By Eileen Lambert, guest blogger
Geoff Tate is a sensual man. A man as prone to strike a woman speechless by his very presence as he is to compliment their hair style.
A man who becomes animated when asked about his favorite cut of steak - a filet mignon -and the resulting gastronomical tour de force when paired perfectly with his Malbec blend.
Best known as the lead singer of progressive Northwest 80’s metal band, Queensrÿche -- Geoff is now touring to promote a second career and love- wine making.
Mr. Tate made a special appearance last Friday at Esquin Wine Merchants to promote and sample his new wine label, Insania, meet with fans and autograph their bottles of 2009 Geoff Tate Insania Red and 2009 Geoff Tate Insania White.
He cut a rockstar image clad all in black in a well cut dress shirt and tight fitting jeans; a hint of eye liner accentuating his already piercing eyes. Strains of Queensrÿche’s signature hits could be heard throughout the store, where a line had started to form between the aisles, as fans clutching posters and Insania wine bottles waited for their all-access pass to one of Hit Parade’s 100 Greatest Metal Vocalists of All Time.
One may wonder how an iconic lead singer of a gold and platinum record metal band came to trade his sleek black uniform for a starched white lab coat?
It started out with a wine tasting trip to France he took several years back, when tasting a memorable Malbec, he turned to winemaker and friend, Holly Turner, and asked ‘Why don’t you make a Malbec like this? And more importantly, he asked, ‘Why don’t you make me a Malbec like this? To that, Holly responded, ‘Have you ever thought about producing your own wine label?’
Today, Holly and Geoff are partners in the Insania wine outfit –she, the winemaker --out of Three Rivers in Walla Walla -he the enthusiast and devoted taster whose name graces each label.
When asked about his inspiration for the label in a 2008 Wine Spectator Wine Talk article: “We just wanted something that had that spirit of rock n' roll, that energetic feeling you get when the music is loud, when it's pumped up—when you feel this intense kind of rush of Insania.”
Geoff’s interest in wine is mostly around developing a signature taste for his blends, and with Holly, spends a lot of time in the ‘wine laboratory,’ sampling throughout the blending process , until together, musician and composer hit the right note.
Geoff has traveled the world in pursuit of wine knowledge, and feels fortunate to be making wine
in Washington state, where we can grow every type of grape, and delights in the array of complex possibilities such wide availability affords for future blends.
He likens his white blend to ‘drinking a summer day, ‘capturing the feeling of sitting on a beach with friends and a bucket of shellfish, and just enjoying good times.
If Insania white was a Queensrÿche song, it would be ‘Doin’ Fine’ from ‘Tribe.’ Happy, light and
His red, like his white, was blended with food pairing in mind, and with a much bolder profile, goes with anything from the former vegan’s top pick--Filet Mignon --to Pork Loin.
If Insania red was a Queensrÿche song it would be,‘Suite: Sister Mary’ from ‘Operation Mindcrime’. It’s dark brooding, exhilarating and it takes you on one hell of a journey.”
With Insania offering pours like these, we wonder if endorsements like Geoff’s will lead to better wine offerings on band tour buses ?