When I first read the press release about wines made by the musician Dave Matthews, my first thought was not about the music but a touch of excitement about trying wines from his native South Africa. Turns out that the wines are actually from the Bear Flag Republic and winemaker Steve Reeder oversees the production.
I have to admit that while I love music, I don't listen to a lot of it, and don't inflict my peculiar tastes on friends and family. I love classic jazz and old school hip-hop. Unabashed fan of Groove Armada and Ben Folds, and I prefer the Baroque artists over the Classical or Romantic periods. Joe Jackson is an underappreciated genius. Yes, I'd like to a hear a little more Elvis Costello when I encounter a radio playing in a coffee shop, but at this point in time, we can all listen to whatever we want through our little iPod earbuds.
When it came time to pick a Dave Matthews Band album to listen to while trying these wines, I knew that I only had one person who could answer this question: devoted DMB fan, my soul sister, wine pourer from California, Miz Please Please Please herself, throw your hands together for the one and only Samantha Dugan of Samantha Sans Dosage.
She suggested 2008's Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King. I made a pepperoni pizza from scratch (let the dough sit for five days--much better flavor!), uncorked the wines and sat down to bask in the music and wine of Dave Matthews.
I'm not going to review the album, because my musical tastes are demonstrably weird and non-mainstream, but I found it a pleasant and relaxing way to spend an hour on a Sunday afternoon. The experience may have even inspired me to check out a few other albums, though it might be a few years. I'm still working through back catalogs of Dave Brubeck projects.
2012 The Dreaming Tree Everyday White Wine
Central Coast, California
42% Gewürztraminer, 33% Riesling, 14% Albariño, 11% Viognier
$15, 12% abv.
Overripe peach, apricot, and floral aromas. Touch of sweetness, low acidity. It's a curious blend that could only happen in California or Australia, but I think that the mix works to create a pleasant and casual summer sipper. Not a great match for the pizza but would be delicious with a chicken salad sandwich or related finger food.
2011 The Dreaming Tree Crush Red Wine
North Coast, California
55% Merlot, 17% Zinfandel, 13% Petite Sirah, 8% Syrah, 7% Other
$15, 13.5% abv.
Blueberries and plums on the nose, with a touch of spice. Big, round fruit flavors with firm tannins and a long finish. A much better fit with the pizza, and at the point at which I'm typing this sentence, I'm listening to the penultimate track "Baby Blue", which is a relaxing and pleasant way to finish the meal and savor the lingering flavors of the wine.
Note: These wines were provided as samples.