Archive by Author

WINTER comes Rosé

9 Jan


My main fear is that my multitude of smart, educated, impassioned musings on rosé still cannot get people to give pink wine a fair shot.

That’s not actually my main fear. My main fears are not fare for blogging here. ANYWAY.

Rosé is NOT JUST FOR SUMMER!!!!

HOPEFULLY ALL CAPS CONVINCE YOU!!!!

Rosé is a wine for all seasons. Don’t you give me lip. This is what you want. I promise. It will warm you up, cool your tongue and light up your soul. 

Before we get to today’s pick let us revisit rosés of the past. This Rosé is still my fave American pink. This One is still my SECOND fave french. 

But right now this is truly my latest hardcore Give Me pink vino love:
2015 Chateau de Trinquevedel Rosé

A full deep wine that offers as much on the tongue as it does to the eye.

ME-fucking-OW.

You are thirsty. You want something pretty badass and PRETTY to look at too. You want something that makes the woman in you roar. Or maybe the secure male in you knows that true men drink pink…you want that part to make some noise.

So this. It is full and vibrant pink that verges on salmon but is HOT DAMN deep pink.

45% Grenache, 24% Cinsault, 15% Clairette, 10% Mourvedre, 6% Syrah

It smells of pink grapefruit, limes, cranberries, and holy fuck fabric? Like crisp ironed fabric. Linens.

And some white roses. Picture a bouquet of white roses on Ophelia’s chest floating away from the shore. It is romantic and delicious.

It is those holiday napkins you starch and iron for special occasions. But you folded them into cornucopias holding strawberries and limes and maybe a pretty smooth river stone.

Like the stiffness of a starched napkin it is robust–a plate full of cranberry sauce and bread hearty stuff. But it is elegant. The starched napkin, unfolded into the lap of a woman in silk changes that dynamic.

It is good. Dang.

So that OUGHT to be enough but if you are a wine nerd here are my WSET 3 notes:

EYES: Clear, medium plus, salmon pink 

NOSE: clean, medium intensity grapefruit, wet stones, nectarines and starch. Youthful.

TONGUE: dry, medium plus acid, medium alcohol+ (thank you Grenache for that 13.5%abv), medium plus body for a rosé, flavor intensity medium, then the grapefruits, cranberries, linens, white peach, white flower and honey perhaps? And just fucking delicious. Finish is medium. Not complex but mellow and stony. Picture the feeling you get turning a cool stone over and over in your palm and that is this. Delish.

Quality: GREAT. That’s not WSET just me. I’d think at least twenty but holy duckbills it is like 18. Drink now don’t age. Get next year’s when it is there. Andddddd YES. THIS IS A YES WINE JUST DRINK IT EVEN IN WINTER ESPECIALLY IN WINTER

Let Us Stay: Beaujolais

13 Dec


Okay so I swear my ten-part series on cru Beaujolais is coming. I am in the midst of amassing a wine from each cru. St-Amour is hard to find, y’all. But I’m on it.

IN THE MEANTIME PINNNNNNNK! Pink as in Rosé.

From a winemaker who you may just see resurface in the ten-part series but HOLY HECK I love this producer:

2015 Pierre-Marie Chermette Vissoux “Les Griottes” Beaujolais Rosé

While generally I claim this as THE BEST I’d say on another note this may be at least one of the best. Shit, you guys. I have enough love in my heart for A LOT of rosés out there.

YAS Gamay rosé from the Chermette’s YAS.

I don’t know if the grammar was correct for Chermette’s. Are Pierre and Marie one or two people? Should I have said “Chermettes'”? These things matter.

But not as much as my tasting notes. Sweet babies.

Okay I lie I paused and did some research: Pierre-Marie and Martine Chermette were the upstarts of sustainable viticulture in Beaujolais. So Pierre-Marie is one person. This is a natural wine. Like it waits for the natural yeast to do it’s duty.

That yeast knew what was up!

This wine. Okay I’ll get to my tasting notes. At last:

Gorgeous salmon color. Peach melba on the nose. Dry. HIGH acid. Medium alcohol. Medium plus body as far as a rosé goes! There is some viscousity. More peach melba in the mouth. When I say peach melba I mean peaches plus acidic raspberries plus vanilla n cream. There is a hint of minerality but it is very smooth. Sanded stones. The finish LINGERS! ON! FURTHER THAN YOU’D EXPECT FOR A ROSÉ!

