My oldest son, away at college, turned 21 over the weekend. While I’m looking forward to buying him a steak dinner and looking up on WardonWine.com a nice pinot noir to accompany it, that won’t come until he comes home in another month or so.
So this isn’t a wine story about young adults turning 21; I’m pretty confident they receive all the potent potable recommendations they need on such a day. No, this is the wine story for the mom sitting at home the night her oldest turns 21 – worrying, remembering his life through old snapshots and wondering where all those years went.
And so I choose a wine I expect to be a gimmick: The Grateful Dead Steal Your Face red blend, produced and bottled by Wines That Rock Vineyards in Ukiah, Calif. Inspired by the vibes and times that made a Grateful Dead show like no other, the label says.
I’ve never seen a Grateful Dead concert because, well, I’m just not that cool. My Grateful Dead knowledge consists of what I picked up listening to St. Louis rock radio station KSHE-95 in the 1970s when I felt rebellious (“Truckin’ ”), to the Dead’s one and only Top 40 hit “Touch of Grey,” released at a time MTV was still known for videos. Remember the skeletons?
Neither of those songs are on the “Steal Your Face” album from which the wine gets its name. But on this night, it doesn’t matter. My baby is turning 21, and I’m not about to let the night go without a glass of wine.
It’s the perfect choice. A wine that got me pulling up YouTube for songs and videos while I waded through a box of old photographs: Matt eating cake on his first birthday; Matt starting preschool; Matt in the kindergarten pageant; Matt dressing like he’s Harry Potter on the night one of those wonderful books was released.
The wine itself? I liked it a lot. I also like the Police and The Rolling Stones, two other wines from the label that I look forward to trying. You can find out more at http://www.winesthatrock.com/.
Meanwhile, happy to report, the day after the oldest son turned 21, that he’s alive and well and “will call later,” according to the text message. So on the night my son turned 21 more than 400 miles away, I had, thanks to Mike’s recommendation, the perfect bottle in the wine rack. A Grateful Dead wine. Because every silver lining’s got a touch of grey.