Charmeroy Brut Rose, NV France

“Ain’t nobody dope as me, I taste so fresh and clean…”

"don't you think I'm so sexy, I'm dressed so fresh and clean!"

"I love when you stare at me, I taste so fresh and clean."

A moment of sheer genius struck me two days ago as we revisited this wine with the staff- there is NOBODY as dope as this Brut Rose, it’s just SO fresh and CLEAN!!   I can’t stand it.  What is it about Champagne (actually, this is technically a sparkling wine) that makes it so freaking perfect for SO many occasions?  here’s one occasion that occurred last weekend in Edisto:

this guy is maybe *not* so fresh and clean... but the wine is.

Beach?  Bubbles!  Trying to get a jump start on Christmas shopping online?  Bubbles!  A small or large Holiday get-together?  Bubbles!  Friday afternoon?  Thursday at lunchtime?  Bubbles.  Especially pink ones.   And especially THESE.

What’s so good about this?  Well, it smells like strawberries and cream, raspberries, and sweet tarts.  It has a delicate mousse (or bubbly-ness, in technical terms), a lovely thirst quench, and a hint of tart green apple on finish.  And as it turns out, it’s quite an interesting blend of grapes: Merlot, Pinot Noir and a little bit of Chenin Blanc.  Not your typical sparkler, that’s for sure.  The best part?  It’s affordable!  Like super-affordable!  We’ll be slingin’ it at this Saturday’s (10/29) wine sale from 12-2 for 11 bucks!  

Just to temp you even more, doesn’t it look inviting in this frosty glass?

mmmm... pink n' frothy.

I’m pretty stoked that I got to combine two of my favorite things, Outkast and Pink Bubbly in one blog post!  I would pay a large sum of money to see Andre 3000 and Big Boi together.  A girl can dream.  Until then, at least I have scratched old CD’s and Charmeroy Brut Rose.  Can’t make it to the sale on Saturday?  This little pinky is also By The Glass, and will definitely be making an appearance at our next Champagne Tuesday!

Alma Negra Sparkling Rose of Malbec, 09 Argentina

Okayokayokay.  I promise this will be the last Rose post for a while.  And for the record, this is a Rose sparkling, NOT strictly a Rose, so it’s a totally different category.  The first step was admitting I have a problem.  But honestly, I chose today’s wine based on what I feel like sipping on right now.  And it happens to be slightly pink in color.  Can you blame me?  It’s noon on Monday afternoon.  I’m chilling at Cellar listening to Fleet Foxes on Pandora.  And doing a little bit of work, too, I guess.  It’s truly a perfect storm of Rose necessity.

Okay, so I lied  a wee bit.  I didn’t just pick this wine for today  because I felt like drinking it, I also picked it because it’s awesome and different!  And I just found out it got 89 points from Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar.  So that’s cool, too.  And check out the spooky dude on the bottle!  He must be the one with the black soul (alma negra = black soul).  Yikes!

Well, black as his soul might be, this wine’s soul is anything but!  Winemaker Ernesto Catena is sort of a badass to begin with, and his other line- Tikal– produces some of my all time favorite big, nasty Argentine reds.  The Almanegra line is just a baby- started in 2003.  When I first opened this bottle, I was expecting a bold, bright pink wine- seeing as it’s Malbec and new-worldy.  But I was to be surprised!  Check out it’s fairly delicate, light salmon coloring:

perty.

Cute, lively notes of sweet tarts and candied strawberries are a-plenty.  Light and fresh, with additional aromas of rhubarb, raspberries and fresh biscuits.  Sort of reminiscent of a summertime strawberry shortcake.  But one of those semi-sweet, crunchy shortcake biscuits, not a sticky sweet fluffy one.  I like those.  Light on its loafers, but offering a lengthy and elegant finish.

We sold the bejeezus out of this wine last Tuesday night during Champagne Tuesday!  And we likely will again tomorrow night.

What?  you haven’t been to Champagne Tuesday?  I find this hard to believe, first of all- but you need to get in on the action because every Tuesday night at Cellar we pour glasses of champage, cava, prosecco, and anything else that sparkles for half-off!  Flocks of females flood Cellar with a burning desire for frothy bubbles.  Did you like that alliteration?  I thought it was fun.  I really don’t know why I’m plugging Champagne Tuesday on here, because it stays busy with little to no help from moi.  BUT it is a perfect opportunity for you to try THIS WINE for $4 a glass!  Then you can whisk away a bottle to take home for $18.  It’ll be a good start to your week, and a good way to celebrate that we FINALLY made it to August, which means there’s only two more months of summer to go.  Yes, September counts as summer.  It’s still hot.

Las Lilas Vinho Verde Rose, 2010 Portugal

“My name is Kaitlin, and I am a Rose Addict.”  Ahhh… it feels good to admit it.  I am powerless to resist the charms of Rose this summer.  It’s all I want.  I try to want other wines, I really do.  But when you hit on something as delicious as this Vinho Verde Rose, and it costs a ridiculous $10, it’s hard to fathom drinking anything else.

Check out it’s gorgeous, almost electric pink color!  She’s a purty one.  The color itself is just screaming “drink me!”  Something this vibrant in color just has to be delicious!  And it is.  It’s fresh and quenching the way a Vinho Verde was intended to be, but offers exciting flavors of strawberry soda, watermelon, and fizzy sweet tarts.  Its finish has a perfect lip-smacking “grip” that makes you feel instantly refreshed!

What to pair with this wine?  Hmmm.  How about a 100-degree day?  We have no shortage of those around here.  Or maybe a pool?  a lake?  the beach?  or just a back porch?  I know, I know- I’ve said all these things before.  But I feel very passionately that this Rose should be consumed at all of those places.  I know from experience!  Of course, I’ve also consumed it in boring places like my couch.  Which miraculously became extremely un-boring once I added a glass of Las Lilas!  It’s true, you must try it.

Here’s a shameful moment in my life as a Rose drinker that I’d like to share; I feel compelled to purge myself and just give in to my total and complete Rose obsession- because at this point, there’s nothing else to be done.  So there may have been a bottle of Las Lilas in my refrigerator at some point recently, and I may have been reaching for the cream for my morning coffee, when…  I glanced at Las Lilas and suddenly thought “that would taste good right now.”  I should also admit- I don’t do much before I’ve had coffee- including talk to people.  But this thought entered my head with 100% seriousness.  So deep is my devotion to pink wine, and this wine in particular, that I really thought about having some first thing in the morning.  And that concludes the How Big of a Lush am I? portion of this entry.

If this goes on much longer, I might turn into this:

help me! I love Rose too much!

“I just really love this wine… I want it on a porch… I want it in a pool… I want to taste it all the time!!  …and… wait a minute, what I really want to say is… *sniffff*… Oh, I’m SORRY, I was just thinking about how much I love this WINE… again!   and I just got all choked up when I thought of all the people out there that haven’t tried it!  aaaand… who might LOVE it the way I do!  I mean, there’s so much bad wine out there, and this one just needs people to LOVE it!  that’s all it needs!  *blows nose* ..ohhh, I just can’t handle iiiit!”

Does anyone know if that video is for real??

Lastly, you can sample this wine tomorrow, July 9th from 12-2 at Cellar’s big ‘ol wine sale from 12-2!  Or any night of the week, as it’s by the glass.  For a while.  Maybe forever.

A big fat ROSE post!!

Oh, sweet Jesus thank you for Rose!  Warning: if you are under the impression that pink wine sucks, you can stop reading right about now.  Or I should say- if you are firmly resolute in that belief, and have no desire to think otherwise, then you can stop reading.  However, if you are willing to consider (just consider!) that your long clung-to belief that pink wine sucks MIGHT be slightly inaccurate, than READ ON!  Because I just might change your mind.  I’m pretty determined about this.

The kids.

Why do I like pink wine so much?  Hmm.  Let me examine that one.  One of the reasons I like pink wine is because it reminds me of warm sunny days and relaxation.  There is something carefree about a pink bottle of wine, it just screams “forget about all those little annoying things about life and just drink me.”  Does this identify me as a procrastinator?  Well, yes, I am.  It doesn’t take a bottle of pink wine to make me want to procrastinate.  But it’s not just about procrastination or warm sunny days.  It’s more about slowing down to actually just do one.thing.at.a.time.  Which isn’t always easy.  So I’m by no means suggesting that you blow off all your responsibilities and jet off to the nearest pool to drink rose and not give a F*@% about anything.  But a rose to me suggests setting aside a small block of time to just do ONE thing, and that thing is gently sip a glass of rose.  Notice how pretty it’s color is, how frosty and inviting the bottle is, contemplate all the lovely fruits you taste in it.  Call it a meditation if you want.  So maybe that’s why I like pink wine.  It reminds me to slow down and enjoy.

Yesterday was a good day for me, as you can see by all the open bottles pictured above!  This is possibly the first of many posts about Rose in store for you this summer.  First in line we have my personal favorite, the Charles & Charles Rose of Syrah, 2010 Washington State.  As you can tell, it has the lightest, most delicate coloring.  But don’t you dare call it a pansy.  This just released wine is sleek, sexy and polished.  It has pretty femininity, with a masculine edge.  How, you ask?  You’ll taste lovely notes of raspberry, sour cherry and pomegranate.  Then you’ll notice some exciting hints of herbs and leaves.  It’ll hit you with a nice dose of acidity and minerality, and then at the very end?  a touch of strawberries and cream.  Ahhhhh.  I love it.  Crisp, refreshing, and an awesome looking bottle to boot.  Goes on by the glass tonight, and retails for $13.

This one’s a fun one- just look at the name!  Gaga Rose, 2009 California (retail $11).  This was the most fruit-forward of today’s bunch, with a somewhat sweet finish.  Ripe, ripe, ripe red fruits to be found here; watermelon, red cherries, strawberries and a faint aroma of herbal tea.  All fruit all the time once you taste it, too- plus be prepared for some yummy flavors of watermelon Jolly Ranchers!  Now, I can’t tell you what to do, but I think this one in particular would make a great gift for that 20-something year old niece, daughter, sister, friend, whatever-of-yours that’s graduating this weekend!  It will make you seem very hip and in tune with what the “kids” are into these days.  Plus, nothing says “welcome to the real world” like wine!

Next on the list is the Bodegas Tikalo Albaliza Rosado, 2010 Spain.  I like this wine for it’s sturdy simplicity, nice marriage of fruit and dryness, and of course, PRICE (retail $9!).  It has a nice deep color and is made of Tempranillo, Garnacha and Cabernet.  It’s fruit offers a little more tartness- think cranberries, with notes of rose petals, spice and a palate-pleasing “quench.”  I’m a big fan of this one as an everyday go-to Rose, and perfect for entertaining given it’s friendly pricetag.  You will most certainly find this one at this Saturday’s Wine Sale at Cellar from 12-2 if you wish to experience it for yourself!

Last but not least, we must include a Rose bubbly!  Life is not complete without pink bubbles.  This one has been a favorite of mine for quite some time, and we also just put it on by the glass.  So, you know how everyone likes Champagne?  Well, it turns out, they make sparkling wine in France that’s NOT just from the Champagne region.  And often, it represents some of the best value out there AND can often be more delicious (in my opinion) than a “true” Champagne.  Such is the case with the Marquis de la Tour Brut Rose, NV Loire Valley.  I especially love sparkling from the Loire, and this little guy is made by Remy Pannier, one of the better known and well-respected Loire valley producers.  It’s a pretty salmon color, and has a delicate, fresh palate of strawberries and peaches, perfect mousse, and a round mouthfeel.  It makes a perfect party guest and will please the masses fo’ sho!  And you can party with it all night long, too- cuz it only costs $11! 

Soooo… what do you say?  you’ll give pink wine a try?  Pretty please?  Here’s one last plea- well, not so much a plea as a statement of fact- and it comes with every case of Charles & Charles Rose (yes, you can have one, but only if you buy a case):

Grey Stack Rose, 2009 California

I never thought the day would come- the end of summer is *in sight*!  Granted, we still have another good 6 weeks of the heat to look forward to, but it IS in sight!  I don’t know about anyone else, but this summer has been one of the most uncomfortable that I can remember.  Constant air conditioning problems at the restaurants have not helped.  So, in celebration of the Summer of Rose coming to a close, I give you one more Rose to get you through the next few weeks!  This one is freaking fantastic, too.

Here it is on my ottoman, unglamorously posing next to my purse, headphones, and a Mr. Friendly’s t-shirt.  And yes Mom, I know I really shouldn’t sit beverages on the ottoman because they might spill.  I’m living on the edge this morning.  Hopefully no one can tell that my wine glass has some watermarks on it, too.  What can I say, I ain’t perfect.  Here’s a slightly better picture that I took at the restaurant the other day:

But dear God if this isn’t as close to a perfect of a California Rose as you could find!  I can’t think of a better way to start my Friday then with a little Johnny Cash, a pound cake in the oven, and sneaking in a little half-glass of Rose before I’m even out of my pajamas!  I mean, come on- it’s Friday the 13th!  That definitely calls for wine before noon.  Get this- only 110 cases of this stuff were made! That’s ridiculous considering it’s $18 price tag.  I know, I know… sometimes $18 seems like a lot.  Poor Grey Stack has sat completely ignored at our last two Saturday wine sales because it’s surrounded by $8-$10 bottles.  Sad, sad, sad.  It’s seriously been one of the best wines on the table and I don’t know if we’ve sold one bottle.  Don’t get me wrong- I love an $8 bottle of wine as much as the next guy, but when a wine is this good $18 is a pittance.  You won’t find it anywhere else, either.

But I guess now that I’ve talked it up, I should tell you what it tastes like! It’s a blend of 55% Grenache, 35% Syrah, and 10% Viognier, just to mix it up a little.  Amazingly fresh and vibrant, you inhale a gush of fresh, juicy watermelon as soon as you take a whiff.  The kind of watermelon you daydream about in mid-February when you haven’t seem the sun in a week and it won’t quit raining. Now I’m starting to feel bad that I’m hating on Summer.  I love Summer’s ripe fruits and general carefree attitude.  But you gots to admit, these Columbia summers can be a bit much.  Back to the wine- watermelon and strawberries dominate the fruit characteristic, with hints of melon, grapefruit, and a beautiful floral bouquet thanks to the Viognier addition.  After several deep inhales, I got some lovely notes of Vanilla, too.  Natural, clean Vanilla Bean.  Yum.

Instead of a celebrity, I’m going to associate this song with perhaps my favorite Summer memory- I was thinking of it last night, and in an interesting coincidence, it just came on my Pandora station as I sit here- no lie!  Summer of 2005 at Telluride Bluegrass festival- one of the most amazing places of Earth, or at least the continental US- Emmylou Harris and … I’ll be darned if I can remember who she was singing with, but I was probably the likes of Jerry Douglas- singing The Weight as the sun set over the mountains.  I was with a good friend who had almost missed the set and I told him how glad I was that he was there for it.  He said “Me too” and gave me a big hug (mind you, he’s not much of a hugger).  This wine should make you want to “take a load off”, take a deep breath, and have people you care about around.  I really wish I had a good picture I could upload- but here’s one I found that *almost* does that moment justice…. In the meantime, enjoy some wine as the summer dies, hopefully you’ll give Grey Stack a try!  Ciao!

Oscar Edition- Domaine de Nizas Rose, 2008

Yes, that’s right- another Rose.  Two weeks in a row.  I wasn’t kidding when I said I was going to drink Rose every day until Spring decides to stay.  Today was nice, but I’m still holding out for a nice 70 degrees.  You may as well know- I go through phases a lot, and right now I’m in a Rose phase.  Call it the phase, call it whatever, BUT the Mulderbosch Rose and this Domaine de Nizas Rose from Languedoc (aka The ‘Doc) are two of the BEST wines I’ve had recently- and they’re as different as night and day!  Which is why I love wine.

Alright- I know it says “Ricky’s Pick”- but it’s my pick, too!  We like the same things a lot of times.  But I always pronounce them properly (inside joke).  Actually, I really don’t know how to pronounce Nizas.  Somehow Nih-zus doesn’t sound right.  Maybe Nee-zus?  Either way it’s an awkward word.  Those darn French!  If the wine wasn’t so good I’d hold it against them!

