Top 10 Songs About Wine

My inspiration for this list came one recent sweltering afternoon when I was sipping an alluring Pinot by the swimming pool. Or maybe I dreamed that whole scene when I nodded off in front of my computer screen. You can never be sure with wine, it has some weird qualities that no other intoxicant seems to have, but I am pretty sure I was just dreaming.

Anyway there have been tons of Rock songs that reference wine, but they really should have “wine” in the title to be considered bonafide wine songs. Here are ten of my favorites.


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1. Spill The Wine – Eric Burdon and War (1970)

I almost blushed when I learned Burdon sings “take that pearl” not “take that girl”, but either way, you’ve got to spill the wine to make it happen. It’s a two-step process taking place in this freaky hall of the mountain kings. This was a very innovative song and a brilliant piece of work. Next time you’re pouring a glass of wine, play in your head the flute rendering of the sound of wine pouring into a glass, and it’ll make your wine taste better.


2. Red Red Wine – UB40 (1983)

The UB 40 guys had never heard the Neil Diamond version, and apparently weren’t even aware he actually wrote the song. They based their take on a 1969 rock steady version by Jamaican singer Tony Tribe, which I think is the best one of the lot.


3. Drinkin’ Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee – Stick McGee (1949)

Widely considered to be one of the first rock & roll songs ever made, and there you go, it’s about wine. An earlier version went: “Drinkin’ wine, motherfucker, drinkin’ wine, goddam!” which ain’t exactly Bing Crosby territory, but 20 years later it would finally find a place in popular culture.


4. Lilac Wine – Jeff Buckley (1994)

For a song from an obscure 1950 Broadway flop, this one sure has legs, and for good reason. It’s like film noir, the effects of intoxication are not exactly sugar coated. Nina Simone’s version is great, but Jeff Buckley’s woozy warble is so convincing I get a little tipsy just listening to it.


5. Half Full Glass Of Wine – Tame Impala (2008)

An early breakthrough track for one of the great Rock bands in circulation today. In this instance the glass of wine is a bad thing, a reminder that she didn’t come home, and fuel for some pretty nasty thoughts. My advice would be to finish the bottle and get some sleep.


6. Elderberry Wine – Elton John (1973)

Contains one of Rock’s great opening lines –“There’s a fly in the window / A dog in the yard / And a year since I saw you” – and also one of Bernie Taupin’s sorriest couplets – “You aimed to please me / cooked-black-eyed-peas me”. Back in 1973 Elton had an edge and he could Rock with the best of them.


7. Water Into Wine – Bruce Cockburn (1976)

This might be considered offside since it’s an instrumental, but the title describes the music to a T. There’s a water part and a wine part, and the wine sounds delicious. Bruce Cockburn is one of the greatest fingerpickers who ever lived, and it’s hard to believe all these notes come out of one guitar.


8. Wine – Electric Flag (1967)

The Monterey version is Electric Flag’s definitive take of this rockin blues chaser, a variation on the Stick McGhee classic from 1949. What a band, Buddy Miles on drums, Harvey Brooks on bass, and watch Mike Bloomfield really rip it. In my book Bloomfield cracks the Top 20 on the all-time great guitarist list.


9. Wine, Women An’ Song – Whitesnake (1981)

The long pale penis fellas were simply perpetuating the same hedonistic motif that has existed in various cultures for centuries. Although the Spanish version translates as “cards, women and wine” and the Persian as “meat, wine and youth”, both fun I suppose but not quite the big three.


10. All The Wine – The National (2004)

“I’m put together beautifully, big wet bottle in my fists, big wet rose in my teeth” — as close to whimsy as these earnest brooders ever get. But who hasn’t sat down at a table with a bottle on it and fleetingly wondered what everyone else was going to drink?


Honorable Mentions

There are at least three and probably more distinct songs with Strawberry Wine as the title. They include versions by The Band, the Dixie Chicks, Ryan Adams and My Bloody Valentine. Other wine songs include:

Alligator Wine – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
Sweet Cherry Wine – Tommy James and the Shondells
Kisses Sweeter Than Wine – various versions
Bottle of Red Wine – Eric Clapton
Cherry Wine – Hozier
Summer Wine – Nancy Sinatra
Old Red Wine – The Who
Only The Wine – David Gray
Sweet Wine – Cream
Wine & Women – Bee Gees
Cherry Red Wine – Luther Allison
Morning Glory Wine – Mark Lanegan
Mexican Wine – Fountains of Wayne
Me & My Wine – Def Leppard
Bottle of Wine – Tom Paxton
Ashes & Wine – A Fine Frenzy
Blood Red Wine – The Rolling Stones
Blackberry Wine – Gordon Lightfoot
Gimme That Wine – Blood Sweat & Tears
God Of Wine – Third Eye Blind
Honey & Wine – The Hollies

So, which ones did I miss?

Photo credit: By A.Savin (Wikimedia Commons · WikiPhotoSpace) (Own work) [FAL], via Wikimedia Commons

3 comments to “Top 10 Songs About Wine”
  1. “Wine wine wine do yer stuff” by Commander Cody and the lost planet airmen.
    “Red red wine on Sunday”
    The Replacements.
    “Lil ole wine drinker me”
    Merle Haggard

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