Rose Wine

August 24, 2010

La Ferme Julien Rose 2009


Do you remember what it was like to open up the fridge on a hot summer day and see it there... that bright red, wiggly, jiggly dish of fun? I just loved when mom made jello and that is the memory reserve I tap into when it is 110 degrees outside and I open my fridge and see La Ferme Julien Rose. It just makes me grin. Same vibrant color, same promise of fruity fun. This is totally my go-to wine in the summer. Bright, strawberry red juice that is so crystal clear it seems almost shiny in the glass and vibrant red berry and cherry flavors that zing your tongue. I love that it is a little fuller bodied with a clean layer of acidity that keeps it balanced and super refreshing. And at 13% alcohol, there is not even a hint of sweetness. You can easily polish off this bottle if you're not careful.

Serve it with just about anything. Seriously, it is ridiculously food friendly... shawarma and hummus, burgers and dogs on the grill, BBQ chicken chopped salad, potlatch seasoned and planked salmon... the options are endless. Just be sure you don't serve it too cold. If you open it and it seems sort of bitter and flavorless, let it warm up just a teensy bit and enjoy. At $5.99 a bottle at Trader Joe's it can easily become addictive.

Noël Wallace at Permalink social bookmarking

April 21, 2010

Live-a-Little Rather Revealing Rosé

lal rose.jpg

REGION: Western Cape, South Africa
PRICE: $9.99

This is a first for me. I have long been a fan of shiraz (and syrah) and once those winter winds shift to spring breezes I seldom refuse a rose--unless of course it reads "white" something on the label--but was never inclined to marry those tastes. So in honor of Earth Day I thought I'd go totally mad and try a certified organic-no sulfites added-fair trade-shiraz-rose. Phew, I need a glass of something after that. This one happens to be a lovely pick from the value label from Stellar Winery, the largest producer of organic wines in South Africa.

Definitely dry (13% alcohol), the Rather Revealing Rose is also quite the fruit bomb. It is, after all, a new world shiraz and doesn't stray far from its roots. But rather than the fresh berry flavors you might get in a full blown red, this fruit is tighter... more like dried cherries and dried strawberries trying to reconstitute in kirsch. Very easy on the palate and sure to be a crowd pleaser throughout the summer with just about anything. I served it with grilled vegetable and goat cheese paninis made on rosemary foccacia and it was a great complement to the earthiness off the veggies and rosemary and the creaminess of the chevre. But it has enough oomph that next time I'm thinking ancho-rubbed, grilled something-or-other.

If you find yourself in the Really Resistant to Rose category, Stellar makes half a dozen different organic labels that include reds, whites, dessert and sparklers in every price range.

Noël Wallace at Permalink social bookmarking

November 24, 2008

Volute Wine - Premium, Portable Vino

medianl.jpgFinally! A picnic wine that you can actually take to the park or the beach or an outdoor concert venue -- or just about anywhere you CAN'T take a glass wine bottle. Super convenient and dare I say, super cute, Volute wines might be the best thing to happen to tailgating.

We source our wine from small, independent Bordeaux wineries that posses the same values and views as we do. Our wineries also believe passionately about - and employ - green practices, and do not use any artificial additives.

Not sure yet if they live up to their story, but I just received a bottle of each, so I'll expound once I've popped the tops.

In the meantime, check out Volute Premium Portable Wines

Noël Wallace at Permalink social bookmarking

June 26, 2008

Have Wine Will Travel - Gallo's New Wine Purse

While it is certainly a novel idea, I'm not sure the wine handbag (or wine in a box that looks like a handbag) is the wave of the future. A little too kitchy for my taste--though I am a rose fanatic--and I'm sure I would not settle on White Grenache as my rose of choice. A resounding, YIKES! But check it out for yourselves:

gallo_handbag_2.jpgThis package won best design and packaging prize at the 2008 Drink Business awards, for its clutch-style handbag box. Now perhaps I am just not the right kind of woman, but I found the strapline "White Grenache - loved by women almost as much as they love their handbags", a tad condescending. "Appealing directly to the rosé wine consumer" - does the love of rosé equal a love of handbags? Apparently so; according to Tesco, where it is being sold, the package has been "incredibly successful". Posted on TheDieline by Natasha Chetiyawardana

Noël Wallace at Permalink social bookmarking

June 17, 2008

Vinum Cellars Rose - It's Okay! 2006

vinumrose.jpgVARIETAL: Cabernet Sauvignon
REGION: Napa, California
PRICE: $11

In general, I dig what the folks at Vinum Cellars have going on. Slightly irreverant brand personality, but backed up by solid fruit and stellar winemaking. The resulting wines are what we're all about: lovingly crafted and easy on the pocketbook. That said, I don't LOVE the 2006 Rose. It is bright and crisp with decent berry notes and hint of watermelon. But it is not as layered as previous vintages that I so relished summers past. It is perfectly fine, certainly OKAY, just not as great as I remember and even a little hot on the finish. I picked mine up at World Market, but if you don't have one near you, it is also available on

