Tag Archives: rose

Even sweet red does better than rose

How much do you dislike rose? So much so that you like sweet red wine more. Yes, the much reviled and even hated sweet red wine.

The blog ?s visitor numbers for The ultimate Internet guide to sweet red wine, which ran on Monday, were 24 percent better than those for the annual rose post, which ran at the end of May.

Do you think the people who write the big-time, serious wine blogs have metaphysical dilemmas like this?

Memorial Day and rose 2012

Memorial Day and rose 2012The Wine Curmudgeon appreciates his readers and visitors more than they will ever know. Without you, I ?d have to get a real job, where I would probably not be allowed to drink wine.

Having said that, I must bring up one of your few failings: You don ?t much like rose. No rose review has ever been a top 10 annual post, and they barely crack the top 50.

I especially pondered that question preparing for this post, the blog ?s fifth annual rose extravaganza. And I can ?t come up with a good reason. Rose is cheap. It ?s better made than ever before. It ?s food friendly. You can put an ice cube in it. What more do you need from a wine?

After the jump, the basics about roses and this year ?s recommendations:

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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.

Wine of the week: Le Cirque 2010

image from featherfiles.aviary.com

The Wine Curmudgeon has finally figured out why Americans don’t drink more rose, and it’s not what I thought — that we confuse rose with sweet pink wines like white zinfandel. The real reason? It doesn’t taste like red wine.

How else to account for the odd reviews for the Le Cirque ($11, purchased) on CellarTracker, the blog’s unoffical wine inventory tracking software? Several of the writers complained that the wine was too light, and they were exactly right — if they were reviewing cabernet sauvignon. But since the Le Cirque is rose, that’s a good thing. Roses are supposed to be light and refreshing.

In fact, my only complaint about this rose, which is from southern France, was price — I thought it was $9 and not $11 when I bought it. Having said that, it was very nicely done: Bone dry, with lots of cranberry fruit that gave it a pleasant acidity to balance the fruitiness. In this, it is a good example of what a grape like grenache can do for a rose. Pair this with salads and even lightly spicy foods, since there’s enough fruit to handle the spice.

And yes, chill it and drink it on its own and ponder the metaphysical question of why more Americans don’t appreciate rose.

Wine review: Falesco Vitiano Rosato 2010

image from www.falesco.it When the Wine Curmudgeon tastes this wine, he is not only enjoying one of the best $10 wines in the world, but remembering the day when he embarrassed himself in front of the legendary Riccardo Cotarella — not just once or twice, but three times.

The first instance has been documented, and the second I'll save for another day. The third came while tasting the rose, when I asked Cotarelli if the wine shouldn't be colder. It was at red wine temperature, and I had always been taught that roses, like whites, should be chilled 10 or 12 degrees more. No, no, no, he said. Don't drink it chilled. You'll never taste all of the flavors.

This was an amazing thing to say. First, how many $10 wines have more than one flavor? Second, it's not unusual for winemakers to want critics to taste their wines chilled, since that covers up most flaws. Third, Cotarella was correcting a critic, and while many, many winemakers would like to do that, most of them figure discretion is the better part of valor. Too many wine writers, secure in the knowledge that we already know everything, don't react well to criticism.

But Cotarella, secure in his talent and the quality of his wine, said what needed to be said. And I will always be grateful for that. This vintage ($10, purchased) is as well done as always, with some bone dry strawberry fruit and the nooks and crannies of quality that define the Cotarella style. Drink it over the Labor Day weekend on its own or with burgers or barbecued chicken, and you'll know  why there is a special Falesco wing in the $10 Hall of Fame.

Labor Day wine 2011

It's OK to drink wine over the Labor Day weekend. Really. The beer police won't come and arrest you. Holiday picnics and back porch barbecues usually mean lighter wines, and I've offered several suggestions below. But, assuming this summer's heat wave is ending where you are, Labor day also marks the return of bigger red wines, like cabernet sauvignon or merlot — not bad with ribs or burgers.

The Wine Curmudgeon will spend this weekend at the Kerrvile Wine & Music Festival, where I'll participate in a couple of panel discussions about Texas wine. It's one of my favorite wine events, and the music isn't bad, either. Stop by and say hello:

? Cortijo III Rose 2010 ($10, purchased): A solid and dependable Spanish rose, with more fruit (strawberry and watermelon) than most of its brethren but a bit of heft to remind you that it's still Spanish.

? Paul Cheneau Blanc de Blanc Brut NV ($15, purchased): This, along with a cava from Bodegas Sumarroca, were much better than the food at a Sunday lunch at a Dallas tapas restaurant. Very, very well done Spanish bubbly, with lots of tight bubbles. Highly recommended.

? Tormaresca Roycello Salento 2010 ($22, sample): This Italian white has lots of stone fruit (peaches) and a very floral aroma, similar to viognier (though it's made with fiano, a little known grape, even in its native Italy). It makes for a soft, relaxing wine that is very different from the usual sort of Italian low-fruit, acid-driven labels.

For more on Labor Day wine:
? Labor Day wine 2010
? Fourth of July wine 2011
? Wine of the week: La Fiera Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2009
? Wine of the week: Marietta Old Vine Red Lot Number 53

Mini-reviews 28: Two Buck Chuck, White Knight, Pacific Rim, Crios

Reviews of wines that don ?t need their own post, but are worth noting for one reason or another. Look for it on the final Friday of each month. Again this month, in honor of record-setting temperatures across Dallas, heat wave wines:

? Charles Shaw Sauvignon Blanc 2009 ($3, purchased): What happens when $3 wine sits in a warehouse too long. Is there so much Two-buck Chuck left that Trader Joe's is still selling the previous vintage? Oily, but not in a good way, without much fruit and a bitter finish.

? White Knight Moscato 2010 ($13, sample): Moscato is supposed to be the next big thing (ignoring for a moment that there isn't enough of it to be the next big thing), mostly because it's sweet and it's not white zinfandel. This one has some orange moscato-like aroma, but other than that, it's just sweet.

? Pacific Rim Sweet Riesling 2010 ($10, sample): A touch of petrol on the nose, and though it's sweet (just 8 1/2 percent alcohol), it has almost enough acid to balance the sweetness. In this, it's sweet enough to appeal to people who want sweet wine, but well-made enough for the rest of us.

? Crios Rose of Malbec 2010 ($12, purchased): Flabby and dull, without much fruit or acid and very disappointing. A rose that I actually didn't want to drink. Crios used to make much better wine.