Prettiest Rosé in the Garden

Given we are just beginning rosé season I thought I’d share some beautiful rosé wines to drink this spring & summer or if you are willing to share they make the best gifts. I know your not “supposed” to judge a wine but it’s label however sometimes it’s just best of both worlds scenario and they are blessed with looks and taste. Enjoy the following list of rosés that I personally thought were some of the prettiest out there:

Summer in a Bottle Rosé 2017 by Wolffer Estate Vineyard – $25

This unique shiny coppery rosé gold color stems from its blend of 51% Merlot 23% Chardonnay 9% Gewürztraminer 8% Cabernet Franc 5% Cabernet Sauvignon 4% Riesling. This isn’t called summer in a bottle for nothing. It’s the bright fruit, melon and lychee that make you feel like you are drinking summer. Made and bottled in New York!

Gerard Bertrand Cote des Roses Rose 2016 -$15.99

This peachy Rosé is from Languedoc-Roussillon, France.  

The bouquet releases aromas of summer fruits, cassis and redcurrant. Floral notes of rose along with hints of grapefruit complete the picture. The finish is fresh, offering notes of candy. On the palate the impression is fresh and full, with great aromatic persistence and balance.

Notorious Pink 2016 Grenache Rose   -$ 16.99

This rosé is pale pink in color that exudes floral orange blossom aromas. Made from 100% Grenache from the South of France, we use mature berries to balance the flavors of ripe berries that gives it a wonderful acidity and soft minerality. I received this one from my amor for Valentines Day and truly the bottle is so feminine and pretty. Sleek opaque glass with a glass cork epitomizes class and elegance.

J Vineyards Sparkling Rose    –$31.99

Made in Cali (whoop whoop). This rosé yields aromas of strawberry, nectarine and juicy red apples. On the palate, the wine opens with flavors of cherry, orange, citrus peel and the tropical star fruit that are underlined by a bright acidity that keeps the impression delightfully fresh with a lively, lingering finish. This simplistic design is perfect for anyone you know that has a name that starts with J.

Armand de Brignac Rose –$ 439.97

Made in Champagne, France with a champagne in France price point. A stunning wine, with aromas of strawberries and toast layered over a creamy palate filled with apple tart and fresh berries. Elegant, supple and rich, with a balanced finish and fine mousse. One of the top Champagnes to be found today. This wine is for a very special occasion or if you have money to throw around. Not your average summer pool party rosé.

 

Cavicchioli 1928 Rosé Spumante Dolce is made from 100% Lambrusco grapes. In the vineyard, the vines are raised with a Guyot training system, with spurred cordon pruning, on loose mixed soils. When poured and tasted, white and evanescent foam; fine and lingering perlage; bright and pale pink “candy” color; fresh and fruity aroma; sweet, slightly spicy and aromatic taste with red fruit notes with a lingering aftertaste.

Tsarine Brut Rose NV -$49.99

Aromas of red fruits with hints of brioche; this Champagne brings layers of fruit and creaminess on palate with bright freshness leading to an elegant finish. This twisted glass bottle makes for a elegant gift to a friend worth giving a $50 bottle of rosé. Not your average summer picnic wine.

Coping with wine overload 

I often find myself in a grocery store feeling flustered with the amount of wine choices. Many times I have left or just went with what I am used to simply because it felt like choosing something else is too daunting. By the end of choosing a new wine I felt as though I should grab another bottle simply because the stress from choosing a wine has driven me to drink more.

I have found it necessary to take a step back, breathe and follow these steps when choosing wine.

  1. Are you eating with the wine or are you just leisurely drinking? If you are eating that changes the game a bit, you want to think of what type of food you are eating. If it’s red meat get a bold tannic red (cab or chanti) if it is a light meat get a Pinot Noir or if it’s heavy fish go with chardonnay or a light fish try sparkling. I could go on a bit more but listen you gotta keep it simple (don’t over think it). Check out Wine Folly to get a quick reference of pairing.
  2. Just leisurely drinking, think about what you like or are in the mood for. That simple! Do you like white’s or red’s, sweet or dry. That will quickly narrow down the selection.
  3. Price matters! Let’s be franc. It’s just like a liquor store they put the higher price wines eye level and above and then the lower below the waist so you have to lay on the ground to read prices. Are you drinking alone then maybe check out the lower cost wines or if you are trying to impress go mid-high self. Totally your call!
  4. Try something new or somewhere new! Don’t just head to where you are comfortable in the aisle. Try something based off the tops steps and maybe if you always go for Cabernet from California switch up the region and try a Malbec from Argentina. It’s like traveling to a new place and learning a little of their culture when trying a wine from a different country.
  5. If all else fails download an app! The Wine Spectator app which has a comprehensive database of wine ratings organized by price points and varietals

Feel free to comment if you have any other helpful suggestions!!

Mumm Napa

I was with two girlfriends who are in the Air Force and suggested we visit Mumm because they are great to the military and it is their favorite sparkling wine. This was my first time drinking Mumm.

