Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Shinjuku, Japan Punk Rock and Wine

Yes, there is a connection. 

In my previous life as a rock 'n' roll and punk rock drummer I was able to travel the world. In my twenties getting outside of the U.S. was my top priority. I wanted to see and feel what the some of the rest of the world was doing. And it was in those travels that something took hold, this idea of local food and local wine. Of course now it is a trend but in the early 90's when I was traveling, it was just "what people did" elsewhere. 

I can still remember a pre-soundcheck meal in Cesenatico, Italy where I had my first revelation of "tagliolini in brodo." It was a family meal at a local restaurant and it was the band, the crew and the local promoter, all sitting at a communal table. Fantastic. Simple. And emblazoned in my memory. They ordered for us. And at first, I thought the soup looked boring but I was soon proved wrong by the intense flavor that screamed through (and so did most of the table after many beers and carafes of local wine). The bite of the perfectly formed pasta. The clear but perfectly luscious broth. The freshly grated Romano grated on top to add that hint of salty. There were many examples of great food and wine like this throughout various cities in all of Europe. 

And when we toured in Shijuku, Tokyo, in some ways, it was an even greater experience, as the culture was further out of my comfort zone. Little sushi bars with the freshest fish I have tried, being able to buy Asahi on the street out of a vending machine, all good. The food was super and everywhere we went we could feel the love. The promoter cared. The people were engaging and again, Tokyo itself was a fantastic experience.

And that leads us to a special birthday wish to Mr Bruce Duff (Dec 6th). We were the rhythm section (bass and drums) of the Jeff Dahl Band for a few of these tours. Here are a couple of photos from those days. 

Happy Birthday my longtime friend. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Ten (10) Year Marker

Most people that know me know that I talk about a ten year marker for wines. If you would like to try a wine with some bottle age to see what all of the fuss is about, a 10 year old bottle is a nice place to start.

I usually tell a story about a Barbaresco experience I had many years ago that opened my eyes to this idea of 10 years of bottle age. In my early wine-buying days I was not able to spend much, so when I came across a slightly aged Barbaresco for under $25 I jumped at the chance to buy a couple. It was a big deal for me to buy multiples without tasting them first but it was a reputable producer in a good vintage so I went for it.

A few months went by and I got an itchy trigger finger so I opened one of the bottles, at about 7-8 years of age. Well, it was good. But I felt a little let down. Yes, it had all of the characteristic qualities of Barbaresco but it just didn't hit the mark for me. So I decided to be patient. Back then I didn't have too much experience with older wines so I was still suspect of this concept of aged wine.

Fast forward to two years after that first bottle Barbaresco experience and I got to the 10 year mark of said wine so I decided it was time to re-visit with the second bottle. And the result... same wine, same producer, same vintage, but now over the 10 year mark, and this was a fantastic wine. It was starting to sing. Aromatic. Impeccable texture. Great fruit but in a different and less vigorous way.

It really was a new experience for me and one that proved pivotal. I just couldn't fathom a 10 year period would make that much of a difference. Of course every wine is different but this moment cemented the 10 year marker for me.

Nowadays it is hard to find a worthy 10 year old wine for a reasonable price but we have one.

Enter the 2002 Calabretta Etna Rosso from Sicily. Priced at $27.99, it is fantastic wine. Try one.

Don't believe us?

***3 Stars: Eric Asimov, NY Times
"Lively, energetic and pure, with deep, rich fruit and mineral flavors, mellowed by age and underscored by a touch of funk."

93 Points: John Gilman's View from the Cellar
"Calabretta is clearly one of the superstars on the island of Sicily and this superb Etna Rosso is comprised of a blend of sixty to eighty year-old vines of Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio, all planted on ungrafted rootstocks. The 2002 is a stunning wine, offering up a deep, complex and still fairly youthful nose of cherries, orange peel, roasted game, coffee, fresh herb tones, a stony base of soil nuances and a nice topnote of exotic spices. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and very well-balanced, with a rock solid core of fruit, modest tannins, superb focus and grip and a very long, complex and classy finish. This is a broad-shouldered and truly superb bottle of Etna Rosso. An excellent wine. 2012-2030."

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Small Business Saturday - November 24th

Save the Date: Saturday, November 24th.