Noël Wallace at Permalink social bookmarking

May 20, 2008

Fire up the grill - Wines for Wieners

Actually if you want to be literal, its wine for wursts. But I thought wine for wieners had a much better ring. Anyhoo, I digress from my mission which is to direct you in your wine and wiener (or wurst) pairing. Hot dogs and sausages are a little tough to pair because there are so many condiments and side dishes involved. Your best bet is a round and robust (yet dry) rose. It will have enough body and subtle tannins to cut through the fat in the meat, but ample fruit and moderate acidity to balance out the acidity in most condiments and picnic sides. If your tastes lean more toward spicy sausage and peppers, you could also try a light to medium bodied California or Northwest pinot noir. Here are two of my picks that are sure to please without breaking the bank

91020l.jpgPerrin Reserve Cotes du Rhone Rose 2006 $10
Cinsault, Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre
Made by a traditional wine-making technique which results in a rosé wine made by running off or "bleeding", a certain amount of free-run juice from just-crushed dark-skinned grapes after a short, prefermentation maceration. Clearly a wine from a warm place, the color is an intense pink with bright reflections. The nose is fresh, with redcurrants and yellow raspberries. The mouth is supple with fruity roundness in the middle, and a lively finish that is quite long. (from

rexgoliathpn.jpgHRM Rex Goliath California Pinot Noir 2006 $8-$11
The aromas are characteristic of the cool Central coast vineyards that yielded the majority of the grapes for this wine. Red berry perfume with a touch of cinnamon spice, wrapped in a blanket of subtle French oak. Breathe it in. This is one of Pinot Noir's great pleasures. The taste is pure Pinot, too. Mouth-filling overripe raspberry and cherry flavors. Soft and supple are a few of the descriptors I would use. The wine exhibits a velvet finish due to the soft tannins and understated acidity. (from

If you are a die-hard white drinker then by all means go with a white. A medium to full bodied pinot gris or even pinot blanc are safe bets. Although there are certain principles to follow when pairing wine with food, the most important thing to remember is to drink what you like.

One final note: the Rex Goliath is currently out of stock on their site, but one can usually find it at Trader Joe's, certain grocery chains and many smaller independently owned wine shops.

Noël Wallace at Permalink social bookmarking

May 6, 2008

Saludas Rose 2006

Thumbnail image for IMG_3599.JPG
VARIETAL: Tempranillo
REGION: Somewhere in Spain (possibly near Castilla)
PRICE: $4.99

Egads--where to begin? As I have mentioned once or twice previously, I am a fan of good roses. On a recent outing to Fresh & Easy I was intrigued by a few of their private label selections and decided to take a few home. The Saludas, a tempranillo from Spain, looked promising and I couldn't resist the price tag. My knowledge of the vinification and origins of this wine is limited--see above. But what I can tell you is that I wouldn't buy it again if it was on sale for 50 cents. When I first poured myself a glass I thought it smelled a little off. Maybe just a little past its prime. I was sorry my curiosity could not be quelled before the first sip. Sour, tart and off-putting are the first words that come to mind. Not fresh, lacking flavor and substance are terms that might also describe my experience. I would not recommend it to my cheapest friends with the worst taste in wine. And I certainly will not be buying it again.

Noël Wallace at Permalink social bookmarking

February 7, 2008

Crios de Susana Balbo Rose of Malbec

Crios_Rose_2006.jpg Don't cry for me . . . ok, so I can't really sing but if I could this is one wine I would sing about. This stunner hails from the scenic Mendoza valley and was carefully crafted from Malbec grapes by one of the first female winemakers in Argentina. Think ripe strawberries and cherries--fruity without the sweetness. For those of you who fear the pinks because you grew up with the words "white zinfandel" ringing in your ears, fear not! This rose is dry and full bodied enough to stand up to a gaucho's diet of grilled meat, but flexible enough to pair with fish and chicken dishes as well. This is a standard in our fridge year-round. Look for 2006 or 2007 vintages. Anything older might still be okay, but definitely not as reliable.

Noël Wallace at Permalink social bookmarking

June 13, 2007

Red Truck, Pink Truck... truck, drink truck. It sounds like a Dr. Seuss rhyme, but this is serious stuff - two quality wines (a red and a rose) that both cost around $10 and both have something to do with trucks. We haven't tried the pink, but we bought some of the Red Truck for a friend who happens to have a red pick-up, and were pleasantly surprised, especially for the price and the locale where we bought it (a gas station).

Medium-bodied and complex, flavors of chocolate, berries, cherries and licorice abound. The black pepper finish settles with smooth tannins. You can drink red truck anywhere, anytime (it pairs well with pizza and tomato based dishes). And for you die-hard Cline fans, take it for a spin and floor it baby, metaphorically speaking of course!
Cline 2003 Red Truck - Red Wine

Pink Truck is a classic wine with a very sophisticated twist. This exceptional new blend exhibits berry and citrus aromas and strawberry, raspberry and pomegranate flavors that tantalize the palate. Juicy orange notes make for a delicious, bright finish — a refreshingly complex wine crafted in a balanced off-dry style. A WELL-CRAFTED BLEND OF: Zinfandel, Grenache, Mourvedre
Red Truck Winery 2006 Pink Truck - Rose Rose Wine

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