An Unforgettable (Wine?) Moment

Certain moments in life never leave you.

Your (first) wedding day. Where you were when something momentous happened. That sort of thing.

(For the record, I was watching “Felix the Cat” on TV when President Kennedy was shot, and I was working in a downtown Chicago high-rise on the morning of 9/11.)

But I prefer to focus on more positive memories, and many of mine revolve around music. That’s why the boss has allowed me to offer suggestions for this first-ever Vinesse list of the Top 10 Wine Songs of All-Time.

Not too long after I made the move from California to Chicago, my good buddy Bill flew out for a visit. He’s a music lover, too, so I’d been perusing the papers and surfing the Web in search of concert possibilities. We ended up going to a couple of shows, including a concert by Delbert McClinton at the downtown House of Blues.

McClinton is a great performer, but not the world’s most famous singer. If you’re really into rockin’ blues, country or roots rock—i.e., “Americana” music—you may have heard of him; otherwise, probably not.

As is the case at many concerts, there was a lot of drinking going on at McClinton’s show. A good hour in, right in the middle of a song (I couldn’t tell you which one; it’s now all a blur), an attractive blonde woman hopped onto the stage and began dancing.

A moment later, the dancing became more—what’s the word?—sensual. And a moment after that, she took her top off. Yes, she was bra-less.

Bill and I looked at each other. We couldn’t believe what we were seeing.

So Delbert’s singing, his band is playing, the topless woman is dancing, and two burly security guards, one from the left and one from the right, are making beelines toward the woman.

Just then, Delbert stops singing, glances back and forth at the security guards and calmly says, “Guys, she’s okay.”

The band played on, Delbert resumed singing, the woman kept on dancing…and then when the song was over, the security guards escorted the woman from the stage.

Why neither Bill nor I can recall the name of that particular song, I do not know. What I do know is that the very next song was my favorite McClinton-penned tune: “Two More Bottles of Wine.” (Which we two middle-aged guys needed at that point!)

I’m sixteen hundred miles from the people I know
Been doin’ all I can but opportunity sure come slow
Thought I’d be a star by today
But I’m sweepin’ out a warehouse in west L.A.
But it’s all right ’cause it’s midnight
And I got two more bottles of wine

The angel-voiced Emmylou Harris had a No. 1 country hit with the song in 1978. It also has been recorded by Martina McBride, among others. But my favorite version remains McClinton’s own.

It’s a great song, and it offers a sentiment with which I fully concur: that almost any occurrence in life will be all right as long as you have a couple bottles of wine around.

So as our Vinesse countdown of the Top 10 Wine Songs of All-Time continues, the No. 6 spot on the list goes to Delbert McClinton’s “Two More Bottles of Wine.”

Are you familiar with this song? Do you have a favorite version? What do you think of the YouTube video? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.


Posted in Editor's Journal
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