10 Rosés for May - The Wine List - May 2014

The long winter has ended; summer is coming.  For your drinking pleasure, here are my top ten Rosés to drink this summer.  I know, I know.  For the last decade it seems everyone touts rosés as the next big thing, but no one really drinks them.  They look too much like that sweet white Zinfandel.  I get that, but the best of the roses are delicious wines that work by themselves or with food.  I am not putting down any vintages.  My advice is to buy them from the prior year, maybe two years old, but, never buy anything older than that (with only a few exceptions).

Wines to Go Buy This Week: Rosés by Robert Sinskey, Scaggs, and M. Chapoutier

It's Fourth of July weekend and, on what will likely be a boiling hot summer day for most of the US, picnics and barbecues with their typical summer holiday fare will rule. While I am tempted to suggest wines that pair well with picnic fare like burgers, ribs and chicken, I'm going to ignore the food and instead focus on the weather. An unusually warm San Francisco summer has put me on a rosé kick of late.

-A quick aside: Rosé all too often gets a bad rap for not being a "serious" wine. Part of this is deserved as there is no shortage of crappy bulk rosé being pawned off on ignorant consumers. The reality though is that there are some fantastic rosés on the market and it's a shame that rosé is often bypassed and dismissed as some sort of inferior alternative to "real" wine (i.e red or white).-

Anyway, rosé is arguably the ideal wine for a hot summer night (though Vinho Verde and Alvarinho make an incredibly strong case for the title "Best Wine for Hot Summer Night").

Ca di Pietra Pinot Prosecco Melrose IGT (Rose)- IntoWineTV Episode 107

"Sparkling Wines" Host Lisa Kolenda and wine experts Bartholomew Broadbent, Cezar Kusik, and Edward Ruiz taste and discuss Ca di Pietra Pinot Prosecco Melrose IGT Rose.

Best Wine to Pair With a Caesar Salad

IntoWine asked a panel of wine experts to recommend the best wine to pair with a Caesar Salad:

In the boxing match of food and wine pairing, Caesar salad defeats wine nine times out of ten. There’s hardly a menu item out there that is more wine unfriendly. Salad in and of itself is always a challenge to pair, but one that is comprised of a creamy sauce made of eggs, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, parmesan cheese and anchovies inevitably makes most wines taste awful.  But I recently discovered one contestant who can step up to Caesar’s punch. Domaine Patrick Coulbois makes a lovely Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley’s Pouilly-Fumé region called Find "Les Cocques"“Les Cocques,” The grapes for this wine come from 50-year-old vines grown on silex soil. Les Cocques has gorgeous notes of fresh herbs and citrus which work quite well to complement the salad, and its racy acidity allows it to stand up to the intensity of the dressing. Moreover, a slight hint of minerality from the soil works in harmony with the briny anchovies. Caesar salad has finally met its match! - Kareasa Wilkins, Wine Consultant for Weimax Wines & Spirits in Burlingame, CA and an IntoWine Featured Writer

Provence Rosés: A Summer Staple from Southern France.

Summertime is finally about here.  Warm evenings on the front porch or perhaps the back deck are a great time of year for Rosé wine.  Rose’s are made around the world, but, when I think Rosé, I think Provence, France.  One-half of all rosé wine made in France comes from Provence.  It is there that these wines are part of the lifestyle.   The most enjoyable bottle of wine I ever had (not necessarily the best) was at an outdoor sidewalk café called La Piazza in Cannes France.  The film festival was going on.  There were beautiful people and incredible cars going by.  The day was warm with great breezes coming in off the sea.  The wine itself (Chateau Rasque Rosé) was technically average, but on that occasion it was perfect.  Such are the Rosés from Provence. 

Rosé du Loire? Mais oui! Cabernet Franc’s Lighter Shade

The Bay Area is experiencing an unseasonable hot spell.  And here, like most places suffering under the unrelenting rays of our nearest star, rosé is king. 

But not just any rosé.  Survey the bottles of blush pinch-hitting for rouge in wine enthusiasts’ lineups these days, and you’ll find a predominance of wine from Southern France.  And rightly so – no region does rosé better than the appellations bordering the sun-lit Cote d’Azur.  But Provence is not the only show in town.  Other regions, not only in France but also in Spain, Germany, and Italy, produce delightful examples of warm weather’s red-substitute. 

4th of July Wine - What's the Ideal Wine to Celebrate Independence Day?

