Pearl Jam Wine Sells Out in Just 15 Minutes

A special wine approved by grunge band Pearl Jam hit a high note and sold out quickly, but there are still a few ways to try it

Winemakers Mark McNeilly and Trey Busch pose with bottles of the special Pearl Jam wine.

Want some wine with your jam? Legendary Seattle grunge band Pearl Jam recently collaborated with Washington state winemakers Mark McNeilly and Trey Busch on a special limited-quantity red wine that will benefit charities helping the homeless.

The wine, dubbed Idle Hands, is a blend of 90 percent syrah and 10 percent cabernet sauvignon. It was sold only in four-bottle boxed sets that cost $150, with each bottle featuring a different label designed by the band. The labels show the skylines of the four cities the band will play on its upcoming "Home X Away" tour — Seattle, Chicago, Boston, and Missoula, Montana.

McNeilly, of Mark Ryan Winery, and Busch, of Sleight of Hand Cellars, are donating 100 percent of the proceeds to The Home Shows, Pearl Jam’s first concerts in Seattle in five years, which will be held August 8 and 10. The Home Shows are a program of the band’s Vitalogy Foundation, and the proceeds will go to help fight homelessness. As Seattle has boomed, its homeless population has swelled to become the nation’s third largest, with over 12,000 people living without shelter.

Pearl Jam announced the wine in a fan newsletter sent out July 10 at 10 a.m., and all 450 boxed sets sold out by 10:15 a.m.

Pearl Jam wine bottles

Photo courtesy Colby D. Kuschatka

Can you spot the Space Needle? The wine labels show the skylines of the four cities Pearl Jam will play on its upcoming Home X Away tour – Seattle, Chicago, Boston, and Missoula, Montana.


“We were slammed with emails asking if we are making more,” Busch told The Daily Meal in an email. “It was very humbling, and we wish we could have made more, but we really did not know if we were going to sell everything that we made. I had a hunch it would go quickly, and I was right.”

Don’t give up completely, wine-loving fans. Busch says the winemakers are talking to Pearl Jam about doing a yearly project “to keep the fundraising momentum going.”

And Seattleites have a few other chances to snag the wine. Busch says 20 of the Seattle bottles will be for sale at Sleight of Hand Cellars in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood starting at 11 a.m. on August 7. Another 120 of the Seattle bottles will be sold at the Museum of Pop Culture’s Pearl Jam exhibit, which opens August 9. Also, those dining at the 14 Seattle restaurants owned by chef Ethan Stowell can buy the wine by the glass and bottle until they run out.


In case Pearl Jam fandom isn’t enough to make you uncork a bottle, here are 20 reasons why you should drink a bottle of wine every day.