THIS IS THE MAGIC. FRENCH BEAUJOLAIS MAGIC.

This Gamay is my true love.

For now. I’m a fickle beast.

Meow.

 

Because funk noveau

6 Dec


Let’s shut our eyes, close our ears and sew our mouths shut and pretend Beaujolais Noveau were not such a THING because it leads to people overlook the rest of this righteous region. Then unstitch our lips, open eyes, and take the cotton out of our ear holes and take in Régnié.

This is Beaujolais CRU ma sweet babees.

From Regnié. 

I promise I’ll do a ten-part series on the 10 Beaujolais cru vineyards. They exist up north where the soil is granitic and the living is…well it involves a lot of time with the vines but then the living is party. From what I hear.

Let’s get down with this lovely specimen, purchased for a mere 25 from Domaine LA where the living is delicious.

2015 Julien Sunier Régnié Gamay

Lemme see, if I was at a bar and this wine was some cute lady who engaged me in convo because hey, we are two ladeees minding our own business (sorta) at a wine bar…well this is that lady:

Conventionally attractive, and decidedly feminine, wearing some almost arty but mostly Refinery 29-approved wardrobe, this woman drops some pop-culture references that make you want to dismiss her but then a random lesser known Joy Division song comes on and she knows it and still is perky on the surface but she has an open mind. She’s deeper than you gave her credit at first sip. I mean taste. I mean swallow I mean… 

She is green too. Like fresh. Not jaded. Fuck it this girl sorta gets me but like when I’m in a light-hearted mood.

Okay fine, but technically how is she? And her legs? Hahahahhaa. Bad joke I know moving on this WINE is medium ruby purply brew. 

On the nose it is rocks, cherries and dark grape Bubblicious NOT a joke I love that shit. 

On the tongue: dry as can be if grape Bubblicious could be unsweetened. Then comes cherries, raspberry cream soda maybe even…Dr. Pepper? Yes Dr. Pepper. And rocky darkness but barely. Just a hint of the dark side. 

The tannins are medium. They suck at your gums one moment then are like “hey kidding” we are silky fun! Slightly cedar-y fun. Christmas tree delight. 

The alcohol is decidedly not too high (just checked it is 12.5) so you are like hey there is a friendly bite to this! Just a nip of alcohol heat. 

Body I want to say is light from the effervescent nature of what I’m guessing is semi-carbonic maceration. That may be at play but as I did sense some tannins and alcohol it does not keep this from having some body. 

Normally the “medium” nature of many of this wine’s characteristics mighttttt make it far to normal, but like that gal at the bar it is not. It is light enough to banter with but deep enough to carry on with. And if the two of you keep talking well…that friendship may deepen.

It’s a Pinot. It Sounds Cooler. I know all this because I’ve been studying.

1 Dec


I have not written in a few. After November 8th I was observing a period of mourning (you can guess why) and then I was studying NONSTOP for the WSET 3 exam.

Which I still might not pass. I misidentified a Chablis Premier Cru but got the Valpolicella.

And I call myself a Francophile. Apparently Italy has a hold of me.

So screw it all. French wine, Italian– Let’s crack open a bottle of German wine. Spätburgunder!!!!!

Which thanks to my education I know is the Pinot Noir grape, as in the one Burgundy is renowned for. Baden is the German holy land for the Noir-est of grapes. It is warm enough for the grape to flourish but cool enough not to create the jammy travesties occasionally proffered by warmer lands (ahem, certain parts of California, ahem). The Germans renamed many of their  grapes, perhaps to make them sound like they originated in Germany: Pinot Gris is Grauburgunder, Pinot Blanc is Weissburgunder. However, let’s talk about this wine, this fine fine Spätburgunder:

2013 Schneider Weiler Schlipf Spätburgunder

OMG PLEASE CLICK ON THAT AND BEHOLD THE EMO GRANDEUR OF GERMAN WEIN! I CAN hear the beating of this Qualitätswein’s limestone heart. OMG. I’m sorry. If I wasn’t already pale and draped in black clothing I would have to be before I felt appropriately clothed to honor this wine.