While beer is often the refreshing beverage of choice on the 4th of July, wine is increasingly more popular as a relaxing summertime refreshment. With wine's increase in popularity comes the challenge of finding a wine to serve that not only beats the heat, but pairs well with typical picnic fare. IntoWine.com asked our panel of wine experts for their thoughts on what wine to serve on the Fourth of July:

"There is one wine that surely must be the choice for the fourth of July - Madeira. Madeira is the wine that was used by the Founding Father's to Toast the Declaration of Independence. Betsy Ross had a side table with a glass of wine on it when she was sewing the flag. It was used to Toast the Constitution and George Washington drank a pint of Madeira every day for dinner. It is also very convenient because Madeira cannot be harmed by the hot sun and the July heat. I vote that Madeira be adopted as the OFFICIAL July 4th beverage. By the way, it is very important to drink TRUE Madeira from the island of Madeira and not confuse it with wines that are made in America for cooking. True Madeira is heated to simulate the voyage between Europe and America when the wine was used as ballast in the boat holds, where they discovered that the intense heat improved the wine. Try the Broadbent MadeiraBroadbent 10 year Malmsey Madeira at about $44 a bottle or the Broadbent 5 year Reserve at $25. Once you've opened a bottle, it never goes off. It also goes well with any food. Great with hamburgers, even with pickles!" - Bartholomew Broadbent, CEO, Broadbent Selections, San Francisco

Folie a Deux

The Vibe: 

Folie a Deaux is a psychiatric term that refers to two people sharing the same delusional ideas. Perhaps a whimsical name for a winery, but appropriate if the founders of the winery happen to both be psychology professionals. While the original couple no longer own the winery, their legacy lives on in the Rorschach dancers on the logo. The tasting room sports a variety of wines for tasting, including several Menage a Trois blends (one white, one red, one rose) as well as a Napa Cellars merlot, zin and sauvignon blanc. The available picnic tables make this stop particularly appealing for those who’ve purchased lunch vittles from the Oakville Grocery up the road, and need a place to nosh.

Particularly good if you are seeking: 
  • Groups
  • Buses
  • Picnics
  • Shoppers
  • Those looking to try a variety of wines at one stop
  • Rose fans
Not good for: 
  • Events
  • Weddings
  • Tours
Known For: 
The Menage a Trois line of wines, Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Pictures: 

Locations

7481 St. Helena Highway
Oakville, CA 94562
United States
38° 25' 16.2444" N, 122° 23' 24.414" W
7481 St. Helena Highway
Oakville, CA 94562
United States
38° 25' 16.2444" N, 122° 23' 24.414" W
Phone Number: 
7079442565

Peju Province Winery

The Vibe: 

Visitors to the Peju tasting room enjoy several unique experiences. They are walked through a systematic tasting, with an attendee carefully pouring and explaining as they go, while not being distracted by newcomers. If they wander into the newest wing of the tasting space, they can marvel at the exquisite quartzite floors that reportedly echo the owner’s impression of a stone Persian rug. Owner Tony Peju, originally of Iran, and his Austrian born wife, founded the winery in the mid-1980s after years of running a successful high end landscaping business. Their devotion to fine art, sculpture, and gardens is apparent as soon as one enters the drive, as the carefully pruned Sycamore trees beckon you in. Lush gardens and an antique stained glass window, coupled with their open-late reputation (unlike many of their neighbors, Peju’s doors are open until 6pm) no doubt help make this one of the most profitable tasting rooms in Napa.

Particularly good if you are seeking: 
  • Art Enthusiasts (stained glass, sculpture)
  • Garden Enthusiasts
  • Groups (no buses though)
  • People looking to taste after 4:30
  • Private tours and tastings
  • Private or Corporate Events (up to about 135 people)
Not good for: 
  • Weddings
  • Picnics
  • Those in a hurry (guests may need to wait for a tasting spot during busy periods)
Known For: 
Provence (red and white blend, Cab Franc, Fifty / Fifty (Merlot/Cab blend)
Pictures: 
Willow Creek

Locations

8466 St. Helena Hwy
Rutherford, CA 94573
United States
38° 27' 14.0436" N, 122° 25' 5.6568" W
8466 St. Helena Hwy
Rutherford, CA 94573
United States
38° 27' 14.0436" N, 122° 25' 5.6568" W
Phone Number: 
8004467358

V. Sattui Winery

The Vibe: 

Known as one of the limited number of Napa wineries that have county permits for picnics, V Sattui offers mid-day tasters a chance to buy some bread and cheese and sit for a spell in the shade. While patrons cannot bring their own fixins onto the grounds, the on-site deli offers sufficient varieties of meat, cheese, bread, dips and oils to satisfy the most discerning of palates. The wines are not particularly noteworthy, but the three rooms of foodstuffs and other items are something of a shoppers’ paradise.

Particularly good if you are seeking: 
  • Picnics
  • Shoppers
  • Weddings
  • Corporate Events
  • Private tours and tastings
  • Self Tours
Not good for: 
  • Kids
  • Pets
  • Boutique wine-seekers
Known For: 
White Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Muscat
Pictures: 

Locations

1111 White Lane
Saint Helena, CA 94574
United States
38° 29' 20.4936" N, 122° 26' 57.1452" W
1111 White Lane
Saint Helena, CA 94574
United States
38° 29' 20.4936" N, 122° 26' 57.1452" W
Phone Number: 
7079637774
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