Deana Carter Celebrates 25th Anniversary of ‘Strawberry Wine’

by Courtney Blackann

Every lovestruck teen can relate to Deanna Carter’s “Strawberry Wine.” The tune is one of heartbreak, love, remembrance and longing – something completely attuned to the human experience. So it’s hard to believe the song is 25 years old today.

Carter is a Nashville-based songwriter who stayed true to her experiences and talents from a young age. She, like many of the greats, wanted to write what she knew. And that was love and heartbreak. The song was a key component to her album “Did I Shave My Legs For This?” It also won the CMA award for ‘Single of the Year’ in 1997 – an award she’ll be presenting at tonight’s CMA’s – which makes the experience come full circle.

Additionally, of the 1997 record, which is being re-released in a remastered version, Carter says it was ‘honest.’

“It was the most honest record I could make,” she says, via People. “It was the culmination of all my experiences. I knew it was connecting, but I’m just now starting to realize how much.”

The singer/songwriter goes on to add:

“I was not going to sing anything that didn’t feel as real to me as my own experience,” she explained. “It was unbelievable how spot-on that song was for me — and just the way God worked it out. It was meant for me to sing that song because it was my truth. And it’s turned out to be millions of peoples’ truth, too.”

Deanna Carter’s Enduring Legacy

“Strawberry Wine” has become a generational song, passed down and appreciated.

It encompasses so much about being a teenager on the brink of adulthood. Things that are true to this day – which is why the song is so relatable.

The classic lyrics are nostalgic, bringing adults back to those first moments of love.

“I was caught somewhere between a woman and a child
When one restless summer we found love growing wild
On the banks of the river on a well beaten path
It’s funny how those memories they last
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 begins.

Though she may remember when “30 was old,” at 55, Carter looks amazing. She’s still a performer and a major influence in the country world. Carter also encourages young musicians to continue in their path, while being true to themselves.

“This can be a brutal job,” she said. “It can be a brutal business. You can never quit. There are so many examples of people that never quit following their hearts. It doesn’t mean you have to take the path that other people took — march to the beat of your own drummer. Be relentless in not compromising in that area. Have a focus and a goal, and that gets you through all the bumps in the road.”