The first time I had an A to Z wine, my husband and I were in Vegas. We were hungry, walking through Ceasar’s Palace and stopped at a restaurant that would take us right away. We weren’t in the mood to spend a lot, but wanted wine, so picked a Pinot Gris. It was from A to Z in Oregon and we were pleasantly surprised.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I was in a grocery store hunting for a rose for one of our outdoor movie nights. I was trying to spend $12 or under and then what do I see but another A to Z wine, the 2015 Rose.
I popped this baby in the fridge as soon as we got home and enjoyed while we were watching “Big Trouble in Little China.” (Yes, both the movie and wine were crowd favorites, so much so I didn’t get a pic until most of the bottle was finished!)
This dark rose is a bit tart up front, but an easy drinker. Lots of cherry, smooth finish, very juicy.
Nuts & Bolts:
Winery: A to Z Midnight Cellars
Price: $10 (on sale)
Alcohol content: 13%
When to drink: Rose all day! Jk, jk. This one’s nice for sitting in a hammock as you race through a summer novel.
You know that euphoric feeling you get when the sun is shining, you’re lying on the grass and looking up at the clouds as you snuggle up alongside someone you love? Well my other half and I got a heaping dose of all that mushy stuff this past Valentine’s Day when we visited San Luis Obispo. We went for the wine, but also got a pleasantly fun surprise by saying at the quirky, and sometimes creepy, Madonna Inn.
Credit: Madonna Inn
Kynsi, a small winery we visited while there, made a special Pinot Noir Rose and we just had to bring some home. This Rose, which is more orange in color than pink, is crisp and lemony and just reminds me of summer days playing lawn games. The strawberry essence helps there, too.
The rose is different than your traditional White Zinfandel or White Merlot, so if those are your jam, be weary that this isn’t as sweet. It does have a spritzy body and a creamy aftertaste, though, and best of all purchases benefit the Arroyo Grande Hospital Breast Cancer Fund.
Plus, we when we bought the wine, Kynsi–which has an air of Anthropologie about it, perhaps because it has a French Country charm with its dairy farm roots–gave us complimentary chocolate bark. Yum!
Nuts and Bolts
Type: Pinot Noir Rose
Origin: Edna Valley
Alcohol content: 13.6%
When to drink: Valentine’s Day, duh!
Funnily enough, my future father-in-law loves this sweet easy drinker. The 2013 Leoness White Merlot is a hit in the tasting room at this Temecula winery because it’s the everyman rose. Too sweet for my taste to have too often– I prefer the 2012 La Ferme Julien Rose and for those who like it with a bit more body, dry and tart, go for the 2011 Carol Shelton Rendezvous Rose–but it’s perfect for a date night in with a comedy rolling on the tube.
And that’s exactly how I enjoyed this strawberrylicious wine. Seriously, you could drop a little seltzer in there and get some strawberry soda (I’m not recommending you do this, but I’m just trying to make a point about how juicy this rosy partner is).
As we VOD’d “The Interview” and channeled Dave Skylark, my other half and I finished this rose in one sitting. The longlasting flavor gives you a full-mouth feel.
Nuts and Bolts
- Winery: Leoness
- Type: Rose
- Origin: Temecula
- Price: $21 ($15.75 wine club, which I’m part of. This came in our quarterly package)
- Alcohol content: 12.5%
- When to drink: While watching a comedy on your couch, while snacking on some peanut butter popcorn, because, why not?
Simple, but good. Those were the first words out of my mouth when I sipped the 2012 La Ferme Julien Rose while watching “True Detective” and twirling some spaghetti squash with pesto and peas onto my fork earlier this week.
It was such an easy-drinker I had to refrain myself from finishing more than half the bottle on my own. I believe my other half was skipping out on wine that night because he had to work late into the evening. The kind, generous fiancee I am, I twisted back the screw top and put some of this dry, fruity rose back in the fridge so he could enjoy it, too.
And enjoy it he did. The next night we finished off the bottle I picked up at Trader Joe’s.
Grapes for La Ferme are grown on vines that sit atop the slopes of Mont-Ventoux in the Rhone Valley in France by the Perrin family. The Perrins are known for their Roussannes as well as their collaboration with Tablas Creek in Paso Robles.
This cherry blossom pink wine doesn’t smell like much at first, but the aromas come in the longer it’s out. It has strawberry flavors in there, but most of the fruitiness is muted. It’s dry, but not too dry. On a 1 to 10 scale of dryness, with 1 being really, really dry, I’d give this a 4. There’s not a leathery feeling on the tongue, in fact the wine is pretty refreshing. Some may call it watery, but I disagree. I think it has just the right amount of lightness. It’s cool and refreshing.
Nuts and Bolts
- Winery: La Ferme Julien
- Type: Rose
- Origin: Rhone Valley, France
- Price: $5.99
- Alcohol content: 13.5%
- When to drink: On a hot, hot summer day, possibly while switching off from lounging in a beach chair to hitting a slip and slide.
I know I’m late to the gushfest, but I can’t help but share this amazing video of the Paso Wine Man. He gives us the lowdown on vino variety, and let me tell you: it’s amazing. Come on, he compares shitty Chardonnay to a bleached out blonde beauty queens and the real deal to a true California beauty, stripped of the fake tan. What about Pinot Noir? It’s “earthy” and “ephemeral,” just like him. And real men? They’re not afraid of a pink rose. They’re afraid of the road not taken. And clowns. He even looks kind of like a blonde Kevin Spacey and he has the “House of Cards” narrator style down. In my book, he definitely beats Mr. Dos Equis. My favorite part: when he jumps out of an explosion, describing Cabernet Sauvignon as “brooding” and a “summer blockbuster.” What’s your favorite?
I am a cork lover through and through, but I’ve been seeing more screw caps as I browse wine store shelves and honestly, they have their benefits. Think of all those times you headed to a picnic with a beautiful bottle of wine only to get there and uh-oh, you forgot the cork screw! This has happened to me many times and I have tried to life hack, unsuccessfully…more on that in another post.
I was scavenging for a rose at BevMo the other day during their 5 cent wine sale. They don’t have a lot of Roses covered by the discount, but Arrogant Frog Syrah Rose fit the bill.
I unscrewed the bright pink cap earlier this week and poured the translucent pink liquid into a glass. The bottle calls it “Lily Pad Pink”–how cute! I was busy shooting off emails and picking out new glasses as I sipped. The wine smelled like cherry blossoms and tasted like them too, at least what I think they’d taste like. Very flowery; the taste of candied fruit lingered on my tongue.
It reminded me of cherry blossom season in DC, my favorite time of year when I used to live in the capitol. Look how pretty the trees are! I have this first picture hanging in my living room.
I tried the Syrah Rose again a couple of days later at dinner and it got tarter with time, but for me, that was a good thing.
It’s creator, Jean-Claude Mas, is known as the “humble winemaker” and he harvests grapes from the five main valleys in the South of France: Aude, Orb, Herault, Peyne and Uzes valleys. How fun are those names!
I’d buy this again for a picnic or as a gift to a floral wine lover, but I probably wouldn’t get it again to keep around the house.
Nuts and Bolts
courtesy of food.com