So, if the Mulderbosch Rose was a “manly” Rose, this Nizas Rose is it’s lovely female companion.  If it were to take the form of a dress (in honor of the fact that I’m watching the Oscars as I write), it would definitely be Jennifer Lopez’s iridescent pink, beautifully sculptural dress.  I’m really not her *biggest* fan, but I do think that dress was amazing!  Feminine, yet strongly shaped and a little exotic and with a nice flair.  Kudos to J-Lo for that one.  Here it is in case you missed it…

But I digress- the point is- THIS ROSE IS UNBELIEVABLE!!  In case I didn’t beat it into your head with the Mulderbosch post- Rose is SO GOOD!  and remember- not all pink wine is White Zinfandel!  Feminine really is the operative word- it’s delicate, with notes of dried berries, cherries, white flowers, hint of spice, some white chocolate, and a simply beautiful mouthfeel.  The winemaker’s notes call it “vibrant, crisp and dry” and I can’t really improve on that succinct wording.  One of my favorite words- quaffable- I’ll throw that in here.  This is quaffable wine.  An extremely awkward word that means it’s pleasant and easy to drink.  But when else does one get to say quaffable?

And PS- Wine Spectator!  I am pissed at you for only giving this 88 points!  88 points is decent, but you’re waaay off on this one.  It costs an unbelievable $15, and that fact alone, combined with how freaking good it is, makes it deserving of a 90-point rating.  It’s only a 2-point difference, but I’m still sour about it.

Happy sipping, DRINK ROSE!

Another PS- I’m going to VEGAS this week, so keep an eye on my tweets (@winesnobsc) and be prepared to drool over all the wine I’ll be drinkin’!

Mulderbosch Rose of Cabernet, 2009 South Africa

Welcome to another edition of Wine Snobbery!  It is not noon, for once, as I write this- it is about 10:30 and I’m enjoying my post-work ritual which involves listening to laundry dry while I half-watch something bad on television.  Tonight it is “16 and Pregnant.”  There are so many things I could say about this show, but I will leave it at- don’t be a hater- you know it’s addictive.  Besides, I have a few brain cells to spare.

Let me start by saying that I am extremely ready for Spring, and so I’m ushering it in by drinking rose every day until it’s here!  Who would have thought that someone who grew up in Connecticut and went to college in Vermont could tire so quickly of a South Carolina “winter?”  But let me tell you- I’ve hated every second of this winter, with the exception of the beautiful snowfall we had a week or so ago.  That was nice.

But rose is the perfect Spring wine!  And THIS one in particular will really command your attention.  It is in no way wimpy.  You could even say it’s manly, even though it’s pink.  News flash, fellas- it’s okay to drink pink wine.  Not all pink wine is white zinfandel.  I think a good rose can be some of the most interesting, thought-provoking wine out there.  It’s a constant dichotomy between the fact that it’s pink- which makes people dismiss it- and the fact that it’s not quite white wine, and not quite red wine, but somewhere in the middle, in a somewhat unchartered territory for many people.

Here it is on my couch- I like to live dangerously by precariously perching the wine glass on the couch beside me for it’s photo opp, mostly because I am perfectly positioned and don’t want to get up.  Here’s a better photo that I thieved off another person’s blog-

You can really see just what a beautiful color this wine is- a brilliant strawberry red.  It’s nose is wonderfully fragrant- wild strawberry, lavender, rose petals, watermelon rind, grapefruit, and tropical fruits.  There is a hint of something clean, fresh and soapy to the palate- in a good way.  I am borderline obsessing over how good this stuff is- I’ve been sitting here for an hour and I can’t stop myself from now and then picking up the glass and exclaiming to myself- GOD this is good.  What I love most about it is that it has an air of sophistication and sexiness to it- an edge of herbs and grass on the finish that just make it so INTERESTING.  I love an interesting wine.  It’s like finding out a man (or woman, I guess) has some kind of obscure hobby- like, oh yeah- I rebuild old cars in my spare time and I specialize in Volkswagon Squarebacks- want to see?  Random and pleasantly surprising!

We’re currently pouring this by-the-glass at Cellar on Greene, so if you come in and let us know you read this blog, we’ll treat you to a free taste (or two)!  OR, you could always stop in to the Wine Sale this Saturday the 27th, where you can purchase a bottle for $15!  12-2 PM, like always!  I will be out of town, but it should be a good one.

In the mean time, PRAY for SPRING!  And drink rose!  Happy drinking, y’all!