Friday, May 16, 2014

Nurse the Hate: Hate Dave Mathews and His Dreaming Tree Shit Wine

Today I went to dinner at the Outback Steakhouse.  Now, I don’t normally go to chain restaurants like this.  While I could try and take the moral high ground and talk about how these are just soul sucking corporate greed troughs designed to feed factory food to the morons amongst us, that would be not exactly accurate.  I wish I could be so resolute.  It’s really much more basic.  In general, I don’t eat at these places because the food sucks so fucking badly.  It’s all about me.  I like to eat well.  I like to eat food that was created by a real person, and not flash frozen in a factory in New Jersey.  I want to eat something that was grown near here.  I want to eat things in season.  I want to eat at local restaurants that are run by people that created the menus with a sense of pride and purpose, that live in my community, and don’t have any shrimp on the motherfucking barbie. 

The problem was this $50 gift card sitting on the front hall table.  I mean, what are you going to do?  Not eat $50 of free food at Outback Steakhouse?  From the commercials alone I expected to meet a number of rugged individualistic Aussies that would set me up with a Fosters oil can and a dazzling array of taste treats representative of the continent of Australia.  It would all be good laughs in a semi tropical environment with sizzling goodness being tossed at me from all sides.

These television ads were not exactly representative of my experience.  What I found was a group of sad looking servers shucking Satan’s appetizer (aka The Blooming Onion) to a heavily tattooed bunch.  It was hard to count how many Wichita Buzzcuts were in that dining room.  I could only imagine how many ill-advised scary flaming skull and sword tattoos dwelt under those hoodies.  Don’t even get me started on the stark realization that many of these overfed female companions would be enthusiastically orally servicing these men with the same unbridled joy with which they attacked their “decadent pecan brownies”.  Outback Steakhouse is the Morton’s Steakhouse of Wal Mart nation.  When a fella picks up Darlene in his Ford F-150 and treats her to a blooming onion, he knows that she’ll be bobbing up and down in his lap while Kid Rock plays majestically on his in cab stereo system.  I was naïve.  I didn’t know that before today.  I know that now…

I had knocked back a LaChouffe Belgian ale before my trip over there.  I love that little gnome.  I was in the Outback now.  I had to change it up.  I decided I wanted to go red wine with a filet.  Let me tell you, the Outback Steakhouse wine list is not exactly the Four Seasons.  As a word to the wise, if you identify wine brands on the wine list that you can secure at a Walgreen’s or Discount Drug Mart, it might not be a great steak house.  I was stymied. 

If you sit me down at any legit restaurant in the United States, I can reasonably guess if a good by the glass pour is available.  I know an embarrassing amount about wine.  I looked at this list and saw nothing.  To put things into perspective, as I looked at my wine options my choices were between Stroh’s Dark and Old Milwaukee Light.  Son of a bitch.  There was a red blend that I couldn’t identify.  The server said, “Dreaming Tree Red is my favorite.”   

I can’t tell you why I trusted the judgment of an effeminate man in a leather wristband on the merits of a red wine.  This was a man I should have trusted on a hair gel, not a red wine.  It was truly a moment of weakness.  From the second the glass was put down, I knew I had made a horrible mistake.  It neither smelled nor tasted like anything I have ever had before.  This is saying something.  I have tasted extensively in Napa, Sonoma, Paso Robles, Washington, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Rioja, the Mosel, and the Southern Rhone.  I have drunk wine with the owner of Chateau Lynch Bages.  I sat next to Robert Mondavi and had a glass of Opus One.  I spoke broken Spanish with the owner of Chateau Pegau in Chateauneuf-du-Pape and discussed the merits of his reserve vs. his estate blend.  Look man, I’ve been around… But I can’t even guess at what the grapes were in that piece of shit wine.  It was like if Mountain Dew got into the fine wine business.  Imagine if Smuckers said, “Eh, fuck it!  Let’s make some wine this year!”  If it were a car it would have been an Atari.  If Taco Bell made wine, they would have kicked the shit out of this.  It could have been “Snickers Red”.  It wasn’t just bad.  It made me angry.  This wine's very existence is an affront to God.

I did what any normal human being would do.  I looked it up on Google.  What I found was horrifying, like discovering Hitler made the beer you were drinking at your favorite bar…  The Dreaming Tree Red Blend is made in a partnership with wine maker Steve Reeder of Constellation (Arbor Mist, Paul Masson, Clos Du Bois, etc) and Dave Mathews.  Yes, that Dave Mathews…

Of course.

Steve Reeder has apparently been making shitty wine for years.  It’s what he does.  He is the Meister Brau of wine.  But Dave Mathews?  That motherfucker makes $72 billion making his absolutely horrible music for Americans that think his songs are well crafted jams.  Unsatisfied with that payday, he decides to lend his name to a soda pop wine just to rip his audience off one more time after another one of his painful shows.  Fuck that guy.  It’s not like he doesn’t know any better.  Listen, when you are a rock star you get “wined and dined” like a mother.  Are you suggesting to me that after decades of drinking high quality Red Burgundy, Bordeaux, Barolo, and Napa Cab he says to his management people, “You know what we need to do?  Let’s get involved in a really shitty $5 wine that gets made in steel tanks and sell that crap for $15 a bottle to people that don’t know any better.  Despite my near limitless resources, my goal is to add to the ocean of cheap shit wine instead of making something delicious and beautiful.”

I have had a long cold unhealthy disdain of Dave Mathews.  I have never respected Leo more than when he told a German sound guy to “turn that shit off” while we were setting up in Cologne and some horrible Mathews track blared from the speakers.  The last things guys on edge need to hear is a bunch of noodling from a warbly singer that doesn’t appear to have a point of view and likes to dabble in World Music much like a housewife that goes to a hot yoga class at a strip mall considers herself involved in Eastern Religion.  I realize that people like Dave Mathews music.  For me, it’s not a case of not caring for it personally.  I don’t care for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band because I hate the horns and keyboard sound.  But I get it… I know why people like it.  Dave Mathews.  That dude just sucks man…  There is no merit there, and I don’t care how long we talk about it.  Maybe one day I will have an epiphany while sifting through incense cones at a Pier One.  I doubt it though… And that shit wine isn’t helping.

Fuck Dave Mathews and his awful Red Blend Dreaming Tree wine.  I hope anyone involved in that shit drowns in a tsunami of unsold grape piss.  This is a blatant attempt to rip off his fan base and anyone else that comes along by rebottling Two Buck Chuck class wine into his Holistic Caring Hippie packaging at a huge profit margin.  I’d rather drink a wine made by Stalin.  Stalin may have had more soul.       


At May 17, 2014 at 11:17:00 AM EDT , Blogger Frank said...

You deserved what you got for going to that shit hole of a "restaurant". I would have viewed that gift card as a perfect “re-gifting” opportunity, but for my selfish pleasure, I'm happy with the route that you chose. For that predictably contemptuous experience has led to this outpouring of healthy disdain for Dave Matthews on this very blog. It, as so many of your blog posts do, has brightened my morning immensely. I do so wish I could extend my gratitude personally this evening atyour fine bands performance at the 31st Street Pub in Pittsburgh. But as fate has it, I will be passing you along the interstate as I will be attending The Sadies show at The Beachland Ballroom. Tell Joel I said “fuck you” for me and, if you don't mind, tell Michelle I still love her. Pass my best on to band. Excluding Gary, naturally. Thank you. Ride on, Frank

At May 17, 2014 at 5:51:00 PM EDT , Blogger Ken Miller said...

That gift card should have been used for its usual purpose: as a potential prize to coax Leo into a doomed wager.

At May 17, 2014 at 9:57:00 PM EDT , Blogger Bobdontgiveaf#ck said...

What were you thinking? Look, I don't know squat about wine but even I know ordering any at an Outback Steakhouse is gonna suck. Face it, you were asking for trouble. Looking for it even. Contrary bastard.

At May 19, 2014 at 9:23:00 PM EDT , Blogger Dave L. said...

If anyone is keeping a list of top ten Nurse the Hate posts, this one is in it. Dressing down a chain restaurant, a designer vintner and a rock star all at the same time. Hilarious.

At August 9, 2014 at 4:32:00 AM EDT , Blogger Eric Pignatore said...

This comment has been removed by the author.


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