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Category Archives: Roses

This summer the fun begins with a six pack…of French Rose: 2010 Clos de La Briderie Touraine Mesland Vieilles Vignes Gris, Loire, France

Summer heat is upon us: grills are firing up, people are sporting flip flops and tan lines, and the weekend get togethers are in full swing. This past week I’ve had a good share of fun with friends and I even broke out my flip flop wine coasters to fit with the season. On more than one occasion, I was asked ‘when are you going to put the corkscrew away and finally have a kickback summer drink instead of that ‘snooty’ stuff?’ The more I heard the questioning and the term ‘snooty’ in reference to the wine, the more my feathers got ruffled. I even had to endure a song on the radio talking about some good old boy’s girlfriend being down to earth because she was drinking a beer rather than a ‘stuffy’ wine.

I don’t know how to break it to them, but this cowgirl isn’t stuffy, and the wine works darn near anywhere…ESPECIALLY at summertime, laid back events.

Take this wine for example, the 2010 Clos de La Briderie. I admit, the name might seem a little funny to us ‘country folk’, but I can assure you, this wonderful rose is perfect for kicking back.

I chose this little number for both the Tim McGraw/Kenny Chesney concert tailgating party and the day I headed out to the lake for a little ‘boat therapy.’ It paired up with the spicy brats we grilled up as well as those two ‘Brothers of the Sun’ and it held it’s own chilled properly in a cooler and being sipped out of a red solo cup while floating on an inter tube. This wine screams summertime.

Don’t let the pale pink color scare you…it’s not like your college kid white zinfandel or one of those ‘wine coolers’ we all have had not so fun experiences with. This is made with the Gamay grape of Beaujolais red fame. It has a perfume of red cherries and strawberries, like the fresh fruit from your grandma’s fruit salad at the family picnic. The flavor is intense: with what I would describe as the candied flavor of a strawberry Jolly Rancher candy and watermelon…you can’t GET more summertime than THAT! Although it has those candied flavor, don’t let it fool you into thinking it’s a sweet wine. This is a crisp, dry wine, with great acidity. Whether you’re doing burgers and brats, grilled chicken, ribs, or a pork tenderloin, this wine will go along with it…like your best friend on the way to the county fair.

No, there is nothing stuffy, nor pretentious with this ‘pretty in pink’ selection. In fact, dare I say that those with a beer bottle in their hand rather than a wine bottle are the ‘snooty’ ones. After all, compare the two bottles: One is for a single serving to sip on selfishly, and the other is big enough to share with friends and be neighborly. ­čśë

It’s a great value too! I found mine for around $14. Can’t go wrong with a versatile French wine from the Loire Valley for under $20!

So this weekend when you’re kicking back and ready to ‘pop a top’, make it a cork, and make it the 2010 Clos de La Briderie Touraine Mesland…

…I’ll see you on the lake. Cheers! ~CC

 

Roses, The Perfect Summertime ‘Flower’: 2011 Crios de Susana Balbo Rose of Malbec

After a long, productive, and exciting week of wine education, I arrived home just in time for the weekend with so many thoughts and ideas pouring through my mind that I knew there was only one thing I could do…

…and that was to set it all aside and relax with a little BBQ.

I arrived at our friends’ home armed with a few bottles of 2011 Crios de Susana Balbo Rose Malbec out of the Mendoza region of Argentina. As I opened the bottle and asked who would like a glass, I was met with resistance on all sides.

The men assured me they would never in a million years drink, let alone enjoy, a ‘pink chick drink.’ The women of the group objected with a resounding, ‘we don’t like those heavy, dry, red wines.’ I simply smiled, poured a mouthful into a glass for each of them and said, ‘You don’t like this type of wine? Prove it.’

Both men and women peered into their glasses, suspiciously eyeing the deep rose color/faded red color, and caught the scent of fresh strawberries and mild spice on the nose. Then came the moment of truth, the sip of strawberries and bright cherries mixing with that same subtle spice. Not too dry, not too sweet…balanced and refreshing. Not some thin, fruity little beverage. Not a heavyweight that bullies your tongue into submission. Just a perfectly wonderful companion in a glass.

The women smiled and said, ‘hey this is pretty good.’ The men, shocked, and trying to maintain their manly composure quietly commented that it wasn’t what they expected…while pouring more into their glasses.

Once I knew I had their interest, it was time to hook them.

I encouraged them to take a bite of the smoked brisket followed by a sip of the Rose. The men’s faces lit up with a smile; the women took a second helping. Then I encouraged them to take a sip along with a bite of the ham for a completely different experience. More smiles appeared, along with plates full of bbq and glasses being filled with the Crios.

By the end of the evening, three bottles had been emptied, all parties were asking for more and leaving the other bottles of wine untouched, and all wanted to know how difficult it would be to find it.

That’s what makes this wine even more special. The 2011 Crios de Susana Balbo Rose of Malbec is available pretty much everywhere, and you can find it between $10-13.

This is such a perfect number for the summer…it lends itself so well to summer fare of bbq, grilled chicken, salmon…as well as being an easy chilled sipper on the boat or on the back deck with friends.

With the hectic pace we find ourselves in so often, sometimes it’s good to literally ‘take time to smell the Roses.’ And in this particular case, to sip them often as well.

Cheers!

~CC

 

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