I’m getting a little tired of musicians coming out with wines, but here comes the Grateful Dead wine and who’s going to argue with that? There are already J. Garcia wines made by the winemaker from Clos Du Bois that came out about 8 years ago, and there’s also a line of red wines from Trefethen (who I like) called Grateful Red. But these are the whole band’s wines, made by Wines that Rock, and they’re called Steal Your Face after the 1976 album.
My brother-in-law (trust me, he knows his Dead) tells me this album is “widely considered – by band and fans alike – to be among their worst.” Hmmm, that doesn’t bode well. I haven’t tried the wine yet, but according to the liner notes (the back label description – love that they call it liner notes) it’s a blend of Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel and Grenache. Hmmm again, since this also seems odd. Petite Sirah and Zin are really bold reds, so I’d have to taste test to see if they wouldn’t overpower the fruity Grenache. The blend is supposed to be inspired by the music though, according to the website: “Just as the band members would segue through various musical styles, this wine’s far reaching flavors melt seamlessly from one to the next… In honor of the band’s famous improvisational concerts that have brought joy to so many, this wine celebrates Mendocino County’s bounty of diversity and freedom of experimentation.” With that explanation, hell, I’m down to try.
You might associate the Dead with other substances, but let’s take a look at some lyrics that would indicate the band’s love for the grape:
“Well the sun went down in honey and the moon came up in wine.” – The Music Never Stopped
“We can share the women, we can share the wine./We can share what we got of yours cause we done shared all of mine.” – Jack Straw
“Goin’ where the water tastes like wine./Goin’ where the water tastes like wine./Goin’ where the water tastes like wine.” – Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad
“I went down to the mountain, I was drinking some wine.” – One More Saturday Night
“Everybody prayin’ and drinkin’ that wine.” – Loser
“Goodbye Mama and Papa
Goodbye Jack and Jill
The grass ain’t greener
The wine ain’t sweeter
Either side of the hill.” – Ramble On Rose
“My name is August West, and I love my Pearly Baker best more than my wine. / More than my wine – more than my maker, though he’s no friend of mine.” – Wharf Rat
Man, that really brought me back to college. (I went to Middlebury and did my fair share of noodling.) Just don’t drink this wine with Cherry Garcia ice cream unless you really want to relive your college days by reenacting that time you went to Sig Ep’s White Russian party and totally puked from the alcohol/cream mix.