challenge beyond panning to 85 on occasion.

  • Thanks Don…. doing the show was a thrill and Gary was awesome!! Do still play the guitar at all??

  • JCM900 and an Ibanez RG570…sounds like a raucous rockin' combination! Cool…..

  • Lemme ask you something… was the gfy really necessary? C'mon for real…? Totally cool with your meh Cash opinion but the gfy…..really?

  • pawncop

    Good episode, nice guest.

    Not a guitar player but do enjoy a talented artist.

  • Vineares

    GARRRYY!!! You better follow through on that tour of Wine Library. I want to see it!!
    Did I hear him slip a butter-face comment in their about the first wine? hahaha amazing!

    Not a guitar player here but I do enjoy reds and whites. I lean towards whites though.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Billy, It’s black with a black pickguard. Maple neck. It’s pretty worn, I have to say and needs a neck adjustment… But I got it signed by Brian Setzer in April 1986 when he played one of the most amazing shows (just post-Stray Cats) at Cleveland’s Peabody’s Down Under. Great story – after four encores and band ran out of songs to play, but the audience wouldn’t let them off the stage. He came back to his hotel after the show and I was there with my guitar. He saw me, came directly over, grabbed the guitar and started finger-picking on it right there in the lobby. And he said: “How much do you want for it, I need a second Tele for the tour.” I had had to reply that all I wanted was a signature.

    When you are playing in Montpellier in the South of France, give me a head’s up and I’ll take you to the best wineries in the region. Not to be missed.


  • Sean

    Ha I am a lerker for the last two years!!! Well I actually am in the wine business working for Bevmo (lookin for a new job) but I have been playing guitar for about 15 years I'm 23 now I drink everything but love old world wines. I have actually begun to study wine during my free time. GREAT GUEST!!!

  • audiofan

    Apparently when you're braindead, it is. Sad.

  • audiofan

    Exactly what I expressed on tomorrows episode (3/3) comments. Nice guy, but not why I tune in.

  • seb10

    Dear Billy,

    I didn't mean to say that you should drink wine or anything like that. I am just a bit disapointed in the fact that your favourite wines are Napa Cab's. This show is about trying different things and you (and 50 procent of the US) are cleary not into doing that. Also on a wineshow I like to be educated about wine and (no disrespect) you clearly know very little (apple in red wine ?). I really loved your playing, I thing you a really very good, but that's why I commented the way I did.
    lot of love,

  • seb10

    Dear GL,

    Vanilla is indeed the most used adjective for any caskripened wine. The point I was trying to make was that the overoaked style is still present,even in expensive US wines.
    The Santa Rita was a merlot.
    I do like oak,I think it is necessary to make any great wine.

  • I checked your site and bookmarked. Getting ready for The Amp Show in Texas and will look at it more when I get back…thanks!!

  • I have a 70s SS Echoplex…..sounds great!!! Checked out John Martyn….nice acoustic stuff. May You Never is a cool tune… Thanks!

  • Checked out Larry Keel. I like Bluegrass/roots type of music. Thanks for that one!!!

  • Thanks Jim!! Love the Setzer story… I met him at the Ritz in NYC on Halloween. I think it was 1991 or 92. It was a Stray Cats gig. Nice guy…..Lee and Slim Jim were very cool as well. Send me a pic of your Tele if you can…. -BP

  • GLrocks


  • Hi Castello….what would you like to know about me? Happy to connect with you. Where are you from and what do you do?? -BP

  • I’ll bet your LP looks really cool……!

  • “Neck Dive” is when you are standing with your guitar on a strap. If you take your hands off the guitar and the neck starts to drift toward the floor that’s neck dive. I do not like that at all. SGs and Firebirds (Thunderbirds) go straight to the floor…

  • Thank you for the kinds words….

  • I’m the opposite…I am not a great reader. I can read some but I’m an ear player. I just kind of close my eyes and start playing…

  • A 50s Strat is a big dollar guitar these days as you probably know. I also like the older music….and even more so the older recording techniques. The digital music techniques of today are extremely flexible but there is some depth missing. Guess I’m an analog guy….

  • I took classical guitar for a while from Lou Melia. Super nice guy and great player. He has since passed away and so did my classical playing…. I am really liking jazz these days.

  • kasperhip

    Hey Gary
    I seriously think you need to bring in serious wine people if you gonna have guests this often, cause otherwise the show turns into pure entertainment….
    I like that you bring in old school vayniacs from time to time, but really can't see what Billy is doing on the show (no disrespect!) It seems like maybe the only thing that would endear him to you would be that he has a website, and that he plays music which you don't (???)
    A lot of musicians drink wine and we all like music. This doesn't justify Billys appearance or make it any more interesting, and if you going to have someone on who don't know a lot about wine, shouldn't there be a reason? (Like him being well-known or immensely talented, or something?)
    I find it extremely funny that when Mott asks for Steely Dan, Billy replies with Johnny Cash….what kind of comparison is that? And what kind of singing?
    I'm coming to the us to be a professional musician….