And then I took a sip an HOLY FUCKING I’M 15 AGAIN THIS IS CHERRY COKE!

A boozy extra delicious cherry coke. Worth paying 23 dollars a bottle for. Holy heck this wine is bright happy days running around with your friends in a sugar fit good.

If that’s your thing. I mean seriously cherry cola, ripe red cherry, and a hint of vanilla hit you in the face (or at least the nose and tongue) with this guy. And it has something of a body juxtaposed with lightness and verve. Sort of like a soda that is light due to carbonation yet has body due to sugar syrup.

Should I do the WSET3 analysis?

Sure why not:

To the eye: clear medium ruby with medium slow tears.

Nose: clean, medium plus intensity, sour cherry, black cherry all the dang cherries–vanilla bean, Cranberry and soil. Yah soil.

Tongue: Dry, medium plus acidity, medium minus tannin, medium alcohol (doublechecked after that thought and was 13%–exactly in medium range according to WSETS!), body: medium, flavor intensity is Medium plus–this stuff talks!! Flavor components: as I said CHERRY COKE!! And vanilla bean. Then some greenery and garrigue. This sounds esoteric but I friggin’ FEEL the limestone. Something almost salty but mossy. That hides beneath the cherry coke. There ya go.        Finish: Medium plus! Didn’t think it would be but the cherry coke devolves to vanilla ice cream devolves to textured salad marinating in cherry pie. It’s pretty great.

All in all good job, Silver Lake Wine in Silver Lake because they have one in downtown LA…but this one…I’d work there. Putting it out there. I said I was interested in Beaujolais cru then they had not enough low-priced options for my taste (no one has low-priced cru, by the way it is not a bad thing) and then I said “what excites you” and they lead me to this. Odd seeing as I normally am not a big Pinot Noir gal. But this got me.

So get into it!

 

I have zero patience 

1 Nov


Should I save bubbly for special times?

Mayhaps.

Should I share it?

Indubitably.

But I tofurked up.

It’s like the veg way of messing up. Tofurk-ing up. My mom was critical of my expletives so I’m exploring my alternative options. Bear with it.

I funked it up on the sharing part but I was sent two Rotari samples, one white and one rosé and…I love rosé and…I was stressed and…okay look I opened it and said to myself “If I finish it a day or so later it may have less bubbles but what the fudge I want it now. I will share the brut later but I want the rosé NOW.

I was SO excited for this because WHAT?! It is grapes made into bubbly just like Champagne but…Italian. 

To be more specific, it’s bubbly from Trentodoc, the second oldest sparking appellation after Champagne.

Like Champagne they make their sparkly from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir–Champagne also sometimes includes Pinot Meunier but this bubbly sticks with the first two. 

Like Champagne the base wine is made and bottled then more yeast and sugar is added to create a second fermentation. At some point after the potion rests on the dregs of exhausted yeast there is disgorgement: all the sediment of the leftover yeast is expelled. Perhaps a small dosage of wine n sugar tops it up. A cork, cage and foil are added and it’s off to the races. Or to the bloggers. Whichever.

That is “traditional method”–or in this case “metodo classico”–sparking  wine!

It’s a lot. But! Does it taste good?

I tasted:

Rotari Rosé Trentodoc 2013

Okay holy frug. Here are my happy thoughts.

Appearance:

Pale, pink-salmon, fine light bubbles.

Nose: raspberries strawberries cherries all the red berries + Wet rocks n yeast.

On the tongue (everyone’s favorite organ): oh the effervescence of a traditional method bubbly! Transfer and tank method cannot surpass the elegance of the bubbles, and this traditional method has all the right stuff. Them’s the high-labor high-price breaks.

High dang acid, medium alcohol, And the flavors oh right those! In addition to those delightful wet stones you get the very light hints of brioche that come from so much time sitting on the lees. That is, the yeast remains. Those are the lees.

It really is a whole lot of strawberry and raspberry and stone and as I said the brioche. So like butter and yeast and cream. My favorite bread and fruit products, usually eaten separately now combined into a sublime beverage.

