Wines of the Week
Rosés, our most delicious wines for the spring and the summer season ahead, I love them… True confession: It wasn’t until I tasted Sutter Home’s White Zin that I finally got wine. Had I not been trying to love Merlots as my entry wine, I wouldn’t have needed something with a sweet character to “get it.” My palate was weary with over the top red wines of no distinction that I could discern. That came later, and now I can enjoy Merlot with the best of them, but in my early 20s? Nope, not this gal and her hypersensitive palate. I had to start at the very beginning… Today, I lead one of the biggest, baddest wine organizations (Petite Sirah); so bring them all on. A special place in my heart is reserved for rosés… And so, here you go, going into beach and pool season, rosés I would enjoy in a heartbeat.
FRANCE: 2016 Ferraton Père & Fils Cotes du Rhone Samorens ~ Enthusiastically clear in its salmon color, vibrantly tasty in its delivery… A rose by any other name is called a rosé. This wine reminds me of one of my flower lady, hippie days, with its lovely floral notes. Very easy to enjoy… This wine’s delicious flavors made me slow down and smell a few flowers, too. So, I picked this special rose to pair with this special rosé. It’s a lovely wine, and I highly recommend it, so you can also find your core.
FINDING MY CORE: I was driving down the road to my grand-père’s and grand-mère’s camp (Peter and Abbie Bernier, rhymes with Viognier). I noticed a field that I had noticed my entire life; but today, something was different about it. It was calling me… The field was filled with rose colored clovers. I pulled over, inspired to write some poetry on this beautiful summer’s day. I walked into the meadow, overlooking Sabattus Lake. As I sat and began to write, people began to appear, seemingly from nowhere, and gathered around me. “What the heck?” I wondered. I had no idea why or where this 20 or so people had taken their afternoon walk, but gather they did.
Then, I did something I’ll never forget. I began to read my poetry to them. After about 15 minutes, I thanked everyone and bid them adieu.. Just like that… I walked away. I now realize that I hadn’t arrived to write; instead, I had arrived to read… and then just move on. So I did… It’s still so surreal, but now I have the clue. Grand père and grand fil (his grandson, my brother Peter Clarke) have both been stewards of that Sabattus Lake property… Ferraton Père & Fils is similar to my father and sons story… A respect for the land and quality above all else is the mantra.
NAPA: V. Sattui Winery ~ 2016 Rosato di Sangiovese, North Coast, Dry Rosé ~ Smooth as pink chiffon on a warm July day, along the Coast of Maine in a sailboat… That’s what it means to me. The cover skirt, on a bed of tulle… A ballerina on your palate and on pointe. If I tell you it tasted like juicy strawberries, would you find it, too? I hope so, because something this good, dancing on your palate, is a celebration I wouldn’t want you to miss.
How do I love thee, let me count the ways:
- V. Sattui has been in Napa ever since I remember, so I researched: “V. Sattui Winery stands today as the result of hard work, dedication, and the extraordinary vision of two men who happen to be related. Vittorio Sattui started the business in 1885 after emigrating from Genoa, Italy. The law-abiding Vittorio was forced to shut down when Prohibition went into effect, and the winery would lay dormant until 1976, when Vittorio’s great-grandson, Dario, would realize his dream of resurrecting the family business in the town of St. Helena in Napa Valley.”
- While working at Robert Mondavi Winery, I drove past V. Sattui every day. I never had time to stop, but I’ve watched over 25 years of traveling into Napa. V. Sattui’s artisan Deli & Picnic Grounds is the be-all-to-end-all-family gathering area, right in the heart of Napa’s Fantasy Land. I’ve made a promise to myself. The next time I’m driving through Napa, I’m going to stop and visit. It’s just time.
France: 2016 Bila-Haut Rosé by Michel Chapoutier ~ In the South of France, this area produces large quantities of wine. Some of the best regions like Corbieres and the Côtes du Roussillon produce much smaller yields and focus on quality rather than quantity. This is also a region where organically grown grapes are quite possible due to the favorable weather conditions. HB Wine Merchants Importers brings these extraordinary value wines into the US.
- Back Label copy: Roussillon, a land of legend and history. A place of contrasts, too, much as Domaine de BILA-HAUT. This wine is fresh and well balanced with citrus aromas and is a perfect match for summer recipes.
- I agree with their back label. When I’m enjoying Bila-Haut wines, I have to be careful not to forget the present and how much of this wine is in my glass. I could so easily lose myself into one giant rosé cluster.
CHILE: 2016 Casillero del Diablo Rosé ~ Concha y Toro is a consistent pleasure to enjoy. There are a lot of flavors and value with this brand, located in Chile. But there are also many fond memories. When I have one of their wines, I’m always transported to Puerto Rico’s warm tropical days and nights. From my own experiences, their wines are very favorably placed, in my favorite supermarket.
- Soft and supple, it’s as refreshing as a spring first bloom, with strawberry juice dripping down my chin, it doesn’t get more tasty.
- It reminds me of the day on Condado Beach, watching and photographing para-sailors. Sun shining brightly and inviting tropical waters… Now, imagine a cooled glass of Casillero del Diablo Rosé. Yeah, it’s that delicious.
ITALY: 2016 Tìamo Canned Organic Rosé ~ Tìamo Rosé Wine is made with organic grapes and represents top quality wines from the best growers, in their respective regions. For this wine, Chianti, Veneto, and Abruzzo – ITALY.
A little bit spritzy (it’s a 2016, after all). Medium blush in color. Over the top flavors, in the most delightful way… This wine sits with great company: is extremely tasty, and I happily recommend it to you. Best for me is the organic factor. Buy it, chill it, enjoy it, and have a great day. Recycle the cans when you’re done, and your social consciousness expands in the bargain.
I took my phone and can to the pool, so I could get this photo, and found it worthy to be in the company of these orchids, too… With the wine being a rosé, one might expect a rose on the can, versus a yellow sunflower. Let’s take the yellow up a notch: I walked past our outside cymbediums and saw the potential for a sunflower to be with the most elegant of company.
Now we’re getting groovy… If you’ve not warmed up to wine in cans yet, what are you waiting for? The Joneses?
Dare to lead, they’ll follow. There are so many reasons to enjoy wines in cans… For instance, do you ever have a soda or a beer in a can? Imagine when each first came out… Yup, history is repeating itself. Early adopters have already made the jump. All it took for me was to do some history on beverages in cans, and further history about the safety of wine in cans, and BAM! In in!
Worried about safety? As my friend Terry Mcnulty just asked me, reflecting on what’s been discovered with tomatoes in cans and that not being safe with a chemical interaction, “what about safety?” Know the can company, and you’ll know the care that’s been taken to not have acid and can do battle with each other. What we’ve learned from the past, has protections for us in the present.
Now, take cans to organic wines and Bam, Bam! Molto delizioso