In This Issue
A rosé blooms in January
A rose blooms in January
I don't know about you, but when I think about pink wine - if I think about it much at all - it strikes me as a wine for summertime, to be sipped chilled with alfresco fare, or by itself to take the steam out of a sultry July afternoon.
But who drinks rosé in midwinter? Not me! Or not, at least, until now.
The other day, I spotted a few stray leftover bottles of last summer's best pink wine, Edmunds St. John "Bone-Jolly" Gamay Noir Rosé, looking lonely in my neighborhood wine shop.
"Summer wine," I thought, nostalgically. I shrugged and went home. Couldn't get it out of my mind. Thought about it a little more. Put my coat back on, hiked back up to the corner store and picked up a couple of bottles.
Later on, I picked up one of my treasures and held it up to the light, remembering how this rosé was no wimpy pale pink wine but a cherry-red beauty almost dark enough to pass for a red. A Pinot Noir, say.
Come to think about it, where is it written that a pink wine must be served chilled? Time to challenge the conventional wisdom!
I threw together a casual dinner of beans and smoked sausage, earthy flavors that I thought would merge well with the Gamay rosé's Beaujolais-style fruit, and popped the wine in the fridge for just a half-hour, no more, only long enough to bring it down toward cellar temperature but far from cold.
The results were splendid. The wine had aged hardly at all under its sturdy screw cap since my last tasting in April, at the peak of springtime. Serrved just cool in January, my notes were generally consistent, although the wine's acidity was more evident and a bare trace of tannin was lost. Crisp, tingling acidity is no flaw in a table wine, of course; if anything, it seemed even more food-friendly, more like a light red than a pink.
I might not try this with a lightweight, delicate rosé. But I'd gladly do it again with a sturdier pink wine, from Domaine Tempier to Mas de Gourgonnier from France or Melton Rosé of Virginia from Australia, to name a few.
Have you tried serving hearty-style rosé at warmer temperatures as a substitute for a light red wine? Tell us about your experiences on the WineLovers Discussion Group. Click this link to join the conversation:
(Everyone is free to browse the forum. If you'd like to post a comment, question or reply, you must register, but registration is free and easy. Do take care to register using your real name, or as a minimum, your real first name and last initial. Anonymous registrations are quietly discarded.)
Edmunds St. John 2006 Witters Vineyard El Dorado County "Bone-Jolly" Gamay Noir Rosé ($18.99)
Clear, pretty berry color, on the dark side for a rosé. Fresh strawberry scent and an underlying heady, tropical note reminiscent of papaya. Bone-dry, freshly acidic; mouth-watering acidity really shows at this warmer serving temperature, not that there's anything wrong with that. I noticed a faint touch of tannic astringency last spring that's not showing now, but fruit, structure and balance make this an inviting "light red" for any time of year, even a chilly January evening. (Jan. 11, 2007)
FOOD MATCH: Fine with a down-home dish of Florida butter beans turned into a quick barbecue-bean dish with smoked sausage, sauteed onions and garlic and black and red pepper.
VALUE: Bone-Jolly sells locally for a dollar or two more than the winery price, so you may be able to find it for less. I'm still willing to pay at this level for one of the best rosé wines I've ever enjoyed.
WHEN TO DRINK: As with most rosés, freshness adds to the delight. But the body, balance and character of this wine - and the sturdy screwcap - should keep it going strong for at least a couple of years and maybe more.
Gamay = "Gam-ay"
Here's a fact sheet about the Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rosé on the winery's Website:
FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Distributors in many states of the U.S., Canada, the UK and Japan are listed on this winery page:
Check prices and find vendors for Edmunds St. John Bone-Jolly Gamay and Roséon Wine-Searcher.com:
Get your first month with The California Wine Club for just $12!
Since 1990 The California Wine Club has featured the best of California's small "mom & pop" wineries. Club owners Bruce and Pam Boring tour wine country, get to know the winemaking families, then taste and choose their best wines to feature.
Exciting monthly deliveries include two bottles of award-winning wine and the club's full-color, 12-page publication, Uncorked. Experience wines you can't find in local stores and read all about the winery and California's wine scene. Uncorked includes a recipe from the winery, plus tasting notes and wine tips.
Try the club now and you'll save $34.95. Just mention The 30 Second Wine Advisor and pay only $12 for your first month! Following shipments will be $34.95 plus shipping, and you can choose to receive shipments monthly, every other month or quarterly.
Call 1-800-777-4443 to order or visit www.cawineclub.com and use promo code RENEW during checkout.
Save even more! When you taste a wine you love, reorder directly with The California Wine Club and save up to 50 percent off normal retail prices.
Talk About Wine Online
If you have questions, comments or ideas to share about today's article
or wine in general, you're always welcome to drop by our online WineLovers Discussion Group. This link will take you to the forum home page, where you can read discussions in all the forum sections:
Everyone is free to browse. If you'd like to post a comment, question or reply, you must register, but registration is free and easy. Do take care to register using your real name, or as a minimum, your real first name and last initial. Anonymous registrations are quietly discarded.
To contact me by E-mail, write firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll respond personally to the extent that time and volume permit.
PRINT OUT TODAY'S ARTICLE
Here's a simply formatted copy of today's Wine Advisor, designed to be printed out for your scrapbook or file or downloaded to your PDA or other wireless device.
This week on WineLoversPage.com
Schaefer on Wine: Hot bargains from seaside Chile
Veramonte Winery in Chile's Casablanca Valley was founded in 1990 and built the winery in 1998; the vineyard land previously was either fallow or used for cattle grazing. Veramonte has become the Chilean poster boy for over-achievement, both in terms of offering quality wine and good value.
Our Internet radio "TalkShoe": German Wines, Part III
Today, back by popular request, David Bueker's German Wines series will take us further into this little-charted galaxy. The RieslingFan will discuss, among other things: How German Rieslings age; dry German wines; German wines other than Riesling, and German wine labels redux. Tune in to Monday's Internet Radio TalkShoe at Noon US EDT (9 a.m. Pacific, 6 p.m. in Western Europe). See the TalkShoe page for information about tuning in:
All our previous TalkShoes, including last week's discussion on wine value, are available for listening or downloading from the archives. Click to listen!
WineLovers Discussion Group: California wines over the top?
A controversial Los Angeles Times interview with Ojai Vineyard's wine maker Adam Tolmach suggests that some California producers are ready to challenge the trend toward very high-alcohol "blockbuster" wines and the critics who love them. But was Tolmach misquoted? Join a conversation about this article and its fallout on our WineLovers Discussion Group:
Netscape/Compuserve Community Poll: Libation to warm a winter night
Frosty January evenings call for something strong and warming in your glass. What's your favorite for contemplative fireside sipping? Port, Sherry, Madeira, Marsala, Cognac? Tell us your pleasure and see how others "vote" in this week's online poll!
Last Week's Wine Advisor Index
The Wine Advisor's daily edition is usually distributed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (and, for those who subscribe, the FoodLetter on Thursdays). Here's the index to last week's columns:
Mosby goes to Italy (Jan. 11, 2008)
Good year for GV? (Jan. 9, 2008)
Cork, screw cap, glass stopper? (Jan. 7, 2008)
Complete 30 Second Wine Advisor archive:
Wine Advisor FoodLetter: Coq au Riesling (Jan. 10, 2008)
Wine Advisor Foodletter archive: