Tag Archives: porch wine

Memorial Day and rose 2020

memorial day and roseCheck out these six roses — cheap and delicious — for the blog’s 13th annual Memorial Day and rose celebration

There is lots and lots of quality rose out there at terrific prices as we continue the blog’s 13th annual Memorial Day and rose extravaganza with today’s post. But given the surreal way wine works these days, that’s both good news and bad.

Good because there is lots and lots of rose in the marketplace, keeping prices down. Case in point: I got a California rose sample this month that cost $2 less this year, and it was the exact same wine the producer sent me last year. Yes, a price cut in the wine business – as hard as it is to believe.

Bad because there is lots and lots of rose in the marketplace, much of it unsold from last year. That’s almost unprecedented for rose. But pink wine’s sales have slowed thanks to the general wine sales slowdown and the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t helped. In this, many producers have delayed release of the 2019 until they sell out. Bota Box, whose 3-liter rose is one of the best values in the world, isn’t releasing its 2019 until August. And I haven’t seen the 2019 Angels & Cowboys rose, always well-done, though there is lots of 2018 on store shelves.

Complicating matters is the 25 percent tariff on French and Spanish wine, which accounts for some of the best cheap rose in the world. It’s not so much that the tariff bumped up prices; in fact, I’m surprised so many producers didn’t increase prices more. Rather, importers cut their orders because they were unsure what they could sell given the general slowdown in wine. So there is still lots of great cheap Spanish and French rose, but there isn’t necessarily a lot from each producer.

Not to fear, though: The Wine Curmudgeon has found cheap, delicious, and honest roses (not sweet, not high in alcohol and not tannic). And don’t overlook the blog’s rose primer and the rose category (from the dropdown menu on the lower right), which lists 13 years of rose reviews.

Today, six standout roses – each highly recommended. Tomorrow, six more roses worth writing about:

Bielet Pere et Fils Sabine Rose 2019 ($12, sample, 13%): This French pink is one of the world’s best roses every year, regardless of price. In this vintage, the cabernet sauvignon in the blend gives the wine a little more structure, depth, and body, plus a little darker flavor (blackberry instead of strawberry?). As it ages, the cabernet should go to the back and more red fruit will come to the front. Imported by Bieler et Fils

Santa Julia Organica Rose 2019 ($6/375 ml can, sample, 13%): This is the same high-quality Zuccardi family rose that shows up under a variety of labels – this time, in a half-bottle sized can. Look for some not too ripe berry fruit, a bit of structure, and a fresh finish. Let it open up, and it’s even better in a glass. Imported by Winesellers Ltd.

MontGras Rose 2019 ($15, sample, 12.5%): This Chilean pink made with zinfandel is quite fruity, with lots and lots of red berries. But it’s not sweet. Quite interesting, in fact, and perfect for anyone tired of the taut, crisp, Provencal style. Imported by Guarachi Wine Partners

Banfi Centine Rose 2018 ($10, purchased, 13%): Banfi’s Italian Centine line offers some of the best cheap wine in the world today, and the rose is no exception. It tastes Italian, with a well-done crispness and soft cherry fruit. A touch short on the finish, but that’s not a problem. Imported by Banfi Vintners

Mont Gravet Rose 2019 ($10, sample, 12%): This French label is all a $10 rose should be — a little bit of not quite ripe berry fruit, crisp, clean and fresh. It’s not fancy or flashy; rather, it’s wine for people who care more about what’s in the bottle than the marketing campaign. (And the 2018 is still yummy, too – I’ve got six bottles in the wine closet). Imported by Winesellers, Ltd.

Charles & Charles Rose 2019 ($12, sample, 11.4%): Winemakers Charles Bieler and Charles Smith combine on this Washington state rose, which shows up on this list every year. The 2019 is stunning – low alcohol, bone dry, with pleasingly crisp and tart strawberry fruit.

More about Memorial Day and rose:
• Memorial Day and rose 2019
• Memorial Day and rose 2018
• Memorial Day and rose 2017
• Will the 2020 rose season survive the coronavirus pandemic?
• Wine of the week: La Vieille Ferme Rose 2019

Photo: “Rose tasting 2012” by WineCoMN is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Porch wine for the long, hot summer

porch wineHas the hot weather made you as cranky as the WC tasting 15 percent chardonnay? Then take a long, cool sip of the porch wine post.

We haven’t hit 100 in Dallas yet, but 99 for the last week or so is close enough. And, from what I hear from my pals in the rest of the country, it’s too damn hot where they are. Which means it’s time for a porch wine post – focusing on lighter wines, red and white, that are lower in alcohol and that offer relief from the heat. The idea with a porch wine is to drink something that won’t make the sweat bead on your forehead.

