There’s a saying on Dave Matthews’ Dreaming Tree winery website (dreamingtreewines.com): “Great minds drink alike.”
I think it’s a beauty and I used it at the conclusion of my video (lowellsun.com/winenovice) on one of Matthews’ newest products, Everyday, a white blend of four European varietals that are grown in California’s sunny and dry Central Coast, in Salinas Valley near spectacular Monterrey Bay. From the moment you uncork the bottle, apple orchard aromatics burst forth with an amazing intensity. It’s an instant mood changer after a long day of work or play.
Matthews is the muti-talented actor/singer who heads up the very popular Dave Matthews Band. Unlike some other celebrities who’ve entered the wine business for kicks, Matthews is invested in his love of the land and crafting good, inexpensive products.
A little history. In 1999, Matthews bought the 10-acre Blenhelm Farm in Albermarle County, Va., to safeguard it from development. He decided to plant grapes and launched Blenheim Vineyards, producing 5,500 cases of Petit Verdot. In 2011, he teamed with awarding winning winemaker Steve Reeder to create Dreaming Tree Wines in California to produce a Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Several years later, New Zealand’s Sean McKenzie came on board and they introduced a red blend (Crush), a white blend (Everyday) and the newest product, a Pinot Noir.
Matthews is big into sustainable farming and protecting the environment. He purchases grapes from local farmers he trusts to deliver quality fruit. His wine labels, which he draws himself, are created from recycled paper. (Interesting fact:
Dreaming Tree corks have different Dave Matthews Band lyrics on them.) None of Dreaming Tree wines cost more than $15, and Matthews has no intention of creating a premium, high-dollar line. To him, these are the best wines for the money, and he wants them accessible to all. I equate his strategy to the Obamacare plan for wine — and it’s working.
Dreaming Tree’s Everyday white blend is wonderful on several levels.
First, give credit to Matthews and McKenzie for combining four fascinating — yet unfamiliar U.S. grapes — in one bottle: Riesling, which is native to Germany, Gewurstraminer (Alsace in France), Viognier (France) and Albarino (Spain).
Second, it’s great to see California growers bringing out the rich potential of these varietals in conditions remarkably different from their mostly cooler, native European habitats.
Third, Everyday is a fragrant wine that hits the palate with a zing of apple, honeydew melon and spice. Your mouth feels refreshed. The finish is clean and mellow, with another spicy kick. This would go well with seafood, Asian cuisine, or just sipping on a warm summer day. It has the flavor profile to shake up a party crowd too. The best part is that it costs $12.99 in both New Hampshire State Liquor Outlets and Massachusetts wine stores.