“Standing here, the old man said to me,
‘Long before these crowded streets,
here stood my dreaming tree.'”
For those of you who don’t know me personally, I’m an enormous fan of the Dave Matthews Band. A few friends have seen them live dozens of times. I’ve only been to eight shows, but hopefully that number will quickly double.
I heard a few years ago that Dave Matthews and winemaker Steve Reeder were planning to release a brand of wine. Recently, I learned of what I thought would be a limited release. I didn’t think a bottle would make its way to Louisville or Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Well, on Thursday evening my friend Rick–with whom I saw DMB in Vanderbilt in April, 2009–and I went to the liquor store down the road and, browsing through the wine selection, Rick happened upon a bottle of chardonnay labeled The Dreaming Tree.
“The Dreaming Tree” is a song from the album Before These Crowded Streets. Sure enough, the seal over the cork contained the first line of the song, “Standing here, the old man said to me, ‘Long before these crowded streets, here stood my dreaming tree.'” I’d never been so excited to hold a bottle of anything–yes, I’m a nerd–but I wanted to find a merlot, so we searched and the closest we could find was The Dreaming Tree Crush, a blended red wine. “Crush” is another great song by DMB, so I went with it.
Rick picked out a pint of Jameson, the drink of choice for Jimmy McNulty in my favorite television series The Wire. At the register, the Dave Matthews wine scanned for two dollars cheaper than the advertised price. “Does that sound right to you?” the clerk asked.
A natural and incidental test of character. I hail from Hodgenville, Kentucky, home of Honest Abe Lincoln, a place where truth trickles from the streams and boil advisories are frequent. Anyway, for my two-dollar display of honesty, the clerk decided to give me the bottle at the reduced price, saying, “I dare you to complain.”
“Dave Matthews hasn’t disappointed us so far,” I said to Rick.
Back at my apartment, I devolved in to the equivalent of a Trekkie at a Star Trek convention when I showed the bottle to my wife, Kylie. I even read her the Dave Matthews quote on the back of the label. I was eager to try it but a little uncertain. For Dave Matthews did indeed write “The Stone”, “Warehouse”, “Two-Step”, and “The Dreaming Tree”.
But he also wrote “Shake Me Like a Monkey”, “Old Dirt Hill”, “Eh Hee”, and “Stand Up”. I hate to say it, Dave, but you write many of the best and some of the worst songs I’ve ever heard.
So what’s this wine going to be? So Damn Lucky? The Best of What’s Around? Let You Down? Too Much?
I tried it, but I’m reserving final analysis until I’ve had another glass.
To be continued . . .
Learn more about The Dreaming Tree Wine here: