One of the things that makes wine so mystical and magical is its scarcity.
Only so many bottles of a certain variety from a certain vintage by a certain winery are made, and once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.
This is true whether a million cases were produced…or just a few hundred. Like life itself, wine is finite.
This came to mind when we were putting together the totally subject Vinesse list of the Top 10 Wine Songs of All-Time. We wanted to include a few familiar tunes (“Red, Red Wine” and “Tiny Bubbles,” for example), as well as a few you may not have heard (“The Night That the Band Got the Wine” and “Crimes of the Mind”).
But for the No. 1 position on our list, we wanted a song that truly reflected the “scarcity factor.” Leave it to the founder of Vinesse to come up with the perfect suggestion. (And who are we to argue with the boss?)
And so, the No. 1 song on the Vinesse list of the Top 10 Wine Songs of All-Time is “Old Red Wine” by The Who.
Back home in California
They got wine for the meek
There’s the Bowl and the Fillmore
The Cow and the Greek
You sniffed at the cork
Chose low on the list
Held your glass to the light
And gazed through the mist
Old red wine
Well past its prime
Gonna have to drink it with you
Some other time
How could a song by one of the best-selling rock bands of all-time be considered “scarce”? I’m glad you asked.
“Old Red Wine” was a “bonus track” on a greatest-hits CD called “Then and Now,” released in 2004. According to the surviving members of the band, it was written in tribute to long-time Who bassist John Entwistle, who passed away in 2002.
You can listen to the song and view vintage Who video clips here.
If you bought that album within a year or two of its release, you got to hear that song. But if you bought the album more recently, it may not include that track. When “Then and Now” was re-released in 2007, “Old Red Wine” was replaced by a song called “It’s Not Enough.”
So, unless it reappears sometime in the future, “Old Red Wine” is destined to become among the rarest of all Who songs.
Just like a real bottle of old red wine.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our countdown, and we’d love to hear what you think of our (very subjective) list. The comments box below awaits.
By the way, we’re already talking about putting together another list at about this same time next year, so if we missed your favorite wine song this time around, perhaps we’ll feature it then.