The Countdown Begins…With a Tie

As promised, today we begin our unofficial, unscientific, completely subjective countdown of the Top 10 Wine Songs of All-Time.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll weave our countdown in and around our regular Vinesse Today blog posts—so, in addition to perplexing you with our admittedly suspect musical taste, we’ll keep you up to date on what’s going on in the wonderful world of wine.

What makes a song eligible for our list? Well, through the years, there certainly have been enough tunes written specifically about wine that we could compile a pretty solid Top 10. But for our purposes, we’ve broadened the definition of a “wine song” to include any song that includes the mere mention of the word wine or a type of wine.

The music genre makes no difference, although my personal taste basically eliminates rap and opera. That said, this is not a purely personal list; it also includes input from the founder of Vinesse—my boss.

In fact, the No. 1 song was selected by him. (I’m no dummy!)

But before we get to No. 1, we must first reveal the No. 10 song. As it turns out, that spot on the list is shared by not two, but three tunes. We simply could not choose just one among the three we’ve pinpointed by the Grateful Dead, Phish and Jimmy Buffett.

So, with a nod to all jam band fans and Parrotheads, let the countdown begin…

10. (tie) “Jack Straw” by Grateful Dead, “Crimes of the Mind” by Phish, and “Tin Cup Chalice” by Jimmy Buffett

Sonoma’s Clos du Bois Winery produced a line of J. Garcia wines for a number of years, and a handful of Grateful Dead tunes included references to wine.

From “Wharf Rat”:

I got no dime but I got some time to hear his story
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

From “Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad”:

Goin’ where the water tastes like wine
Goin’ where the water tastes like wine
Goin’ where the water tastes like wine
I don’t want to be treated this a way

But our pick for a share of the No. 10 spot on our list is “Jack Straw”:

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

One of the groups that has carried on the jam band ethos in the years since Jerry Garcia’s death is the Vermont-based Phish. They landed a share of the No. 10 spot with the song “Crimes of the Mind,” which includes these lyrics:

Crimes of the mind
I drink a little wine
Crimes of the mind
Here’s to modern times
Crimes of the mind

(As you probably already know, jam bands aren’t generally known for their thought-provoking lyrics…)

Now that we’ve appeased the Deadheads and perhaps ticked off the followers of Phish, it’s time to please the Parrotheads.

These lyrics come from Jimmy Buffett’s “Tin Cup Chalice”:

I wanna be there
Wanna go back down and lie beside the sea there
With a tin cup for a chalice, fill it up with good red wine
And I’m chewin’ on a honeysuckle vine

And there you have it—the beginning of our 10-song countdown, which turns out to be a 12-song countdown. We promise no more ties, and we’re pretty sure you’re going to be surprised by at least a few of the nine remaining songs to come.

The countdown continues on Wednesday, but be sure to check back here tomorrow for your daily dose of wine news and views.


Posted in Editor's Journal
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