Happy Friday everyone! Thanks for all the FANTASTIC feedback on the blog!! It was so fun hearing from so many of you. As promised, I entered everyone who commented in a drawing for a Yellow Table apron, and the winner is: Maria Isabella! Congrats. I'll put your apron in the mail early next week.

Because it's Friday, and because the Grammy's happen to be coming up this Sunday, I wanted to share with you all a recent discovery I made: Dave Matthews, i.e. the musician (and more importantly, my high school obsession!) makes wine. Well, I suppose that's old news, given that he's had a winery outside his hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia, for several years, but his newest line of wines come from California. As a blogger, I'll be honest – I get asked to sample products all the time. Most I pass on, unless I feel like it's something I can write about, and will enjoy trying. But when I had a chance to sample Dave Matthew's wines this week, well, that was a no-brainer.


You see, as a high-schooler, my Dave Matthews fandom new no bounds. I not only went to 20+ concerts (and snuck backstage to meet him at two of them), collected all his albums and traded bootleg cassette tapes, but I also played in not one, but two, bands that were strongly influenced by Dave Matthews Band (i.e. we played a lot of DMB covers!). Because I play violin, being in a rock band may seem random, but DMB's music was super-inspirational for me because of violinist Boyd Tinsley's mad fiddle skills. I learned all of the violin solos in his songs, and had a blast performing with the guys in both bands. I'll never forget hearing the drum beat beginnings to "Ants Marching"...that song was my absolute favorite to play.

I had my dad dig up a few pictures from old photo albums to share with you all, from my DMB obsession days... (Mind you these were taken 20 years ago, so be kind!!)


My rock-n-roll days...!


Me, as a freshman feeling super-cool hanging out with junior guys!


That time my brother Davis and I snuck backstage to meet Dave Matthews...

Over the years, as my music career waned (ha!), my interest in food and wine grew. Years passed and I sadly lost touch with Dave...until this week. When I received two bottles of Dreaming Tree wines at my door, I knew it was time to reconnect with my high school crush.

So here's the story: Dave paired up with famed Sonoma winemaker Steve Reeder to create a line of everyday drinking wine named for a song ("The Dreaming Tree") from his 1998 album "Before These Crowded Streets." There are four Dreaming Tree wines at the moment: the usual California suspects, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as two blends that I sampled: 'Everyday,' an aromatic white blend of Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Viognier, and Albarino, and 'Crush,' a juicy red blend of Merlot, Zinfandel, and Petite Sirah. These wines, which retail for $15, are simple and fruit-forward - perfect for a casual dinner party or back-porch sipping. Because the white is on the sweeter side (which is not really my preference, as I tend to go for bone-dry, minerals whites), I'd recommend drinking it with spicy Asian food; the red would be great with a grilled ribs or pizza.

I like the fact that Dreaming Tree wines are committed to sustainability – the bottle’s cork closure is both natural and recyclable, the label is made with 100% recycled kraft brown paper, and the bottles are extra-light.

While I was writing this post, Brandon put on some old school DMB music for inspiration, and it took me back 20 years instantly. Makes me wish I could gather all of my old bandmates back together for a little reunion/jam-session. And clearly, we'd need to share a few bottles of Dreaming Tree, to complete the circle.

Have a great weekend, and see you Monday!

xo, Anna

P.S. In the event that you want to try these wines, they're available online and in select stores.