Pretty in Pink

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the winery.

Although the calendar has turned to September, the weather in DC is no closer to fall than it was last week. Rather, it seems even hotter and more like the dog days of summer than any other time of the year. Which to me means it’s still a great time for a crisp rosé.  With that in mind, I ferreted out a bottle of the 2014 Cornerstone Cellars Corallina Rosé from the cellar to pair with the weather.  The Corallina retails for $25 and sports a screw cap closure.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) An excellent choice to pair with our rocking Adirondack chairs and the steamy DC day, cold from the fridge with great acid, tart flavors and refreshing citrus notes.

2.) The Syrah gives the Corallina a meaty note on the nose, but then gives way to more delicate red fruits, melon, and citrus on the palate.

3.) Although I just made a big deal about drinking the Corallina with the hot weather, I’m going to add it to my list of top choices for your Thanksgiving meal. The zesty acidity on the palate will cut right through the traditionally heavy Thanksgiving fare.

4.) Besides Thanksgiving, I’d serve the Corallina with your next cheese plate.

On the nose I found cherry, strawberry, a meaty note, pepper, flowers, and orange zest. Perhaps almost an orange blossom note as well. In the mouth I got strawberry, cherry, citrus, and melon. Tart red fruits and refreshing acidity carried the day on the rosé.




Run and Get It. Now.

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the winery.

No, seriously, why are you still reading instead of going to go get some of this wine? Perhaps the humidity is on my brain, but I can’t think of anything better to drink the DC swamp than the 2013 Cornerstone Corallina Rose of Syrah. In fact, I did just so yesterday. Twice. Once at Rhone Rangers and then a bottle over dinner last night. The Corallina retails for $25 and sports a screw cap.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) It has acid, structure, and great fruit.

2.) 90 degrees and humid yesterday. Chilled down and drinking it on the porch, I could almost forget about the weather.

3.) I love a Rose of Syrah as the Syrah tends to lend body to the wine.

4.) For all the Rose naysayers, try this and you will be a convert.

On the nose I found strawberry, raspberry, cherry, stone fruit, and lime. The palate reflected the nose perfectly. The racy acidity balanced nicely with just a hint of a fuller note on the finish.



A Rose for a Rosy Day

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the PR folks for the brand.

I was 100% positive that I had written about a previous vintage of this wine. Apparently not, but I do know I have tasted it and enjoyed it before. Perhaps I thought I wrote about it, but never actually go to making my notes into a post and putting it up. That seems most likely. In any event, today in the 85 degree weather we opened the 2013 Jean-Luc Colombo Cape Bleue Rose. The wine had a Diam closure, clocked in at 12.5% alcohol by volume, is a blend of 67% Syrah and 33% Mourvedre, and retails for under $10 a bottle.

1.) The first word that comes to mind when I see and taste this wine is “pretty.”

2.) You really can’t beat the sub-$10 price tag for this wine. Stock up for all the dog days of summer that are most definitely ahead.

3.) We had this with rainbow trout on the grill for dinner. I tend to baste my trout in a lemon/mayo/salt/pepper/etc. blend and the acid in the Jean-Luc cut through nicely.

4.) Sitting in the sun and soaking up the 85 degree day was definitely the right choice for this wine.

On the nose I got raspberry, cranberry, other red fruit, and lime zest. In the mouth I found raspberry, cherry, lime, and raspberry jello. Overall I found the wine to be tart and refreshing with good acidity.


My Glass Doth Overflow

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample for a live Twitter tasting.

With bubbles of course! Bubbles make for one happy wino and I love this time of year as my local wine shops expand their selections and bubble samples arrive on my doorstep. I always like to grab a glass and toast friends and family and usually welcome guests to our house by popping open a bottle of bubbly. Tonight we chose the Contadi Castaldi Brut Rose. It has a traditional Champagne closure, retails for about $23 and come from my new favorite area for sparkling wine, Franciacorta.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) Franciacorta. If you aren’t drinking it, you are missing out. Really. Why are you still sitting there? Go buy some.

2.) The Contadi has a beautiful nose with just a hint of almonds that I found very intriguing.

3.) If you are seeking a dry brut rose with nice acidity and a lovely toasty note, this is it.

