Rosé perfect for Spring/Summer…

3RosesMost of us change wines based on the weather (seasons). Rosés are the perfect “in- between” or transition wine from Winter to Spring or Spring to Summer…

They are technically light red wines since they can only be produced from red or black grapes. The pinkish color comes from contact with the skins.

Rosé wines can be various shades of red– most often salmon or pink. They can be extremely light and easy drinking, or complex enough to pair with grilled meat and heavy pasta dishes.

Here are 3 of my new favorites if you are thinking pink.

Mellot_SancerreSancerre– most people are familiar with the white wines from this Loire Valley region made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes. Their rosés, and reds, are made from Pinot Noir and are made in a crisp, clean style. Most are stainless steel fermented.

Joseph Mellot Père et Fils – Vigne de la Demoiselle (around $15)- explore the great wines of this region.

 

 

 

IRDC_LaSpinettaTuscany– La Spinetta is extremely well known for their collectible wines from Piedmont: Barbera, Barbaresco and Barolo. The first red wine they produced (Barbera Cà di Pian) is still a great value.

This wine, Il Rosé di Casanova, fom Tuscany is a blend of 2 types of Sangiovese grape- Sangiovese Grosso and 50% Prunolo Gentile (the name for Sangiovese in Montepulciano). Aromas of flowers, honeysuckle and red fruits, this one tastes of summer and is under $20!



 

IsleSaintPierreCorsicaDomaine Isle Saint Pierre Rosé– ripe strawberry with fig. This wine is a blend of Cabernet franc, Merlot, Arinarnoa, Petit Verdot, Tannat and Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine has been produced on the French Island since 1927. For around $10 this would be a welcome port in any storm.

 

More rosés to come…please share your favorites

The BEST Barolo…

MicheleChiarloHow do you find the best Barolo producers? Thanks to Wine-Searcher for some detective work…they ranked the “king of wines” based on vineyard site rankings.

The “best” regions (in bold) and some recommended producers listed below:

Third Tier:

Francia (Serralunga d’Alba)

Villero (Castiglione Falletto)

Second Tier:

Monprivato (Castiglione Falletto)- Giuseppe Mascarello

Rocche dell’Annunziata (La Morra)- Renato Ratti

Vigna Rionda (Serralunga d’Alba)- Bruno Giacosa, Luigi Pira, Cappellano

Top Tier: Continue reading

LOCALE Farmtable 8 course dinner !!

Locale Market-St. Petersburg Florida pairing dinner

Complete descriptions on the nights menu at the bottom of this post

1st Course

(Fresh) tuna with 2013 Robert Weil “Tradition” Riesling– Rheingau, Germany. This is a perfect pairing- the saltiness of the fresh tuna with the minerality and fruit from the Riesling.

 2nd Course

Beet salad with Round Pound Sauvignon Blanc– Rutherford, CA. Salads are difficult to pair with wine but this one worked nicely. Good for picnics!

 3rd Course

“Fancy” ham&cheese- Proscuitto/Taleggio with Clos Canarelli Rosé from Corsica, France. This Rosé has a bit of funk on it but went well with the cheese. A light stainless red would also have worked.

4th Course

Blue Crab dumplings w/caviar & lobster butter with 2007 Tahbilk Marsanne, Australia. This wine had a strong aroma of kerosene, but when paired with the rich lobster butter and dumpling, made an interesting match.

 5th Course

Strawberry shooter with green drink shooter.

 6th Course

Wet and Dry Aged Beef with mushrooms.

Chateau Coutet Saint-Emilion Grand Cru & Joseph Carr Cabernet Sauvignon

 7th Course

Nitrogen chilled vanilla ice cream in espresso

 8th Course

Milk Chocolate s’mores with Alvear Pedro Ximénez Solera 1927. PX is a perfect match with creamy chocolate (especially chocolate mousse).

LocaleMenu

The best (functional) wine glasses?