When we arrived at Mumm it was a bit crowded but it was a Saturday at 1:30 pm. We waited about 15 minutes for a table, once we sat down we were greeted quickly by our server. She was energetic and was very excited to get us tasting. She was kind enough to suggest us 3 girls splitting two tastings. This was cool because this was before she knew they were in the military and the tastings would be free. She wasn’t pushy and let us sit back relax and enjoy each sparkling wine. She gave us an overview of each of the wines and a bit on the history of the brand. What I found most enjoyable is the noticeable difference in all the wines I tasted. Each were so well crafted and delicious. It was a great experience and I plan on going back early November.

My Favorites:

Brut Reserve Rosé: a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, with a small amount of red wine added to enhance color, body and flavor. A lovely, all-purpose sparkling wine that looks beautiful in the glass, this wine provides a fine accompaniment to a wide range of foods and makes a unique gift.

Brut Reserve Rosé displays fresh, fragrant strawberry jam and dark plum aromas. Creamy and impressively dense on the palate, its bright red fruit flavors pick up a pleasing dash of spice in the long, crisp finish.

Demi-Sec: Meaning “half-dry” in French, this semi-sweet sparkling wine is very soft and subtle with a light and fresh style.

Mumm Napa Demi-Sec is a deliciously light, fresh and fruity wine with a delightful pale straw color, edged with a hint of yellow-green. The rich aromas are predominantly citrus with a faint touch of caramel in the background. This wine is rich, full and lush on the entry with orange blossom, citrus fruits and cantaloupe on the palate. The finish is long, dominated by white chocolate and vanilla flavors.

Visiting & Tasting:

No reservation required for tastings with less than 6.
Priced from $25-30 for flights

Free for Military!! 

Sum it up:

  1. All sparking wines are very different and high quality
  2. Full glass pours
  3. Worth the wait!!

Larson Family Winery

Larson Family Winery has a great vibe! We arrived on a party bus with 20+ people. Larson has an awesome outdoor area where you can taste wine, play outdoor lawn games and you are right next to the vineyard. We spent over 2 hours there. We had a server come to our tables to taste 5 wines and explain the characteristics of each. She was very friendly and patient with our large and rowdy group.

My friend, husband and I decided to do another tasting at the bar inside to cool off from the blazing sun. The man who served us was funny and knowledgeable.  The tasting was 5 wines however he was generous with his pours and allowed us to taste a few of the higher tiered wines. There is also 3 labs, Buster, Bubba, and Pete that roam around the winery and they are featured on the wines. I loved that! Larson Family Winery makes you feel like you are part of the family.

My favorites:

2013 3 Lab Cab: BEST TASTED WITH THEIR CHOCOLATE SAUCE!! DO IT! Rich full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, and Merlot. The North Coast appellation provides cool coastal air and fog and consistently cooler temperatures for growing some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The blend is smooth yet structured providing mild tannins. Tastes of dark ripe cherry make this a perfect wine for grilled meats or chocolate treats.

2014 Larson Family Gewürztraminer: Showcases a rich, complex Alsatian style. Made in the medium-dry style, (1.6% residual sugar), this wine expresses a layer of seductive flavors such as lychee, Muscat, citrus, and tropical fruits. Enjoy this wine with spicy Asian food. Great for picnics or just a nice summer sipper alone. The cool Carneros climate produces a naturally crisp balanced wine, which will age well in years to come..

 

Visiting & Tasting:

Picnic Table & Tasting reservations can be made online for
11:30 – 1:30 & 2:30 – 4:30

5 wines for $15 per person + 18% gratuity/service charge may apply.

This can vary depending on if you would like to try higher tiered wines.

Sum it up:

  1. Great outdoor space with cornhole and room to throw a football around
  2. Country feel with goats and sheep on the property and the 3 labs lounging around.
  3. Tastings are cheap and plentiful

Domaine Chandon

We drove up to Domaine Chandon on a perfect Sunday morning excited to have some bubbly to start my day. Going into Chandon I was expecting a bunch of  snobs but surprisingly it was the complete opposite. The staff was awesome and super relaxed!

I went with my best friend, Amanda, and we decided to each get a tasting. Each tasting flute had a heavy pour. The staff suggested enjoying each tasting and walk around the grounds and come back when we are ready for our second and third. We didn’t feel stuck to the tasting bar like some wineries. We could enjoy Chandon while enjoying the beautiful outdoor space overlooking it’s vineyard.

My favorites:

Chandon étoile Rosé: The wine is elegant and restrained with fresh aromas of plum, raspberry and nutmeg. These aromas follow through on the palate and are layered with subtle and delicate flavors of cocoa powder. The wine finishes with excellent length and richness.

Vintage Mt. Veeder Brut 2011: The nose leads with pleasing aromas of candied lemon, baked apple, and gingerbread. The vibrant palate is bursting with a bright crispness, balanced by creaminess and ending with clean finish typical of its Brut style.

Visiting & Tasting:

No need to reserve if you have less than 10 people! 

Classic Tasting – 4 sparking wines – $20
Vintage Tasting – 3 sparking wines – $25
Prestige Tasting – 3 sparking wines – $25

Sum it up:

  1. Enjoy the grounds between each tasting
  2. Heavy pours
  3. You get to keep tasting glass