You can sign up starting November 18th. Just use your AmEx at any local Small Business (Rosso Wine Shop, hint, hint) and receive a $25 credit back to your account. 

Plus we will be doing an ALL DAY Sale in addition to the AmEx program! 


Visit the American Express website: Small Business Saturday 2012 for more details

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Tasting Room with Tom Leykis at Rosso

For this edition of the Tasting Room with Tom Leykis we taped at Rosso Wine Shop. Gary and Tom came by and we dialed up some good vino to go along with the SaltButterPork Snax (that we offer along with our weekend wine flights).

We talked about the wines, pairing with food, the wine business and the benefits of patronizing local shops like ours.

You can listen here: Tasting With Tom Leykis 
There is also a Podcast through iTunes. Look for the Tasting Room with Tom Leykis and the 10-20-2012 air date.

Food: salami assortment (sopresatta, saucisson sec, chorizo, finocchiona)

NV Barbolini Lambrusco $14.99 Italy
Not your parent's Riunite! This is an excellent dry sparkler from the Castelvetro region, in Emilia-Romagna. Produced traditionally and with minimal intervention, this is a seriously good drink. Rich and lush, a light fizz (frizzante) and low in alcohol, it's a perfect wine for salumi or your finest prosciutto.

2009 Foradori Teroldego Rotaliano $23.99 Italy
(90 Points: Wine Adovcate) "The 2009 Teroldego Rotaliano is a big wine with huge fruit that largely masks much of the wildness that is typically present in this indigenous red grape. There is no shortage of intensity and sheer personality here." (limited supply)

Food: pork n beans/maple/molasses/sage/ancho

2009 Dominique Mugneret Nuits-St-Georges Les Fleurieres $64.99 France
An impressive vineyard (just down the slope from premier cru "Pruliers") that blends sand and gravel for a Burgundy of lush structure and racy flavor. Background notes of wood spice, earth and a subtle sauvage note add nuance to the dark berry fruit aromas that introduce delicious, supple and mouth coating flavors that possess a bit more acid spine on the racy and mineral finish. (highly allocated)

2010 Testarossa Pinot Noir Doctor's Vineyard $59.99 California
(95 Points: Wine Advocate) "Another highlight is the 2010 Pinot Noir Doctor's Vineyard, which simply explodes from the glass with huge, dark red fruit. This is one of the richer wines in the lineup, but everything is in the right place. Spices, menthol, pine and dark red cherries flesh out in this radiant Pinot. This is easily one of the most distinctive Pinots being made in the Santa Lucia Highlands. The Pinot was grafted onto existing Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot vines, which may explain some of the wine's uniqueness." (highly allocated)

Food: lamb merguez sausage/harissa/tomato marmalade/frites (Parisian street food style

2009 Domaine Alary Cairanne Vieilles Vignes $20.99 France
(90 Points: Wine Advocate) "This blend of 65% Grenache, 25% Syrah and 10% Carignan was cropped at a low 36 hectoliters per hectare and aged in tank until it was bottled without filtration. Copious notes of damp earth, truffles, garrigue, licorice, black cherries and black currants jump from the glass. 50-year old vines."

2007 Terrebrune Bandol Rouge $33.99 France
Organically farmed fruit. Hand harvested. 100% de-stemmed. Indigenous yeasts. Fermented in underground, temperature-controlled, gravity-fed cuves. Unfined and unfiltered. A pure wine. Meaty aromas, with chiseled flavors of dark plum, mineral and dried raspberry. The supple finish lingers with white pepper and truffle. Distinctive, balanced and full of character. Mourvèdre at its best.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Rosé In L.A.

Why the Summer Pink Has Made Such a Splash in the Southland 
-- A retailer perspective --

In my previous life of musician where I also worked at an independent record company, one of my many duties was to handle international sales. And the best perk of that particular job function was to attend Midem, a once-a-year convention in Cannes. This is where you met all of your potential and current distributors to discuss promotion, new releases and getting paid on time. It was a valuable and often times much-needed journey to meet face-to-face. It is in the south of France, in the early 90’s, at this event, that I developed my taste for “the pink stuff.”

In the south of France (and most of France for that matter) the joys of drinking rosé wine come as no big surprise. The French appreciate wines of all types. But especially in the summer months, one can always find rosé on the table. In Cannes, and all over the coastal areas of France, they are famous for their raw seafood platters. What a perfect way to wash down the fresh oysters, lobster and scampi--with a cold crisp rosé!

I soon discovered that this rosé wine went perfectly with many other dishes. I watched as locals ordered steak tartar, roast chicken and various egg dishes, and then a bottle of pale orange-ish rosé showed up. How versatile. I started ordering like a local and found that they were right. The fresh quality and intensity of the dry, crisp fruit went with just about everything. And more than that, I found that the “ease-of-use” is what the locals enjoyed. You can really count on the lively quality of the rosé to complement seamlessly most warm weather food. In fact, very little effort is needed to find a perfect match. Order your dish + pick a rosé = have a great meal.

We move now to southern California, where you would think rosé would be an ideal match for our warm climate and fresh seasonal cuisine. However, six years ago when I opened Rosso Wine Shop, I found considerable apprehension among consumers. What I heard consistently was “no, we are not interested in rosé,” or “is it sweet?” referring most always to the white Zinfandel that was made popular decades ago. The easy and likable quality of the rosé that so dominates the old world was being met with skepticism here. Mais pourquoi?

Priority number one then became to introduce people to the joys of dry rosé. So that meant talking about the wine throughout the hot months every chance I could get. But what really made the difference was pouring the wines at our wine bar as often as possible. In addition to that I decided to source the best quality I could find but keep the focus on value. Often times value can push through apprehension. So I looked at the Bobby Kacher book, as an example, and I found I could price most all of his rosé selections under $15. This sort of three-pronged strategy, coupled with a general growing fascination with rosé wine, has slowly but surely opened the floodgates.

I am now happy to report from the retail trenches that from our modest start of selling a decent amount of rosé wine in 2006 (because of our fondness for it), we have now literally increased our rosé sales’ ten-fold. In fact, for the first time in our 6 years in business, I have elected to carry some type of rosé all the way through until the end of the year! The previous rosé strategy for most retail was to “sell out of everything by Labor Day,” as if the wine you were stuck with would turn into a “pumpkin” after September. But now the very fact that I am confident we will have demand for the next few months means that southern California has finally embraced “the pink.”

Find a local wine shop, buy some rosé and enjoy what the Europeans have for decades: a fresh, vibrant dinner companion.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Snax Made Easy

Our new Snax food program started on September 21st. It is a lot of fun and provides a great compliment to our current weekend wine flights. It also stands very well on it's own. Here are just some of the great ways you can take advantage of Snax at Rosso Wine Shop

First, come in on a Friday or Saturday night. 

Then, pick and choose, combining from both the Snax menu and the Rosso Wine Shop experience.

Order our regular wine flight of three wines for $10 and order some Snax; pistachios/paprika/cherry smoke $4 and olives/laurel/tangerine $4
Order deviled eggs/anchovies $7 and tuna conserva/piquillo/olive/crispy caper $9 and pair it with a glass pour off of the Snax list of 2009 Kuentz-Bas Alsace Blanc France $9
Order merguez/harissa marmalade/frites $12 and pair it with a bottle of beer off the Snax list of Unibroue La Fin Du Monde Tripel Canada 12oz $6
Buy a nice red Burgundy off the Rosso Wine Shop shelf, pay a $5 corkage and order some Snax; cheese/beet jam/bacon croutons $12 and poached salmon/beets/fennel/mushroom $14 

The options are many. Make your own combo. Have fun with it. 

Email the chef here: 

Check out some snaps.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Supper Club 19 - Tomatoes!

We celebrated coming close to the end of tomato season with
an all-tomato-inspired menu. The food was fresh and the wines selected were from all over Italy. Great stuff.

Special thanks to Wes Chilton for the great photos.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Red Meat and Red Wine with Tom

 This latest appearance on the Tasting Room with Tom Leykis we brought friend of the store, Nathan McCall of McCall's Meat and Fish in Los Feliz. They are great. They understand their craft well and enjoy what they do. We highly recommend seeking them out; Mccall's Meat and Fish

The theme was red wines to pair with red meat. We also talked about the qualities of different cuts of meat, fat content, pairing ideas and supporting local businesses, among other things. It is always a blast to do the show. 

Listen to it here: Tasting with Tom

On to the wines...
2007 Masciarelli Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Marina Cvetic, Italy
2008 Jean-Louis Tribouley Orchis, Cotes de Catalanes, France
2008 Parr Selection Syrah Purisma, Santa Barbara, California

Montepulciano: the grape grows all over Italy. Places like Abruzzo and the Marche do well with it. Not to be confused with the region Montepulciano in southern Tuscany, where the grape grown there is Sangiovese (Prugnolo Gentile, local dialect). Related to Sangiovese, maybe a distant cousin, but a little darker. Can be made in different styles, fresh and fruity or more serious like this one.

2007 Masciarelli Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Marina Cvetic $29.99 Italy
(92 Points: Wine Advocate) The 2007 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo San Martino Rosso flows from the glass with layers of perfumed red fruit. This is an especially silky, refined Montepulciano that impresses for its textural elegance and long, polished finish. Sweet red berries, flowers and licorice wrap around the close. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2022.
Grenache and Carignane: from the Cotes de Catalanes in the Languedoc-Rousillon region, these are old vines with intensity. The Languedoc region is kind of the wild west of France in that there are far less rules than any other region. Almost anything goes. There are some very good values there.

2008 Jean-Louis Tribouley Orchis $29.99 France
(93 Points: Wine Advocate) There is at least as much tannic backbone and sense of density evidenced in Tribouley’s 2008 Orchis as by either of his 2009s. But this also projects an impressive sense of sheer energy. Bittersweet floral aromas which vie with bitter-edged black fruits, while iodine, stone, and iron filings seem to suffuse the fluid fruit concentrate to the point of some austerity. Like its 2009 counterpart, this displays an uncanny sense of sheer lift for all of its palpable density, making for considerable finishing exhilaration. Look for it to serve well and fascinatingly for at least the next 8-10 years.
Syrah: from the Purisima Mountain vineyard site, which is owned by the Beckman  family, located a few miles west of Los Olivos. Farmed biodynamically and responsible for excellent quality Syrah.

2008 Parr Selection Syrah Purisma $29.99 California
This will be the last vintage of Parr Selection for Raja Parr (renowned Michael Mina Sommelier), and it may be his best. Full throttle Syrah from the famed Purisima Mountain vineyard. Pretty aromatics of rose petal, violet, blueberry and pepper; ripe verging on sappy fruit; soft tannins and silky texture. A very impressive wine in that it manages to be California in expression but Northern Rhone in spirit.

And the meats...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

To Obscure or Not Too Obscure: that is the Question

 There has been a recent kerfuffle between between Steve Cuozzo, a NY Post food writer and Eric Asimov, a NY Times wine writer, on the idea of an obscure restaurant wine list. The concept of a wine list and these articles got me to thinking...

My feeling on the subject is as follows; in the 6+ years of selling obscure wines (and 20 years drinking them), I like them, but I don't always choose to drink them. I have also learned that the majority of the "wine public" definitely do not drink them. But that most assuredly does not stop me from seeking them out and getting excited when I come across good ones. And I am all for a challenging wine list...

but I do also believe that some of the Sommeliers that take this obscure concept too far are playing "wine pocket pool," if anyone remembers that expression. Yes, a mainstream and unthoughtful wine list is status quo and a dull list also shows a certain laziness that I find deplorable (read: do the work), but a 100 SKU list with nothing recognizable to the average drinker can also be lame.

Ultimately I know both of these guys are looking to sell papers and/or garner online hits but come on, there is a happy medium. 

My belief is that there can be a captivating wine list with both obscure and known; some Saint Pourcain as well as a little Bordeaux. Just be thoughtful and do your homework, and then most importantly, train your staff.

What say you?

Here are the two article links for those of you that missed them:

Steve Cuozzo, on wine lists that are so avante garde that no one knows any of the wines, here: NY Post

Eric Asimov, rebuttle of sorts saying you must fearful of wine unless you fill your list with obscure, here: NY Times

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Best Vintage of Gourgonnier, 2010

We have been drinking this wine for 15+ years and we have to say the 2010 vintage, now in stock, is one of the best. There is a balance and appeal with this vintage that will drive you to want more.

