Songwriter, adventurer, and now vintner Brett Dennen loves the good things in life. When not penning plaintive songs such as the delicate, dreamy tropical numbers that garland his gracious new album, Por Favor — which will be on full display during his set at the Lobero Theatre (33 E. Canon Perdido St.) on Sunday, September 18, at 7:30 p.m. — the intrepid Californian soaks up the bounty of his home state’s riches, like with solo retreats into the serenity of the Emigrant Wilderness north of Yosemite, or more recently, through crafting — and drinking — a very fine pair of Dennen brand rosé wines.
“I’m really proud of the rosés, because I was aiming to make a rosé that was easy drinking and that doesn’t have the pressure of being a full-bodied drinking experience; it’s more like a casual, any-time-of-year drink that will hold up a bit in the winter,” he said of his 2015 Dennen Vacationer California Rosé and his Dennen Charismatic Fool Rosé, which won a 91-point score from Wine Spectator. A previously unexplored venture for the exploratory songwriter, Dennen concocted his wines with partner J.W. Thomas Wines as a reminder that “life is a celebration,” learning the process as he goes.
When asked if the winery was a whole new shade of his identity or an expansion of it, Dennen said the rosés serve as a complementary extension of the creativity already pouring out. “I feel like I’m creating a brand that can help me musically; it can be a sponsor or a way to enhance what I do,” he said. How enhanced? Down the road, Dennen imagines embarking on wilderness excursions with fans, horseback escapes where food and wine is hoofed in and his songs are sung under the stars.
Because for all the identity-expansion, there’s an untrammeled patch of quiet solitude in Dennen’s soul to which he attends when out of the stage spotlight. In lands of granite, volcanic basalt, and pines, Dennen finds inspiration for recent songs such as “Burning Spirit,” singing, “I’m sitting in the meadow asking / How to bend when the strong wind blows / I’m trying to remember / What my soul already knows” — big questions to ponder, but nothing a glass of rosé can’t assist with.