4.) Did I mention how you should get yourself a bottle of Franciacorta?

On the nose I found flowers, cherries, almonds, and toast. In the mouth I got cherries, strawberries, and toast.  Overall I found the wine to be dry, with good toast, excellent acidity, and a nice finish. My notes say “I’m loving it.”



Try Rose With Your Turkey

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from F. Wildman.

Drink. Drank. Drunk. I’ve been kicking into high gear with a box of roses lately with my eye on the rapidly approaching Thanksgiving holiday. Wine is generally not the main star of my Thanksgiving meal, but I certainly don’t want a wine that’s going to totally clash or dominate the meal either. (Stuffing is the star of my Thanksgiving meal.) I often turn to rose as a refreshing choice with enough acidity to get past the sometimes heavy food. With that in mind, I pulled the 2012 Finca La Linda Malbec Rose from the basement. The wine sports a screw cap closure, clocks in at 13.5% alcohol by volume, and retails for about $10.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) It must be the Malbec grapes, this was a substantial and bold rose.

2.) The key to Thanksgiving rose is making sure to pick on that isn’t sweet. The Finca is certainly a dry rose.

3.) The acid on the rose held this one together and would do well against stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole (do people still make that?), rolls, sweet potato casserole, with marshmallows of course…the turkey doesn’t matter since it’s really just a vehicle for delivering stuffing and gravy into your mouth.

4.) Rose isn’t just for the summer!

On the nose of the wine I found meat, cherry, strawberry, and spice. The meat note stood out for me, I don’t usually find that in a rose. In the mouth I got more cherry, strawberry, and citrus notes.  Overall the wine was bold, a bit spicy, and had good acidity.


A Halloween Treat

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Fredrick Wildman.

Boo! Long time no see. Life, at times, gets in the way of things we want to do. As you know, I spent several weeks furloughed, which zapped my energy as I am not used to spending all day every day chasing after an almost 3 year old, then I had to travel to a funeral, and then off for a fun visit to family. Thus, my absence. But I’m back with a what I consider just a lovely wine that pairs well with jumping up to answer your door all evening. Tonight we chose the Lamberti Sparkling Rose to grace our Champagne flutes.  The Lamberti retails for about $14 and has a traditional Champagne closure.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) Honestly, I had to keep checking to make sure this was really a $14 wine.

2.) The color on this wine is quite pretty.

3.) Not only for Halloween, this wine would be excellent with a large upcoming meal involving turkey.

4.) Seriously? $14? You are seriously winning something with this wine at that price.

On the nose I got raspberry, jello, yeast, and flowers. The nose is light and delicate and the color is so pale and pretty. My pictures do not do it justice, at all. I’m a pretty terrible photographer.  In the mouth I got raspberry jello, cherry, and raspberry. I found the wine to be bright with good acidity and a nice mousse. I love it.




What wine goes with a furlough?


*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the importer, F. Wildman and Sons.

Especially a furlough happening in 80+ degree October? Something cheap and cheerful, cheap being the most operative word in that sentence. I’m on my fourth day of furlough and thought I’d dig around for something that isn’t a budget buster and is a pretty tasty quaffer as well.  No need to resort to drinking swill when there are plenty of bargains to be had out there in the sub $10 range. Today I chose the 2012 Marc Roman Rose. It’s a rose of Syrah, has a screw cap closure, clocks in at 13% alcohol by volume, and is on sale online for only $7.99.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) For the same price (or even a little less depending on your market) as a critter wine, you can instead have this delicate and interesting rose. Get this.

2.) In general, looking for wines with an F. Wildman import label has served me fairly well. I love their selections overall and they seem to do a pretty decent job with QPR.

3.) Rose, which I tend to drink in spades in the summer months, also makes an excellent foil for the upcoming heavier holiday foods season.

4.) My photos definitely don’t capture it, but the rose in the bottle has the prettiest pale pink color.


On the nose of the wine I found raspberry, cherry, white flowers, and apricot.  The wine had a really floral and delicate nose.  In the mouth I got cherry, raspberry, and lime. I took two notes about the acid on the palate, which evidently, I thought was well done. It’s really the acidity on rose that holds it together for me, minus that you end up with an often cloying, flabby wine….which I’ve had my fair share of over the years. Put out the Marc Roman Rose with your stuffing and sweet potatoes and you’ll have a happy crowd.




WBW #80 – Dry Rosé

Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the importers.

As I mentioned last week, Wine Blogging Wednesday is back! Founded by Lenn almost a decade ago (ha! does that make some of the old-time wine bloggers feel even older?), WBW is a monthly wine event hosted by a different wine blogger every month. I’ve hosted a couple times in the past with great success, and we welcome WBW back after a nearly 2 year hiatus thanks to Tim of WineCast. For WBW #80, which I also think is technically the 9th anniversary of WBW, Tim chose Dry Rosé as the theme and simply asked us to review a dry rosé to review.

Easy peasy as far as I am concerned. Who doesn’t like rosé in the summer?  Here in DC, while we’ve been having an unexpectedly mild August (what’s up with that??), it’s still been plenty warm enough to bust out some rosé to beat the humidity, which is generally killer when you live in a swamp. In the summer.

For this milestone WBW, I chose the 2011 Michel Torino Malbec Rose.  It’s a wine from Wildman Selections, clocks in at 13.5% alcohol by volume, has a Nomacorc closure (which I just learned about when I attended Drink Local Wine this spring), and retails for about $15.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) While it has some tannins on the finish, the acidity is there and it is well-balanced.

2.) I enjoyed the dried cherries and herbal notes on this wine.

3.) While we enjoyed this rocking in our Adirondack chairs on the front porch (did I not mention that I turned 70 lately?? 😉 ) I thought it would be great with my signature BBQ ribs.

4.) I’m not sure I’ve ever had a Malbec Rosé before, but I’m intrigued and would definitely try another.

On the nose I got juicy raspberries, dried cherries, and herbal notes. In the mouth I found cherry, raspberry, blackberry, and herbs. Overall, the wine struck me as light, bright, dry, and refreshing with good acidity that made it perfect for a hot day.

Many thanks to Tim for hosting, and, as always, a tip of the hat to our founder Lenn!



Drink With Turkey

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample.

I’m not a big one on “this is a perfect pairing with Thanksgiving” because I don’t really think there is such a thing. But some wines will work better than others and to me I want something on the lighter side with lots of acidity. Not sure about anyone else, but we have a lot of food at Thanksgiving and it’s general some heavy stuff with potatoes, stuffing, etc.  The 2011 The Crusher Rose of Pinot Noir fits my bill for a decent Thanksgiving wine at a great price. It has a real cork closure and retails for around $11.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) At times odd wine descriptors jump into my head, like for this wine where I wrote down “pink berries.” What does that even mean?

2.) I liked this wine because you could just smell the acidity on the nose.

3.) Like I said, turkey dinner.

4.) I could also easily picture this as a porch sipper in the summer.

(I seem to have misplaced the pictures of this wine….) On the nose I got pink berries (?), raspberries, watermelon, and white pepper. The crispness and acidity I could smell on the nose made my mouth water. In the mouth I found melon, watermelon, raspberry, strawberry, and more melon. Overall the wine was crisp, acidic, and really quite tasty.


Rose Up Your Day

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the winery.

Spring. Glorious spring. Long warm days, with cool nights and sipping rose on the porch. Who could ask for more? Well, if you haven’t got some of the 2011 Vin Gris de Cigare Bonny Doon Rose in your glass, then your certainly could ask for more. You should have some. Especially at a price point of about $14 on various online wine shops.  The wine has a screw cap closure and clocks in at 13.5% alcohol by volume.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) Pair it with BBQ ribs. The acidity will be a great foil to the sweetness of the BBQ sauce.

2.) My glass on a Saturday afternoon on the porch is perfection.

3.) Screw caps are great for parties.

4.) Randall Graham really hit it out of the park with flavors and balance of acidity and structure with this one.

On the nose I found watermelon, strawberry, raspberry, spice, and red cherry. In the mouth I got strawberry, red cherry, tangerine, watermelon, raspberry, and a bit of pepper.  You can tell just from the nose of the wine that the palate will have great acidity, and without fail, it follows through.