This is the kickoff: I installed a Linn T Kable on my Linn Sondek—my most prized possession, something I like more than my bicycle. (A chef I work with gasped when I said that.) Next, I poured a glass of 2007 Stewart from Boedecker Cellars, and put on In a Silent Way.
I had to do it. All of it.
I am the second owner of this turntable, having bought my 1976 Linn Sondek in 1981 from an accountant (brokered by the hi fi dealer, his sister) for a thousand dollars. I borrowed the money from my father, who wouldn’t allow me to play a single record on it until I’d paid him back in full. That took six months. Of course I cheated when he wasn’t around, but there was a bond that came from the anticipation. All these years in between, it’s seen a lot of play. A lot. But it’s also meticulously maintained. Replacing well-made pieces of plastic with hyper-refined machined aluminum wasn’t exactly necessary, but it was making sure everything was exactly right.
That moment of certitude required a wine befitting the moment. Stewart Boedecker’s signature blend tends to be a thoughtful wine—smell, pause, taste, consider, and then repeat, slowly. The 2007 is still showing the briar note that I associate with the vintage. The tart cherry and raspberries still have the signature zing, but they’re more buttoned down and focused with age. Everything about it is exactly right.
It pairs perfectly with In a Silent Way, which is still not buttoned down, whatever its age. This was Miles Davis serving notice to listeners and the press that his music was going to be transformed by the miracle of electricity. Dylan had done it a few years before and been similarly called a sellout. Nothing was more wrong, but there’s still a schism in the audience. And like a great wine with a screw cap, they’ve all aged well with a freshness that’s still there. Anytime you hear it, it's exactly right.