A Little Flight Music

John Coltrane - Olé - 1962 - “The music is rather exotic, with Spanish and Middle Eastern tones. It is filled with great detail and subtleties, relying more on elegance than force. This allows it to fit nicely in the background but is capable of holding a room’s attention if need be. The tale that unfolds as the melody is repeated by different instruments is dramatic, suggesting emotions of confusion, searching and love. It’s natural, wave-like slow building and gentle crashing easily conforms to the ebb and flow of conversation. It also has a really cool bass solo using a bow, not often heard in jazz. I wish I could make a wine that feels and tastes like Olé sounds.” - Jerry Murrary, winemaker for Van Duzer Vineyards (Dallas)

Dirty Three - Ocean Songs - 2010 - “This album is a personal favorite of mine for wine dinners with friends. The band is an Australian trio consisting of a violinist, guitarist and drummer. It is very pretty, surreal, folky instrumental music that kind of creates its own ambience.” - Brian Denner, winemaker for Agate Ridge Vineyard (Eagle Point)

Santana - Moonflower - 1990 - “This (double) album really delivers for a dinner because it covers a world of musical diversity in one place. As your evening ebbs and flows, so does the music with its live jams thrown in between studio tracks. Not only is it one of Carlos Santana’s best works, but also one of the best guitar albums ever. With the smooth and mature music on this recording the evening will surely be enhanced. And if your dinner parties are long and leisurely, like mine, the double album is a bonus.” - Vicki Leuthold, co-owner of Maryhill Winery (Goldendale, Wash.) 

Jazz - A Night Out With Verve - 2000 - “While there are many options that come to mind, I think the album that is a clear winner for me for its variety and the amount of regular play it gets is a jazz compilation called A Night Out With Verve. It highlights five decades from the Verve catalog on four discs titled ‘Wining,’ ‘Dining,’ ‘Dancing’ and ‘Romancing.’ You’ll find artists like Sarah Vaughan, Stan Getz, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Miles Davis and Duke Ellington.” - Isabelle Meunier, winemaker for Evening Land Vineyards (Salem)

Solomon Burke - Nashville - 2006 - “While I listen to a lot of ’60s and ’70s rock, for dinners I dial back the tempo and go a bit mellower. Lately, I turn to the late Solomon Burke’s Nashville. His warm, deep vocals and soulful melodies have a way of making everybody feel comfortable. The album has wonderful presence with many of the tracks recorded live in the foyer of producer Buddy Miller’s home. A raucous cover of Springsteen’s ‘Ain’t Got You’ in the middle of the album keeps things going.” - Todd Hansen, owner of Longplay Wines (Newberg) 

Tony Bennett - Duets - 2006 - “When I have friends over for a wine dinner, the conversation is more important to me than the music, so I like to play something that will work in the background … elevate the mood yet not intrude. Jazz like Spyro Gyra or The Rippingtons works but a lot of folks don’t care for that style, so my go-to tunes are some Tony Bennett albums. I like his MTV Unplugged, Duets, and I have a great DVD with him live at Newport Jazz Festival. I have not found anyone yet who does not appreciate Tony as he delivers such joy and style through his music.” - Ken Cancilla, owner of Cancilla Cellars (Gaston) 

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