On the International Jazz Day (closely followed by May 1, which is expected to be full of excitement), it was obligatory to exchange a few words with those who put the music on the same level as their wine and dedicated a major part of their time to rebuilding the classic Dionysian framework. Now, we don’t quite see the two founders of the winery actually dancing around the winery, surrounded by satyrs and bacchantes, but one thing is certain: Gramofon Wine and music belong together.
Marcel Pascu, great lover of the saxophone and its devoted practitioner, has circled the world twice, singing in all corners and on all oceans of the world. Born near Dealu Mare, he returned to relive his happy childhood memories and accidentally came across the unexpected opportunity to buy a small but promising winery.
He built a top team, in which he also drawn his "accountant" from that time, Marcel Vulpoi, and gave birth to the Gramofon story. When he’s not working the vineyard or listening to other professionals, at one of the notorious Gramofon Wine parties, you can still discover him in concerts and recitals.
Accountant and sweet grapes, with live music? A dream!
Marcel Vulpoi is a professor at ASE, in Bucharest, and founder of one of the most important accounting firms in Romania. He learned about wine step by step, from one business lunch to another, from one holiday to another, but he became truly initiated after joining the Gramofon adventure. First, because he received wine instead of paying the fee for accounting services, then because he was sure he could build a business. And, of course, for the parties…
But, for these details, you can search the winesofromania.com platform for one of the many articles and even podcast episodes dedicated to the two.
We return to the jazz anniversary, only mentioning that we asked Marcel Vulpoi and Marcel Pascu, the two owners of the winery, about what music would go well with their wines, about what music changed their lives, from which concerts they left floating and other similar things. Each one separately, so they wouldn’t cheat and copy the answers from one another!
Music / wine pairings
WinesOfRomania: First we are horsing around, then we ask the serious questions. Considering that psychoanalysis is right and the first answer that comes to mind is always the right one, we ask you to do this exercise: what song, author, singer, band, composer or opera do you think of when each of the following wines is mentioned? Chardonnay Virtuoz…
Marcel Vulpoi: Parazitii. Look, I can’t explain this either, I think it’s the atmosphere, relaxed wine, slice of everyday life.
Marcel Pascu: Sting. Not a specific song, I think more related to the voice and style.
WoR: Feteasca neagra Virtuoz…
MV: Oh, some residual sugar… Aura Urziceanu!
MP: Enescu’s Rhapsody.
WoR: Feteasca neagra Sonorum…
MV: Metallica. Maybe even Whiskey in the jar, anyway, something lively, but more complex, and loud.
MP: Enescu again, right? It’s Feteasca neagra! It’s a Romanian symbol! What could there be more Romanian than that?
WoR: Since you have a new range, let’s see: what pair well with Meatology? For the white Meatology?
MV: Believe me or not, La Familia. But not on the radio, but as it was in Costinesti, in the 1997 holiday. It speaks to me about summer, sun, joy, pleasant memories.
MP: Unchain my heart, Joe Cocker. Freedom, passion.
WoR: Meatology rose?
MV: Nightwish. It’s for my soul.
MV: Vivaldi, The Seasons. It seems simple and integrated, but it is a lot of work, the whole thing must be perfectly synchronized.
WoR: Red Meatology?
MV: Sepultura, of course. Meat and blood! Rare or blue, since we are at GrillFest, where the Meatology wines are publicly tasted for the first time.
MP: Beethoven’s Egmont Overture.
WoR: What about a retail wine? Let’s say Gramofon Vals, from the Deschidem Vinul Romanesc / We Open the Romanian Wine program…
MV: Well, Eugen Doga, of course, because he wrote Gramofon Vals
MP: Eugen Doga, of course, he wrote… Ah, did Marcel Vulpoi tell you the same thing? Well, it’s natural.
WoR: What about a super limited edition? Opus Fabula Maximus, as it has just been released recently…
MV: This is something else. Something grandiose, Nabucco, Traviata, a symphony, choose any great composer.
MP: Sorry, I have to think here, because there are too many, too difficult… (he thinks a lot). My way, Frank Sinatra.
What is that music that changes us?
WoR: What do you taste to celebrate International Jazz Day?
MV: We started early, because we had a Gipsy Jazz concert yesterday evening, with Mieluta Bibescu and Svertlana Perjovschi at The Great Hill Social Club, at the Bragadiru Palace. We had Sauvignon Blanc Gramofon.
(We didn’t ask Marcel Pascu this, because he was already in full preparation for GrillFest and had 4,000 bottles of Meatology with him. You can picture this yourself – white for lunch, rose in the afternoon, red in the evening, if it gets cool enough)
WoR: Which performer, singer, instrumentalist or composer changed your life and contributed decisively to the formation of your character?
MV: There are many, but I would probably say those from the classical jazz era, the Aretha Franklin & Louis Armstrong period… From nowadays, I really like Silviu Burneci, whom I also invited to the Agurida Party this year.
MP: In rock, Queen. On the saxophone, Michael Barker, Whitney Houston as vocals, Sinatra for swing, Joe Cocker as vocals, Duke Ellington and all those who played along with him.
WoR: There are concerts from which you leave feeling drunk with happiness, floating with a full heart. What were the most memorable concerts you went to?
MV: Nightwish, whom I love. And Timpuri Noi, unplugged. Good thing I remembered: Timpuri Noi is also counts as one of the bands that influencedmy youth…
MP: I would say three concerts, all at Sala Palatului, although there were many more. Aura Urziceanu, in 1988, then Tom Jones, then Duke Ellington’s band, even if the sacred monster was no longer among them, we felt all that he had left behind.