dark transparency 🕶


Happy Friday!

Greetings from a sweltering New York City! I hope you find some time to chill wherever you are, and this pairing helps the process.:)


I love the grignolino grape. I mean, I might not get a tattoo, but I would buy a t-shirt…

It’s usually an herbaceous, lean red that has just enough structure to keep things interesting, and takes a chill well — a secret weapon for the summer al fresco pasta feast of my fantasies.

I have never liked a grignolino better than this one: luli’s “Natalin” 2022. This winemaker, Fabrizio luli, stands alone as the only winemaker in this small town of Montaldo di Cerrina, and is singular in the care he lavishes on this and other local grapes. He’s cultivated a biodiverse vineyard, organic practices, and a collection of concrete vessels that he restores himself, that helps to lend this wine its unique purity.

The “Natalin” grignolino is a delightful contradiction, easy to drink but also complex. The fruit has a dark seriousness about it — black cherries and black raspberry — but is lithe and elegant. A core of bright acid and minerality carry it to a perfectly balanced finish with just enough tannin.

On the second day a more spicy, savory aspect emerged -- which made me glad to have saved some for later!


Miles Davis stands alone for so many reasons — but he came to mind as I sipped this wine and thought of the phrase “dark transparency” — his sound having breath and kind of permeability, but also profound expression and intensity.

His hit “Someday My Prince Will Come” from the album of the same name (Colombia, 1961) embodies a delicious tension. The lilt of the 3/4 time and the innocuousness of Snow White’s beloved Disney tune are embraced and transcended this rendition. It’s really a study in how to make a simple song take on new depth — not by heaping ideas and virtuosity on top of it, but by exploring it with loving curiosity.

The tension is set from the beginning with a pensive bass pedal, Miles’ trumpet enters with a bright joy but also deliberate intention. He sporadically dips into crevasses of blues harmony that makes his exultant moments all the more so.

Oh, and if you stick around, you get to hear John Coltrane pop in and bring the song to a whole ‘nother place, making you glad you stuck around.:)

Someday My Prince Will Come...
Miles Davis, John Coltrane,...
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Thanks for reading, and I'm looking forward to next week!

Till the next,


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Jazz & Juice

NYC based jazz vocalist/songwriter/sommelier

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