2010 Mas de Gourgonnier Les Baux de Provence Rouge
Organic fruit. A saturated black ruby in the glass. Aromas suggest Provencal lavender, thyme and rosemary, with plums and black raspberries enlivened with a pinch of white pepper. The mouth delivers spiced cherries and plums, with hints of ginger and bass notes of dark chocolate. Deliciously complex. A Provencal style blend of Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Carignan; all tank made.
Our price: $19.99

Try a bottle for yourself and imagine you are here:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Rosso Wine Shop Testimonials

There are many reasons to support a local business.

It has been said that spending your hard-earned money in your own neighborhood guarantees at least 70% of that money stays in the neighborhood. And it supports things like the actual people that live in your community, rather than stockholders at a large company in some other place.

But maybe one of the best reasons to shop at a local business is that you become part of a community. And in that community, you get special treatment. You develop a relationship with that business. And in turn, you can be part something that is self-sustaining.

Read what some our favorite customers have said about Rosso Wine Shop.

“Since shopping at Rosso our ratio of successful wine picks has gone up dramatically.”

“Who needs a spiritual advisor when we have Jeff to be our wine advisor?”

“Rosso has become the social center of the neighborhood.”

“Rosso is the perfect the kind of neighborhood wine store.”

“My favorite wine store.”

“Great People. Great Wine Selection. Great Air Conditioning. Perfect Location.”

“I can’t think of a better way to end my week than at the Rosso wine bar and stocking up.”

“We fully support letting some other customers become as addicted to Rosso as we are!”

Rosso Wine Shop
3459 1/2 N Verdugo Road
Glendale, CA 91208
Ph: (818) 330-9130

Monday, July 2, 2012

Echezeaux at Drago Centro in Downtown

First, the food and service are excellent at Drago Centro (downtown L.A.). Spencer Cruse, their "newish" Wine Director, is great.

Much thanks to the Burgundy group that made this dinner possible and a special thanks to Michael for arranging, per usual, the superb flight and tasting menu. I look forward to the next one.

All the wines showed well overall. The first red flight to the second red flight were a major step up in quality, in my opinion. And not having tasted the Rouget wines before, I must say, I was impressed. Great class, balance and density with impeccable texture.

First flight, the Champagne warm-up with passed apps
1996 R.L. Legras Saint-Vincent
Excellent blanc de blanc, vibrant, tight, minerals, citrus, airy and fresh, excellent brightness and brisk feel, my preferred style.
1996 Henriot Cuvee des Enchanteleurs
Smooth, lemon vibilia, biscotti, toast, with nice bright fruit, some butterscotch, round body, plump but refined. Lush.

-Passed apps-
Swordfish, pistachio pesto
Caprese salad "pinwheels"
Veal sweet breads, caperberry gremolata

The White flight paired with the first course
1996 Domaine Leflaive Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Pucelles
A little sulfurous in the nose, great racey acidity, bright lemon, lime, chalk, slight caramel but very lively, still vibrant and nuanced. Good concentration and precision. My preferred wine.
1996 Domaine Caillot Batard Montrachet
Feels much more aged (but not pre-mox) creme caramel with a slight Madeira-like hint (in a good way), citrus fruit, restrained and opulent at the same time, young olives, dark color, opens more with time.

-1st course-
poached lobster salad, fava beans, fennel, holland white asparagus

The First Red flight paired with the second course
1999 Mugneret Gibourg Echezeaux
Tobacco, olive oil, mint, a little skunk (in a good way), medium weight, cherry fruit, great depth. Silky.
1995 Mongeard Mugneret Grand Echezeaux
A step up in quality from the others. Brighter fruit. Grapefruit, pomegranate, dark cherry fruits, roasted intensity but well balanced, currants, long finish. Excellent wine.
2001 Mongeard Mugneret Echezeaux
Shows some oak, bark notes, earth, bright cherry, excellent texture, some tannins but silky, lively, medium-to-light weight, great feel, developing spice, fresh.

-2nd course-
Seared foie gras, wild mushroom spaghetti

The Second Red flight paired with the third course
1996 Domaine Emmanuel Rouget Echezeaux
The home run wine for me. Loads of class. Silky texture. Classic. Expressive notes of red and black fruits. Detailed. Intense. Deeply impressive. Good acidity. Fresh and vinous. Rich. Plenty of upside.
1999 Domaine Emmanuel Rouget Echezeaux
Still a bit primary in a way. Some Asian spice, cinnamon and toast (but refined), good density. Pure red fruits. Full and brooding. Has many years ahead of it.
2000 Domaine Emmanuel Rouget Echezeaux
A little simpler in a way, nice to drink, excellent fruit, pure brightness, silken texture, good cherry and red fruits, complex aromas of earth and dark fruit.