Fork yah.

Mules! Where they are from you tell me

28 Oct


Awwww yeah bonus post for the love of the Moscow Mule!

Also love for the people who planned the event I got to go to  celebrating the mule. Being in wine class, I usually feel like I can’t waste drinking energy on vodka–BUT! The good people of Smirnoff offered me an uber to and from their “immersive speakeasy” event. 

That is smart. And good for the world at large as the less people taking to the roads tipsy the better. I mean I’d uber anyway but not really wanting to pay for it I might have just skipped the event. The uber was the last straw that got me out the door.

I had just a wee amount of fun. Evidence:


So, why am event? In the words of the brand:

 “2016 marks 75 years of America’s most Googled cocktail – The Moscow Mule.”

Most googled! I guess a lot of people wanna make sure they get it right so lemme break it down here, no web searching needed. 

It is: a shot of vodka, some lime juice and ginger beer. Whatever proportions you feel up to, really. On rocks. 

Now that you have a bev let’s have some history. Again, as told to me by the company:

“In 1941 dark spirits were king and it was extremely rare for anyone to order vodka. John G. Martin, the President of Heublein (now The Smirnoff Co.), was very frustrated that he couldn’t sell his product and expressed his frustration with Jack Morgan (the owner of a popular LA pub), and Morgan’s girlfriend, Ozeline Schmidt. Together, the trio came up with the idea of combining SMIRNOFF No. 21 vodka with Morgan’s ginger beer to create what’s now one of the most loved cocktails in the U.S.”

There ya go! .

It is rather tasty. I drank two at the party and met some people who were up for taking those silly pictures with me you saw. I art directed:

“Serious shot. Now joy! Anger at the mule. C’mon people workit!”

It was fun.

As NOIR as my lipstick: dark Halloween wine

25 Oct


Sometimes I match my lipstick to my wines. In this case Pinot NOIR. Goth-y like my soul. Funny thing is Pinot is often more a cherry red than a dark dark black-red. We’ll get to that. 

These wines, like unexpected presents you get and did not know you needed, showed up at my door.

Okay Mark West, whaddaya wanna do?

Mark West. The gentleman sending me wine. That’s a lie. A very nice publicist named Lucy sent me these. On behalf of Mark West. The winemaker that specializes in ye olde Pinot Noir.

I got two renditions. I got the 2014 California Pinot and I got the 2014 Mark West “Black” Pinot. 

Guess which one I liked best. Hint, it matches my lipstick. And eyeliner. And toe nails.

So briefly I’ll tell you the regular ol’ Cali version is nice. I feel like one more year might have smoothed the tannins and cedar and vanilla and cloves n nutmeg into the ripe red cherry tastes but… I feel like there is a tad of astringency that people who are not like me might like. If you are into Cabernet Franc buy this one. Even if you are not into Cab Franc it is totally a fuckable wine. 

Upon reviewing the tech sheets I saw that the California Pinot was 95% Pinot Noir, 3% Syrah, and 2% Petite Syrah, which maybe explains the not entirely unpleasant rough angles in this one.

As for the Mark West Black. My heart’s desire. At least my heart’s preference. It is darker-and therefore more appealing to me both aesthetically and temperamentally. The fact that it is 81% Pinot Noir and 19% Syrah perhaps helps explain its moody hues. Syrah can a deep dark wine. Ergo methinks it is a natural to blend with Pinot NOIR. It has perhaps riper and darker berries on the nose. Along with vanilla and a hint of cinnamon.

On the tongue it is slightly fuller yet silkier than the Mark West California. The tannins are there but they are dancing with the velvet fruit. They know their place. They sing vanilla notes of new French oak. In a Pinot their place is to be silky.  The berries are of black cherry and blackberry and maybe some blueberry. And a hint of spice n violet. Can we all get INTO eating violets?

The finish is not so lengthy yet the taste lingers. In a mellow way. A understated aftertaste redolent of yet more vanilla.

I would not call it overly expressive of the Pinot Noir grape. Nor is it overly complex. But fuck this is THE wine to sip by itself, by YOURSELF when you want a sip and aren’t hungry so much as craving the taste of a blackberry pie without the filling factor.