Riedel_stemless2

My wife and I recently purchased a new (somewhat expensive) rug and I have to be honest, we sometimes eat in the living room.

Since wines can spill...

To protect our rug “investment” we purchased Riedel stemless wineglasses.

I am very aware of the arguments against stemless glasses:

1. Holding the glass by the bowl (and not the stem) warms the wine.

2. Fingerprints and palm prints !

However, sometimes, the pros outweigh the cons:

Continue reading

Open That Bottle Night

2006_CdBMeritageFor our first trip to the North Fork of Long Island we attended Wine Camp. With each winery, that you visit, you learn a different aspect of the wine business; from the owners or winemakers. A very personal and hands-on approach, we blended wine at one, pruned vines at another and learned alot about the region and it’s wines. It was a very special experience. And on the last night we celebrated with a wine/food pairing at Castello di Borghese.

The owners, Marco and Ann Marie Borghese were gracious hosts and true ambassadors for the wine region.

One of the rewards, of Wine Camp, is a mixed case from each of the participating wineries, including two bottles from Borghese.

Over the years we enjoyed these wines, for special occasions, and each time it brought back great memories. Continue reading

Loire Valley- Cabernet Franc with Altitude!

WineStairs_LoireShopping for some lighter bodied red wines reminded me of why the Loire Valley is such an interesting wine region. In the central Loire Valley, the predominant red variety is Cabernet Franc. That one grape produces a number of different types of wine (sparkling, still, rose, light-bodied through full bodied). These different styles are made possible by the diversity of the soil and altitude.

Tuffeau_GasnierLower elevations (nearest the Loire river) are made up of sandy soils. The wines produced here are fruity and lighter bodied. Most wines are treated in stainless steel and/or concrete to keep the fresh flavor of fruit. They are best enjoyed chilled and are great summer sippers.

ConcreteTanksMid elevation (gentle slopes) are made up of sand and gravel. The wines produced here can be fermented and aged in stainless, concrete and/or some light or neutral oak. These are middle weight wines that can be enjoyed before dinner by themselves or with food.

RedBarrelsThe highest elevations including steep slopes and or the tops of hills are generally composed of limestone, also know as Tuffeau (too fo). This is a chalky, yellowish marine limestone that helps provide unique characteristics to some of the oldest vines and the most complex expressions of the Cabernet Franc grape. The wines from this soil are generally aged for longer periods of time in oak which provides more structure.

These wines need food.

Excellent examples of a light bodied Cab Franc (Fabrice Gasnier Les Graves) and a fuller bodied wine (Baudry Les Clos Guillot).

Gasnier_LesGraves Baudry_LeClosGuillot

2014: My favorite wines of the year…

Looking back at 2014, I drank ALOT of wine this year. Please don’t judge.

HVWI would like to share my most memorable wines of the year…

Best white wine value of the year:

2013Guilhem2013 Gassac Moulin de Gassac Guilhem Blanc– From the Languedoc region of France- a great source of value wines.

Fresh and clean, this will become one of my favorite summer wines. A blend of 40% Grenache Blanc, 30% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Clairette.

 Find it

 

Most interesting white wines of the year:

This one was a tie so I am listing both:

Mayu_SauvBlanc1. Mayu Sauvignon Blanc. From Chile, The name “Mayu” means “river of stars,” referring to the Milky Way in the Incan language. Notice the night sky on the label. This wine has good minerality and very nice tropical fruit flavors but also a distinct flavor of jalapeño pepper. One of the few wines I would recommend with chicken wings.

Find it

 

2. 2006 Plantagenet Riesling- Great Southern Australia

2006Plantaganet_RieslingGrowing up, my parents used a kerosene heater (for secondary heat). I am one of those people who enjoys the small of fuel. Diesel, Gasoline and Kerosene are distinctively different and this wine surely has a powerful aroma of kerosene. Kerosene and lime (this wine has both) are very typical aromas of Rieslings form this part of the world.

Find it

 

Overall best white wine of the year…

Continue reading