-3rd course-
Duck breast, lentils, sunchoke puree, garlic scapes

Bonus wine
2004 Fevre Chablis Bougros Grand Cru Cote de Bouguerots
Young but lively. Great acidity. Perfect foil for the cheese course. Lemon, lime, citrus dense, lively, bracing fruit, full texture. Classic clean finish.

-4th course-
Il boschetto cheese, truffle honey, crostini

My favorite reds were 1995 Mongeard Mugneret Grand Echezeaux and the 1996 Domaine Emmanuel Rouget Echezeaux, with the '96 getting the top nod.

A great night.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wine Buying Strategy

As a wine buyer myself, both for my shop and personally, I am keenly fixated on making the right choices. The best possible advice I can give for wine buying are these three ideas:

1) Buy from a merchant you trust
2) Buy by producer
3) Buy by importer

Now, let us elaborate:

1)  Buy from a merchant you trust

Of course there will be times where you find a great online deal or you buy from a big, impersonal "box store" but the majority of your purchases should come from a local merchant you trust. They may know you by name, or not, but all of them make conscientious purchases and once they get to know your palate, you will learn a lot. One of our regular customers likes to say - "since shopping at Rosso our ratio of successful wine picks has gone up dramatically." Take advantage of this.

2) Buy by producer

Once you discover a producer that you like, continue buying their wines. The best producers make the best possible wine in all conditions. Yes, vintages can matter, but if you buy by producer you will discover wines that you might not have normally tried, and learn along the way about how vintages affect wines.

3) Buy by importer

If you enjoy import wines, find out who the importer is (usually listed on the back label) and continue to buy the wines they import. If you like the style of one of their wines, you will find that they choose similar styles within their portfolio, even though the regions and producers are different. You won't be let down.

Wine buying can be a risk, at times, but that is part of the enjoyment. And as you get further versed in the best ways to achieve your goal of finding the best wines for your palate, you will find that these three ideas will matter more and more.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Tasting Room with Tom Leykis

It is always a pleasure making an appearance on the Tasting Room with Tom Leykis and last night's session at their new studios in Burbank was highly enjoyable. Tom is a consummate pro and definitely enjoys the good things. I chose to bring some of my favorite current picks in the store; some of them are very limited in supply, some are perfect seasonal wines, and some represent the "best in class."

Visit the Tasting Room with Tom Leykis page to stream the radio segment: Tasting Room March 12th 2012

First up: Excellent Spring time wines
2011 Commanderie Peyrassol Rosé Côtes de Provence $17.99 France
2009 Domaine Du Bagnol Cassis Blanc $25.99 France
Next: Classic European selections
2001 Bodegas Riojanas Monte Real Rioja $34.99 Spain
2007 Cascina Roccalini Barbaresco $39.99 Italy
 Next: Small Production Artisan California wines
2010 Sandhi Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills $35.99 California
2009 Carlisle Syrah Cardiac Hill Bennett Valley $44.99 California

 Come visit us to buy any of these wines and check out our website to sign up for our free e-mail list to find out about special events, tastings and new arrivals.

Rosso Wine Shop
3459 1/2 N. Verdugo Road
Glendale, CA 91208
P: (818) 330-9130

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Our 2011 Rosé Story...

Our rosé inventory has steadily increased every year since we opened in 2006; and we are very happy about that. We look for bone dry, crisp and refreshing versions of this great warm weather wine. The flavors of bright fruits like strawberry, citrus and sometimes watermelon coupled with good acidity make for great pairings with all kinds of foods. There are many levels of good rosé but we focus on the best examples between $12-$20 (although we always need to have a higher-end Bandol too).

Over the next few months, April through June, all of our hand-picked rosé selections will begin to arrive. Please come by and start sampling. Not all of these are in yet, but they are planned, with more to be added as we go...

2011 Chateau Routas Rouviere Rosé $12.99 (April 11th)
A refreshing dry rosé from the heart of Provence. Bright red berry and mint aromas with a supple yet dry and crisp finish. This mouthwatering rose-a blend of Syrah, Cinsault and Grenache-is juicy yet elegant, with a orange and cherry flavors carried in a clean line by vibrant acidity.

