after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

Dave Matthews + Wine = ?

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t says:  It happens all too often.  You need to pick up a bottle of wine to have with dinner with friends and it has to be fast.  You run into a PA “Wine and Spirits Shoppe” (the -pe to the end of “Shop” means it’s classy, right?) and now you’re faced with an odd selection of wines from all over.  What do you do?  The thing with the PLCB is that their supply is very erratic, so we’re starting this little sliver of blog to highlight (or bash) wines from the PLCB stores.  It should be noted that we, ourselves, aren’t always going to have procured the bottles from PLCB stores, ourselves (it may be a buck or two cheaper in NJ or DE), but just so long as it can be found in Philly or shipped to a Philly PLCB, we’re going to include it in the “PLCB-approved” portion of our wine reviews.

Having been a high school student in the 90’s, I was a huge fan of the Dave Matthews Band – it’s one of the few concerts I’d attend routinely (actually – in retrospect – it’s one of the few concerts I’d attend, period).  I’m pretty sure that “Before These Crowded Streets” was my most-played CD of that decade – I just loved the music.  Nowadays, Dave’s a little different and has an all-new style.  Some say he sold out big time.  Others blame the unfortunate loss of LeRoi Moore to the band’s new sound and feel.  In any case, there will always be a special place in my heart for Crush, Halloween, Watchtower, Spoon, Dreaming Tree, Little Thing, etc.

One of the new Dave ventures is wine.  Check it:

2009 The Dreaming Tree “Crush” (USA, CA, North Coast; $16.99 at PLCBGifted to me by lc for Christmas, I was happy to give the bottle a try.  I liked Dave and I like wine, so why not?  Upon reading the label, it was clear that whoever is producing this wine for Dave is basically just blending together a mish-mash of all kinds of grapes from all over California.  This made me very suspicious.  I expected it to flop.  I poured myself a glass and was greeted by the sweet smell of strawberry preserves.  Mmmmm.  Upon first taste, I got hit in the tongue with an onslaught of Smuckers strawberry jam (although this is a dry wine, so not “sweet” like actual jam) – but it didn’t have that “artificial” taste like Manischewitz.  Cooked down strawberries kept on coming strong for a few seconds after swishing/swallowing and gradually drifted away over 10-15 seconds or so.  What didn’t happen surprised me a lot: there was a noticeable lack of burn (usually the cheap wines burn like bad vodka) and very soft tannins (i.e. my mouth didn’t get all dry and puckered).  In the end, this wine was quick to please, simple, and smooth.  It might not impress a wine snob, but I was particularly impressed because I can see myself bringing it to a dinner party with complete confidence that it’ll disappear by the end of the night faster than Yellowtails and Arbor Mists.  I could even grab a bottle for myself should I need a little pick-me-up.

a (who’s far more terse than me in his wine reviews) felt similarly about the Cabernet Sauvignon version:

a says:  2009 The Dreaming Tree “Cabernet Sauvignon” (USA, CA, North Coast; $16.99 at PLCB).  Nice forward fruit, soft tannins, and enough backbone to keep things lively. Should be a crowd-pleaser, good dinner party gift, or everyday table wine.

t says:  So there you have it.  Dave’s wines are easy to drink and a sure bet for simple satisfaction.  It’s less like a beautiful song and more like a pleasant chord, so it’s probably not the best for wine snob pontification … but who really wants to invite that to a dinner party anyways?

Written by afterdinnersneeze

17 January 2012 at 9:44pm

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