These four wines are excellent examples of the type, and should give you an idea about what to look for:

Nik. Weis Urban Riesling 2015 ($15, sample, 9%): Well-made German riesling is difficult to find in Dallas, which makes no sense given how warm-weather friendly the wine is. The Weis is made in a more modern style, with fresher apricot fruit instead of dried and brighter acidity, but it’s also layered with the traditional honey notes. Nicely done, and will even age a little.

El Coto Rosado 2015 ($9, purchased, 13.5%): The El Coto is is one of my favorite Spanish roses, and if it’s not quite as well done as the Muga, it’s still delicious and a tremendous value. Look for strawberry fruit, plus a little earthiness and even orange peel from the tempranillo that’s in the blend.

Torresella Prosecco Extra Dry NV ($15, sample, 11.5%): This Italian sparkler reminded me why I love wine. I much prefer cava to Prosecco, so it’s always a pleasure to find a Prosecco worth writing about – not too sweet, firm bubbles, surprisingly balanced, and more apple and pear fruit than most others. Highly recommended.

Drouhin Domaine des Hospices de Belleville Fleurie 2014 ($25, sample, 13%): Top-notch red from the French region of Beaujolais that has nothing in common with most of the plonk made there these days. Firm but not overbearing, with red fruit and soft tannins, and something you can drink on its own or with food. The only drawback is the cost, but given how expensive this quality of French wine has become, it’s not overpriced.

More about porch wine:
Wine terms: Porch wine
Wine when the air conditioning is broken
Wine of the week: Angels & Cowboys rose 2015
Wine of the week: Chateau Bonnet Blanc 2014

Fourth of July wine 2013

Fourth of July wine 2013

I’m drinking a less alcoholic, less tannic red wine because it’s hot out. But I can’t show my face, because that’s not a manly wine choice.

It ?s hot. It ?s sticky. So how many of you will drink the biggest, most tannic, most alcoholic red wine possible to celebrate July 4?

Which, of course, is fine with the Wine Curmudgeon, since I believe that everyone should drink what they want, and rules be damned. But, if you don ?t mind a suggestion, live dangerously. Try something lighter and, dare I say, more pleasurable ? a porch wine, even. Because the only thing I ask is that wine drinkers be willing to try something different.

Which leads to these suggestion, after the jump:

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Fourth of July wine 2012

Some suggestions and a few thoughts about wine with your July 4 celebration next week, whether backyard barbeque or fireworks watching party (the latter with bubbly, of course):

? We ?re in porch wine territory this time of year: lighter wines with lower alcohol, and that includes reds. Drinking a tannic, high alcohol wine when it ?s pushing 100 isn ?t pleasurable (unless you ?re a wine masochist).

? Did someone say bubbly? We ?re celebrating a birthday, aren ?t we? Miquel Pons Cava Brut Nature NV ($15, purchased) is a Spanish sparkler that ?s soft and generous, with sweet lemon fruit and bubbles that won’t quit.

? Fontana Candida Frascati Superiore ($10, sample) is an Italian white that was a big deal a decade or more ago, and then fell on hard times. This vintage is much better made than it was then, with a fresher, more clean approach, very crisp lemon, and an almost orange tea aroma. Just 12 1/2 percent alcohol.

? When in doubt, go Falesco ? the Assisi Rosso 2009 ($16, purchased), in this case. This Italian red blend is a step up from the producer ?s wonderful $10 Vitiano line, with an herbal aroma and soft red fruit. But it ?s sturdy enough for red wine occasions, including Fourth of July burgers, steak and brisket.

? Regional wine is always a July 4 staple, and Dr. Konstantin Frank Dry Riesling 2010 ($15, purchased) is a regional wine with decent national distribution. Look for candied lemon and the fresh, crisp acidity that New York state rieslings are famous for. And, as nice as this wine is, it’s not nearly the best New York riesling available.

More about Fourth of July wine:

? Fourth of July wine 2011
? Fourth of July wine 2010
? Wine of the week: Louis Tete Beaujolais-Villages 2010
? Wine of the week: Luc Pirlet Pinot Noir Barriques Reserve 2010

Wine of the week: Massamier La Mignarde Cuvee des Oliviers 2010

fiche-oliviers-roseThe name of this wine is a very long and very French way of saying that this is exactly the kind of rose that makes the Wine Curmudgeon smile. It ?s cheap and it ?s dry, but more importantly, it ?s full of summer and backyards and porches and barbecues.

The des Oliviers ($10, purchased) is from southern France and is mostly made with cinsault. In this, it ?s firmly in the French style ? some fruit (in this case, cranberry), but not the big dollops that give the impression of sweetness and so confuse so many wine drinkers into thinking pink wine means white zinfandel. This wine is about as far from white zinfandel as possible.

Also impressive: The des Oliviers is a bit floral on the nose, and its clean, crisp finish leaves you ready to take another sip.

Serve this chilled on its own, or with any summer activity. Highly recommended, and a candidate for the 2013 $10 Hall of Fame.