2011 Domaine Corbilliers Touraine Rosé $14.99 (June)
Made from 100% Pinot Noir. Hand-harvested. Naturally fermented. Elegant style. The result is a pale rose wine, slightly spicy, with a vague hint of pepper. It is a thirst-quenching wine to drink with summer meals, and can also be paired with exotic cuisine.

2011 Chateau La Rame Bordeaux Rosé $14.99 (May 1st)
Equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. A rosé wine that shows the classic terroir and composition of Bordeaux in a new light; brisk, clean, mineral and lovely strawberry notes. From vineyards in the hills above Sainte Croix du Mont, another fetching value from the Armand family.

2011 Château Soucherie Rosé de Loire $14.99 (June)
Estate bottled. This beautiful property in the heart of the Coteaux du Layon has a fine touch with the Cabernet Franc grape. Their Rose de Loire is dry with a marked minerality to its flavor and finish. A nice bouquet with strawberry and herb aromas. Perfectly pleasing on the palate with a hint of licorice and long finish.

2011 Commanderie de Peyrassol Côtes de Provence Rosé $17.99 (May 1st)
From the perennial epicenter of rosé wine, Provence, the Commanderie cuvée is always pale rose in color. It is fresh and lively on the palate, nicely dry with a mineral finish. A blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Hints of strawberry and citrus dance on your palate.

2011 Domaine de la Petite Mairie Bourgeuil Rosé $17.99 (May 1st)
Domaine de la Petite Mairie is owned and managed by Corinne and James Petit, an enthusiastic couple devoted to their little corner of the Loire Valley and its wines so celebrated by Rabelais. They have an uncompromising vision of the expression of the Cabernet Franc grape married to the unique terroir of Bourgeuil. This rose is bright, dry and delicately spicy. Very refreshing

2011 Domaine D'Eole Rosé Provence $18.99 (May 15th)
Made with 55% Grenache, 15% Cinsault, 15% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre, 5% Counoise and 5% Carignan, this shining rose, with the color of a pale rose petal with purple reflections, is characterised by fine aromas of red and citrus fruits, followed by its harmonious flavor, full of finesse and surprisingly long lasting. Both its vivacity and fruity flavor will match nicely with all warm weather foods.

2011 Eric Kent Sonoma Coast Rosé Sonoma $19.99 (March 27th)
A gorgeous deep pink, light reddish color, with a nose of pink grapefruit, strawberries, watermelon and hibiscus. One sip and cranberries, fresh red cherries, rhubarb and hints of ripe apple peel take over on the palate. Pure and refreshing with lively acidity, just like a rosé should be, yet with the balance, complexity and pedigree of a much more costly wine. Rosé of 65% Pinot Noir, 20% Grenache and 15% Syrah.

2011 Château Pradeaux Bandol Rosé $26.99 (June)
Some call the Bandol rosé the king of all rosé, and Pradeaux really does deliver. Pradeaux's  major part of the vineyards are planted to Mourvedre, but their Bandol rosé is composed of Cinsault and Grenache as well as Mourvedre. After a short maceration on the skins, in order to extract a light color, the juice is fermented at low temperatures to retain freshness, fruit and bouquet. All tank fermented. Serious. Fresh. And a full-bodied rosé.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Eric Kent Wine Cellars Dinner

  It is always a pleasure to work with and enjoy the wines from Eric Kent Wine Cellars. Kent and Renee were our special guests at this great winemaker dinner. Much thanks to Chef Ruiz for an excellent dinner, the fantastic pictures from Wes Chilton, and of course, the stellar wines by Kent.

Supper Club 15 -- Eric Kent Wine Cellars
Wednesday, March 21st

Menu by SaltButterPork
Chef Michael Ruiz

1. carrot ‘parfait’, crème fraiche, rhubarb, candied fennel.
2011 Eric Kent Sonoma Coast Rosé
2. cured salmon, pickled ramps, cream cheese, mushroom marcel.
2010 Eric Kent Russian River Chardonnay
3. little beets, morbier, poached pear, espellette, molasses.
2010 Eric Kent Small Town, Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
4. roast pork shank, ham, bacon, limas, onion confit, smoke.
2009 Eric Kent Kalen's Big Boy Blend Syrah