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"Strawberry Wine" is the title of a song written by Matraca Berg and Gary Harrison, and recorded by Americanmarker country artist Deana Carter. It was released in August 1996 as Carter's debut single and served as the lead-off to her debut album, Did I Shave My Legs for This?. The song went on to peak at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart, and the Canadian RPM Country Tracks.

"Strawberry Wine" is Carter's most successful single in her career overall, and is considered a signature song for both songwriter Matraca Berg and Deana Carter.

Content

"Strawberry Wine" is a ballad, backed primarily with steel guitar and percussion. The narrator describes a time in her youth when she lost her innocence, and compares her love to the sweetness of "strawberry wine". As she grows older, she returns to this place, to find that everything has changed.

Like strawberry wine and seventeen
The hot July moon saw everything
My first taste of love, oh bittersweet
Green on the vine
Like strawberry wine


The song tells the story of co-writer Berg's own coming of age as a teenager outside of Luck, Wisconsinmarker, she recalled: "We used to go to my grandparents' dairy farm in the summer. My aunt, who's six months younger than me, and I would try to score some wine. And I met this boy..." Berg shopped the song to record labels around Nashvillemarker, but they passed, considering it overly long and controversial, and not memorable enough. Deana Carter heard Berg perform the song at a showcase and then recorded it for her debut album, Did I Shave My Legs for This?.

Reception

"Strawberry Wine" won Song of the Year at the Country Music Association Awards in 1997 and was voted Song of the Year by the Nashville Songwriters Association International and the Nashville Music Awards. That year, the song was also nominated for three additional awards; Grammy Award for Best Country Song, Academy of Country Music Awards Best Country Song nominee, and Country Music Radio Awards for Song of The Year.

Music video

A music video was released for "Strawberry Wine", directed by Roger Pistole. Carter sings the song while standing in the entry way to a house, on a living room couch, and behind a screen door. Accompanying these scenes are a young couple in love. The couple are seen on an old dirt road in the countryside, in front of a house, and in a car driving down a road. Scenes of other people are included as well, including an elderly man by a rocking chair and a woman standing in what was once farmland.

Chart performance

"Strawberry Wine" debuted at #70 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks for the chart week of August 17, 1996. The song reached Number One on the chart in November 1996, holding the position for two weeks.
Chart (1996) Peak

position
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 65
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1


References


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