Garth Trinidad // Down With Us

Garth Trinidad, playing tonight at BlendOur goal with Blend — which kicks off tonight in Los Angeles — is to reinvent the concept of wine tasting and make it more interesting for sophisticated urban audiences. The idea started out of a frustration with the current choices and then a realization that music and wine have a lot more in common that we might think. The tools are different, and of course so is the output. Musicians have their instruments and a limited number of notes to choose from, DJs their record collections. Winemakers choose between a few grapes and are married to the land. In each case, what they make is a direct result of their philosophy — what they believe wine should taste like, or music should sound like. And in both cases, the results have the potential to move us in profound ways.

It seems fitting, then, that Garth Trinidad is our DJ for the kickoff event. In his bio on, it reads... "He hunts for pure sounds - dirty, sexy, raw, rhythmic, and dynamic, from classic rock, roots reggae, and samba, to jazz, electronica, hip hop, and house."

Clearly, this is a guy whose DJing is driven by philosophy. In fact, in an era when many DJs abandon their own musical tastes in order to fill dance floors by playing the popular sounds du jour, Garth has enjoyed a long and successful career by doing just the opposite. On his radio show at KCRW, and at countless clubs and private events, Garth consistently ignores the boundaries of convention in search of a more meaningful experience.

We are grateful to have him on the decks tonight, and excited to see how his philosophy blends with the great old world wines from Livio Felluga and Capezzana. Come out and see for yourself. Tickets available at the door or here.

Thanks again to Puma for making Blend possible.

Erik Kelley // Down With Us

Erik Kelley"Wise beyond his years" is how I've heard Erik described in so many words by so many wine lovers. I've attended at least 20 of his private dinners, and most often the conversation turns to how good the food and wine are. His way with food and wine suggests a much older soul than Erik's 25 year-old persona. Not too many years back, he was the youngest sommelier in America. As you might expect, that title is fleeting, as there's potentially a younger model every year. So, he many not be the youngest today, but he's probably the youngest you know. Even so, he keeps a youthful approach to picking wines, ignoring the old school rules about pairing and avoiding the traps of price and status. Erik is quick to recommend a white (or red) with whatever the hell you want to eat, and is likely to pick an inexpensive wine that's just as good as one twice the price.

That youthful approach is what convinced me to recruit him as the wine director / sommelier for Blend, our new adventure re-interpreting the idea of wine tasting for stylish people.

Most days, Erik can be found slangin' cheese at The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills; night's he's usually cooking for a private group or special event, or you might just find us at his house eating something ridiculously good that he just whipped up on the stove.

Erik's goal is to one day have his own restaurant. Investors reading this would be foolish not to back him.

Blend kicks off Thursday, October 15th at The Celebrity Vault in Los Angeles and it's a don't miss for those that love wine and music - which is most of you, right? You can buy tickets here:

The Celebrity Vault // Down With Us

The Celebrity VaultSpecial spotlight on our host venue for Blend, sponsored by Puma. We've known Cole Sternberg, co-owner of The Celebrity Vault, for a couple years and have been to a handful of openings there, including Kim Porter's "The Rock N Roll Of Hip Hop," which featured hard-to-capture shots of Biggie, Jay-Z, TI, and others thanks to the insider access that comes with being Diddy's baby mama. Among other things, I really like the fact that Cole is a talented artist himself, which adds a bit of credibility. On the other hand, iconic photos of legendary rock stars and actors is pretty damn cool on its own.

Pop culture fans and corporate art buyers should definitely know about The Celebrity Vault. If you haven't been yet, stop by this Thursday and check us out at Blend - pick up tix before and save a couple bucks.

Rehabilitation, by Cole Sternberg James Dean, Giant, by Richard Miller Jimi Hendrix, Classic, by Gered Mankowitz