    QOTD: I play the guitar and I like both red and white wine….

  • Thanks for the kind words about my playing. So, my personal faves are cab's from Cali….got it. That's why I picked two that were something that I never tried and when I buy wine I buy a case and about 30% is always something different…so I am clearly into trying new wines…which I enjoy. I do not know a ton about wine but love it just as some players I have relationships with do not know much about guitars or amps but love them. They wouldn't know a truss rod from a slope resistor or the year Leo sold his company for health reasons……but the love for guitars is there and some of these guys are MONSTER players and really nice people. I think Gary did an excellent job of educating and hosting and he is a heckuva nice guy…! I too am a Vayniac and his book Crush It inspired me….to say the least!!!!

  • I see and you know what I agree…. i will be looking into that in a big way, thnx for the feedback!

  • jayhitek

    If your interested in any info on them, shoot me an email jay@hitekelec.com

  • ronribbons

    I'm shocked at the hostility towards Billy. I guess Vayner-nation has a lot of Steely Dan fans, or maybe Lady Gaga fans. Lionel Richie peaked with “Easy.”

    QOTD: The only guitar I play is on Playstation 3, and I do so poorly. At the moment I'm leaning towards reds, especially Chateneuf's and Pinot's. And I love me some Champagne.

  • ian42

    Yea Danny Gatton and Joe Pass! QOTD: Amarone and Brunello all day.

    I think it's really interesting how music and cuisine pair together. A lot of chefs are really into to music as well. Marc Vetri, of Vetri in Philadelphia, used to be a guitar player and now has one of the best Italian restaurants in the country. A phenomenal wine list and sommellier too.

  • nickgrzenda

    Good episode! I always dig seeing musicians on the show. I have a degree in jazz as a saxophonist, and wine and music go together in ways that most people don't get. It's crazy some of the conversations I've had with musicians out there about wine, not only do they like wine, but they really get to know it. I worked in the wine industry for 3yrs and can't put the stuff down, I'm actually thinking about going back to the wine industry. Wine especially goes with jazz!

  • JayZee13

    Since I am not a guitar player, apparently there is no reason for me to comment.

  • D_Rod

    QOTD: I play the guitar fo' shizz. Haven't been playing enough recently, in fact. Maybe I should pick it up right after this comment…

    Regardless, wines with BALANCE. I probably would've given that Oz Shiraz a bigtime pazz, but that's cool. I like a little funk and good fruit in my wines, and I love food-friendly wines so gimme some acid too.

  • drew82

    QOTD: played for 10 years now. have a takemine acoustic, les paul standard and a standard strat that i put texas special pickups on. it's a lovely and rewarding hobby. as for the wines i like, i'll try everything, but don't like port or sweet wines. I tend to love medium bodied reds the best, with a mix of new and old world — a bit of fruit, a bit of funk.

  • kasperhip

    Just re-read my comment from yesterday, and I guess I got worked up….sorry about that!! I seriously didn't mean to be as harsh as that. Totally my bad, Billy!

  • unclemeate

    From one old phart (08/09/64) to another (10/02/64) HEH-HEH ……. Great Job Billy !!!

    I will def check out your website …….. and email you with my quitar questions :-}
    Thanks for “Drinking Outside the Box”, Gary Vee (az alwayz 'You duh Man').

    Music is to my Ears, like Wine is to my Palette.

    AotD: I am a semi-retired professional drummer and now also an amateur guitarist. I try lots of wines but always gravitate back to my favs (Old World Cabs) simarlarly I have lots of guitars (Dean FBD, BC Rich Warlock and Rich Bich, Gibson Les Paul and SG, Fender Strat) but I always find myself playing the Les Paul, because for my palette my Les Paul can't be beat.

    PS – Played my sons Guitar Hero game once !!!! That was enuff. ,”-@

  • SourGrapesFC

    Drag Queen wine! I love it!

    Gary's also (once again) sounding a lot like Asimov.

    Les Paul and Wes Montgomery.

  • plcb

    I'm 1964 too.

    QOTD: I do not play guitar. I lean to the red, 85% red, 15% white.

  • Les & Wes…….COOL!!!

  • Thanks for the kind words!! So…you're a LP guy. I have owned them but just seem to bond with the Telecaster much better. I had a really cool '68 goldtop with P-90s that was awesome. I'm going to try even more different wines in the coming months…..variety!!!!

    Hit me up any time!!!

  • Sounds great drew82! Did the Texas Specials make the guitar sound a lot better?? I am actually in Texas….in Austin for The Amp Show. I am one of the sponsors and tomorrow will be wall to wall amps!!!!!!


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