Monday, July 30, 2012

 The Gig Harbor Food and Wine Festival which is held in July had plenty of wineries, food, seminars and demonstrations; the sun was heating up the day so they were pouring primarily Rosé and white wines. The Rosé gets a bad rap from its past, comparing it to the sickening sweet “Blush” wines of long ago.  The Rose’ coming out now, you don’t need to be ashamed to admit you like.
The Rosé wine producers continue to improve the quality and array of flavors and outstanding versions are coming out now; some of the best are dry, crisp and refreshing.  The Rosé color comes from the short amount of time that the skins of the grape stay in contact with the juices…only a few hours.  Since they are fermented and aged in stainless steel to preserve the freshness, you will find the Rosé has little tannins.

While the sun is shining, Rosé has proved to be a refreshing option to pour.  Such as the Rosé of Cabernet Franc from Columbia Valley by Masquerade Wine Company in Bellingham; this has a soft, dry fruit flavor.  Cougar Crest Winery from Walla Walla has a Grenache Rosé, which is crisp and refreshing with just a touch of delicate sweetness. 
I have a favorite Rosé that I was only able to find at my local restaurant.  However, with the new Washington State liquor laws, I can now purchase it at my local super market. It is the Gris de Nabor 2009, a French Rosé by Chateau St Nabor which is made using Tempranillo, Grenache and Cinsault.  This Rosé is dry and smooth and I have enjoyed this served with southern fried chicken as well as a summer seafood salad.
When summer ends don’t give up your favorite Rosé, it can be used like sparkling wine.  Try pairing them with fish or any kind of salty meat. A wide variety can be found from most wine growers and regions so go out and pick up a Rosé and get reacquainted.  Cheers...D

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My husband and I took part in the Bainbridge Uncorked Weekend in June….who knew there were these great wineries on Bainbridge island.  Wow, what a surprise in our own backyard!
Our first stop was at Eleven winery; nestled in the trees was their tasting room and winery.  Eleven is named for the smallest cog in the rear cluster on a racing bike.  The founder and wine maker was a bicycle racer, which you will notice when you walk into the tasting room and see that bicycles are decorating the walls. 
This was my first time to try a Roussanne, which is commonly grown in the south of France.  What a treat, I was so happy with our first stop on the wine tour with just my first sip.  Another one on their list I sampled was the 2009 La Ronde, a blend of Syrah, Mourvedre, Petit Verdot and Malbec, a winner of a Double Gold medal at the Seattle Wine Awards.  This is a very bold, yet smooth wine with a complex ripple across your tongue to wake up your taste buds.

Another great stop was at Rolling Bay winery, the greeting at the door was like being welcomed into someone’s kitchen.     The people I meet along the way are the part of wine tasting that I really enjoy most; the common ground, passion and individuality of each person I meet just adds to the experience. The Winemaker was even so generous as to give us a barrel tasting, which to me is like taking a peak at a baby sleeping…very special.
At Rolling Bay the first pour I had was of their 2011 Fusion which is a Pinot Gris and Chardonnay blend. This is a beautiful, fruit forward blend, with a smooth finish and “fusion” of flavors.   They had a Rose’ on their list, I had to give that a try,  Rose’s  that are coming out of wineries these day are a whole new experience than what I had in my early years of twist tops….. It proved to be wonderful.  My favorite was their 2009 Cuvee Aldaro which is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc and Merlot.  I really enjoyed the complex flavor that showed through the length.
We next went to Amelia Wynn winery which was also a very personable experience.  The wine maker Paul Bianchi was so gracious as to give me a barrel tasting of his Reisling and Malbec.  I purchased their 2009 Sangiovese, which also won a Double Gold Medal at the Seattle Wine Awards.  I purchased this because Sangiovese was my first love…of red wines that is.
 Go take a drive out to Bainbridge Island; if you can’t make it during one of the wine tour weekends, there is a wine tasting room in town where you can sample the Island out on your own.   Cheers...Denise