Jimmie Vaughan’s 1967 Fender Coronado (how friggin’ cool is that?)

From the “does this town rock or what?” department…

1967 Fender Coronado

Above: Guitar legend Jimmie Vaughan’s 1967 Fender Coronado and Ronnie James’s 1967 Fender Coronado bass. Photo via Hair by Felice.

My friends often hear me say that moving to Austin to be with Tracie P was the smartest thing I’ve ever done. The second smartest thing? Moving to Austin to be with Tracie P.

One of the coolest things about living in this central Texas town is how you can run into a guitar hero at the super market and then see him take the stage that night at Antone’s.

When the super cool lady who cuts my hair showed me the above photo of Jimmie Vaughan’s 1967 Fender Coronado and the matching 1967 Coronado bass that he got his bass player to take on tour with them to support Jimmie’s new album, I BEGGED her to let me put it on my blog (you see, lady in question, Felice, goes steady with Jimmie’s bass player Ronnie James).

And I gotta say, Jimmie’s new album is some pretty, bad-assed smoking music that puts some seriously deep-fried boogie in your butt. So far Tracie P’s favorite track is “Wheel of Fortune,” which features Lou Ann Barton on vox.

We’re going to miss Jimmie’s show next weekend at Antone’s ’cause we’ll be out of town but that’s okay. I know I’ll run into Jimmie at Whole Foods market when we’re back…

If you still had any doubt that Austin is America’s most rockin’ city, check out this photo I snapped yesterday by our favorite hippy-dippy convenience store/gas station.

Buon weekend, ya’ll…

Who cuts Jim Clendenen’s unruly hair? (and Dr. J in the Statesman)

felice partida

Above: You wouldn’t believe it but rockstar winemaker Jim Clendenen and I have the same hair stylist, the rockin’ Felice Partida. The only difference? Jim has hair…

BrooklynGuy is not the only guy who gets to go to cool tastings this week, during our industry’s fall preview season (although I have to confess I wish I had had a chance to check out the Jenny and François portfolio in New York with him).

Those highfalutin New Yorkers might be surprised by the caliber of wine folk who come out to visit with us down here in central Texas. ;-)

Yesterday, I tasted a lot of great wines, including current releases from some of my favorite Italians from importer Dalla Terra — Selvapiana (07 Chianti Rufina was KILLER), Marchesi di Grésy (05 Barbaresco was stunning), Tenuta Sant’Antonio (05 was great, always one of my favorite expressions of Amarone).

I also enjoyed tasting with Jim Clendenen, whose wines — especially the high-end bottlings — are always fresh, elegant well-balanced expressions of California Pinot Noir. And I couldn’t resist the above photo op moment: Jim and I share the same hair stylist, Felice Partida! She and I met simply because I booked an appointment last year with the first stylist available at Tracie B’s salon, James Allan, in the Rosedale neighborhood of Austin where we both live. Felice is simply the coolest and as it turns out, her big sis’ Susana is also one of the coolest wine brokers in Texas, AND Felice’s boyfriend Ronnie James is one of the town’s hottest bass players (who plays and tours with the likes of Booker T, Gary Clark Jr., and Jimmy Vaughn — not bad eh?). I highly recommend Felice: being her client comes with “fringe” benefits! ;-)

bin 36

Above: Restaurateur and winemaker Brian Duncan is one of our country’s most dynamic food and wine experts. He’s also one of the coolest guys in the biz.

I also got to catch up with rockstar restaurateur and winemaker Brian Duncan from Chicago. I thought his Pinot Noir show beautifully and the packaging alone made it worth the price of admission. The back label reads: Sexy Pinot Noir seeks short term relationship with recipes that include mushrroms, pork, beef, or poultry (No strings attached).

In other news…

Check out Mike Sutter’s excellent article in yesterday’s Austin American-Statesman, “Messages in a bottle: The mystique of the restaurant wine list.” I was thrilled that Mike interviewed me for the piece and was glad to make the point that you shouldn’t “go into a restaurant with the presumption that people are going to try and take advantage of you… When you pay for a glass of wine in a restaurant, you’re not just paying for the wine. You’re paying for the restaurant’s cellaring of the wine. You’re paying for the service of the wine, and you’re also paying for the expertise.” The other wine professionals interviewed for the piece give some great advice about how to decipher a wine list. The bottom line: go out and enjoy restaurants and their wines. That’s what they’re there for! :-)

In other other news…

Above: Tracie B and I tasted 1988 Bertani Amarone with our friends Charles and Michele Scicolone and Frank Butler earlier this year when we were on tour with Nous Non Plus.

Today, Franco published this great interview with our mutual friend (and one of my mentors) Charles Scicolone. It’s in Italian so if you’re not Italophone, check out Charles’s blog. Charles started drinking and collecting fine Italian wine in the late 70s and early 80s, long before the current renaissance of Italian food and wine. His insights into how the Italian wine industry has evolved over the last 40 years are invaluable.

In an unrelated story…

Is Berlusconi’s number finally up? The Italian courts have revoked his immunity.

Buona lettura!