If you haven’t been to Stone Barns, it’s one of the best restaurants ever. Farm to table and super delicious and innovative. I could almost have water with the food (only almost) but luckily we got to drink Dave Matthews’ Dreaming Tree wines with every course so I didn’t even have to contemplate such a horror.
Dreaming Tree is exactly the kind of wine you’d think Dave would make: really easy, approachable, and a good time. All of the wines are only $15 except for one. Also, the wines are made sustainably and have fun little poems on the back labels. See what I mean? Very Dave.
I met Dave once at a Sundance party. He made fun of me for shaking his hand sort of formally, so I liked him. He wasn’t at our dinner, but I got to sit next to one of the winemakers Tom Gore, who confirmed Dave is in fact as normal and cool as you think he is. That was solid praise, considering Tom’s about as cool and laidback and hilarious as they come. His stories of growing up in the Alexander Valley and hanging out there all the time growing grapes makes you seriously want to leave NYC or wherever you live and move there immediately.
We started with some yummy amuse-bouches. You wouldn’t think pieces of lettuce and veggies stuck on a push-pin board would blow you away, but they do. I don’t have pics because we ate it all too fast, but we paired it with the Everyday White Blend. This one’s new and coming out in June. Dave actually asked fans what kind of wine they wanted them to make next, and they said an aromatic fruity one. Enter this Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Albarino, and Viognier blend – definitely aromatic, and very fruity without being sweet.
Then this crazy lazy susan of fish fajitas came out and we had the 2011 Central Coast Chardonnay. It was decent and apple-y, nothing super special but an easy drinker.
Rocked some 2010 North Coast Cab with the sick ricotta gnocchi. Good blackberry flavor, and has a drop of Merlot and Cab Franc in it to round it out.
And then switched to the 2009 Reserve Cab with the lamb. This wine was my fave – same blackberry fruit but had a great pepper nose. This is the one that’s $35 but it’s a little more complex and made from all Alexander Valley grapes.We had the 2010 Crush red blend (78% Merlot, 13% Syrah, 6% Zinfandel, 2% Petite Sirah, 1% Malbec, 1% Cabernet Sauvignon) with brioche dessert. It wasn’t really rich or sweet enough to go with the dessert, and not my fave Dreaming Tree wine out of the bunch. It does, however, feature Tom’s two dogs and little Dave poem on the back label.
Obviously being grapefriend, I really love wine. But part of why I love it so much is that when you share a bottle with people it makes your day or night a lot better and more fun. Guaranteed I’ll never drink a bottle of Dreaming Tree again without thinking of the dinner and great conversations we had. And couldn’t agree more with the end of the little note from Tom and the other winemaker Sean McKenzie: