Culture

Forgotten Classic Rock and Cheap Wine

Since jazz is my least favorite music genre and “cocktails” never touch my lips, the high command at PJ Lifestyle approved my suggestion of a “companion piece” to Stephen Green’s engaging series Jazz and Cocktails. Introducing: Forgotten Classic Rock and Cheap Wine.

So regardless of whether you were born in the age of BB (Before Beatles) or AB (After Beatles) if your music and adult beverage tastes lean more towards classic rock and wine than jazz and cocktails, this post is for you.

Before we begin, a few personal milestones must be shared in order for readers to understand the foundation upon which my life-long love of classic rock was built.

1955 – Born in Boston, MA and raised in the suburb of Needham, MA.

1964 – Watched The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show.


1969 – Received Led-Zeppelin-1 as a Christmas gift from my 9th grade boyfriend.

1970 – Attended my first rock concert, Jimi Hendrix in Boston Garden.

(The concert was in June and Hendrix died in September.)

Now that I’ve revealed my early developmental reference points, it’s up to you to decide whether I am “rock worthy” enough to write this new series.

As for wine knowledge, my early high school years were spent ingesting excessive amounts of Boone’s Farm Apple Wine and to this day even the thought of sweet wine makes me choke. Later in high school, my friends and I progressed to what were then the cheap, popular wines of the early 70’s, Blue Nun and Mateus. (If you are my age you remember how the uniquely shaped Mateus bottles were then used for burning candles with the wax dripping down the sides and proudly displayed as coffee table centerpieces.)

Fortunately, like fine wine my grape tastes have matured with age. However, my musical preferences are still stuck in what is now commonly referred to as the “golden age of classic rock” which makes me feel very old because it was the sound track of my youth.

So without further ado let us begin.

The first album of forgotten classic rock worth resurrecting is Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus, a masterpiece by Spirit, a semi-popular 60’s and 70’s California band.

If you remember Spirit and Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus, I know a big smile has just come over your face.

But if you were born in the After Beatles age you are probably scratching your head. If so, my advice is to click this link NOW and order it up.

Warning: the 30 second listening samples do not do this album justice. Songs like “Nothin’ to Hide”,  “Mr. Skin”, “Animal Zoo”, and “Nature’s Way” are way too complicated and intricate to be understood and appreciated in only 30 seconds. This was a drug-induced “concept” album after all.

While researching this band, I was thrilled to read that Twelve Dreams achieved “Gold” status in 1976 and many of the comment reviews state it was “one of the best rock albums of all time.”  I could not agree more. The only reason I can think of why Twelve Dreams was not a double-platinum mega hit was because when it was released in 1970, there was such a nuclear explosion of great and powerful music that it simply got lost in the shuffle. (Which may account for why this album finally went “Gold” six years after it was released.)


Now the wine I recommend to accompany your Twelve Dreams listening experience is Edna Valley Chardonnay. Hailing from San Luis Obispo County, California – this lovely wine has “amazing flavors of lush white peach and sweet spice with a crisp clean finish”. Hope you don’t mind me quoting from the label because I am clueless about how to describe wine other than I like it or I don’t.

Edna Valley Chardonnay is available in most major grocery chains with a price ranging from $11 – $14 a bottle. For a white wine that slides down your throat with such ease, it is really well priced.

Spending a hot summer evening listening to Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus and imbibing Edna Valley Chardonnay would be a fitting tribute to the California once known as “The Golden State.”

Unfortunately, now with at least a $17 billion state budget deficit and numerous bankrupt cities, California’s image is more tarnished than golden but the music and wine still shine.

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More on Wine and Music at PJ Lifestyle:

Clarice Feldman: How to Shop for Wine in the South of France

Kathy Shaidle: Vengeance Is Mine: The 5 Best Revenge Songs