Keep Your Eyes open for these upcoming Events

Check out what is happening October 27th! It's a field trip!
More Info to Come, just starting to gather info now. Plan is to rent a van and have it tote us around, stopping at Tequesta Brewing Company, Bx Beer Depot, World of Beers, Due South and do tastings at each location. Like I say, I am just starting to do the legwork now, so just save the date state.
Let me know as soon as you know you are interested so I can plan accordingly
the cost of this event will be in the range of $30-$35. Purchasing beer at the stops will not be included so that you can budget your flights or single pints for yourself. Your price will include a delicious "lining your bellies" lunch at the Serenity Garden Tea House and your transportation for the day. Timeline and More to come

Thursday, July 7, 2011

We are ahead of the Trend

Given our recent pairing featuring Rose' the following New York Times Article Charles sent me shows us to be a cutting edge group of gulpers:

Check it out:  (note: at the end of the article there is a great list of Rose's to give a try)

Roses of a Different Color
New York Times, The (NY) - Wednesday, July 6, 2011
THE weather is hot, and, yes indeed, the wine is pink. If you have even the slightest doubt, let me assure you: rose madness continues.

Don't take my word for it. Listen to what the wine professionals say, both retail and restaurant.

"We can't keep it in the store," said Kerin Auth, an owner of Tinto Fino, a Spanish wine shop in the East Village.

Victoria Levin, general manager of the Tangled Vine, a wine bar on the Upper West Side, said she continually needed to replenish her rose supply.

"I can't stop," she said. "I have six on the list and I'm always running out. People are going insane!"

The occasion for our conversation was a recent tasting of roses -- make that rosados -- from Spain. Kerin and Victoria joined Florence Fabricant and me to sample 20 bottles from all around Spain. But before we even began tasting, the discussion turned to the continuing American love affair with pink-hued wines.

In a way, an element of insanity, or at least irrationality, has shaped the craze. A decade ago, wine professionals were determined to persuade American consumers to overcome a shared belief that rose was the Full Cleveland of wine, as declasse as a sedan on blocks in the front yard. They did their job so effectively that an intervention may now be in order to rein consumers back from their conviction that rose equals great.

Far be it from me to discourage people from drinking rose. That's not at all my intention. I love rose, but some discrimination is in order. We had the evidence right there in front of us, in the 20 rosados in hues far darker than the familiar pale salmon common in Provencal roses.

These rosados were as inconsistent as any group of wines I've recently come across, maybe even more so. As many of the wines as we did like, we found just as many that we did not, a higher proportion than ordinary in our wine panel tastings.

What was the problem? Perhaps it was a question of expectations. We reflexively expect roses to be light, dry and fresh, not inconsequential but lithe and agile enough for lunchtime drinking. Instead, we found too many wines that were chunky with powerful fruit flavors, residual sugar or high alcohol; that lacked energy; and that, on a terrace in the noonday sun, would essentially go down like a fat splat of overripe fruit thudding onto concrete.

That was the bad news. But there were a fair number of zesty, tangy wines that may not conform to the Provencal ideal but are fascinating enough to deserve recalibrating one's expectations.

For one thing, these wines are often great values. Only two of our favorites cost $20 or more (more on those later). Of the other eight, only two cost as much as $15, while two were less than $10. Our No. 1 bottle, in fact, the snappy, refreshing 2010 Ros de Pacs from Pares Balta, was also our best value at the exceptionally low price of $11. This, my friends, is a good deal.

The wine is from the Penedes region, west and slightly south of Barcelona, where Pares Balta has grown grapes for more than two centuries. Clearly, though, the composition of this Rosado, from international grapes like syrah, merlot and cabernet sauvignon, comes from a relatively recent planting. As with many of these rosados, this one had a touch of residual sugar, but the sweetness was so well balanced by the acidity that the overall effect was greatly refreshing.

No. 2 was the 2010 Garnacha Rosado from Campos de Enanzo in Navarra, dark but steely, tangy and earthy. It's made out of garnacha (or grenache, as the French say), a grape that can easily yield the sort of big, powerful roses that we didn't care for, but when grown and made carefully, a garnacha rose like this one can be awfully attractive.

Our No. 3 bottle was the outlier in this tasting, the 2000 Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia, a wine that I love and that was instantly recognizable in the blind tasting. For one thing, how many roses are not even released until they have been aged a decade or so? Very, very few. Most roses are best when they are at their freshest. But Lopez de Heredia clings, almost alone, to the traditional Rioja practice of aging the wines before releasing them.

The result is thoroughly distinctive, a coppery orange wine with a captivating texture and flavors of coconuts and minerals. Despite some discussion that the 2000 was not the best vintage for this wine, it's a steal at $24, expensive perhaps compared with the others in the tasting, but not for a serious 11-year-old bottle.

Almost all the wines in the tasting were from northeastern Spain, with two exceptions, which both made our top 10. Our No. 4 bottle, the 2009 Los Bermejos, was from Lanzarote, the easternmost of the Canary Islands, less than 70 miles from Africa. This has to be one of the most unusual places on earth to grow grapes. The vines hug the ground in hollows scooped out of black volcanic soil. Half-moon stone walls are constructed on the windward sides of the hollows to protect the vines from the constant blowing.

The wine itself, made entirely from the listan negro grape, is stonily dry and very refreshing, with floral aromas and rocky mineral flavors that make you feel as if you can hear the sea, a wonderful quality in a rose. This was the $20 wine, a price that seems understandable given the cost of labor and shipping.

The other wine from outside the northeast was our No. 7 bottle, the 2010 Olivares from Jumilla, in southeastern Spain, made largely of monastrell, or mourvedre. It was big and juicy and almost the color of maraschino cherries, yet pleasantly tangy.

As part of recalibrating one's expectations, it would probably be wise to think about what to eat with these rosados, which are bigger and fruitier than the norm. "Maybe not with shrimp or a salad," Victoria said, "but maybe with richer food, like burgers on a grill."

Why not? The market is already saturated with light, flirty roses. These rosados are for committed red-wine drinkers.

Tasting Report


Par--[COPYRIGHT]s Balt---- Pened--(R)s, $11, *** '--

Ros de Pacs 2010

Snappy and refreshing with an aroma of strawberries and stony mineral flavors. (Broadbent Selections, San Francisco)

Campos de Enanzo Navarra, $12, ***

Garnacha Rosado 2010

Cherry red color, dry and steely with tangy, earthy flavors. (C.&.P Wines, New York)

L----pez de Heredia Rioja, $24, ***

Vi--$(1$)a Tondonia Rosado 2000

Serious and age-worthy with coconut, nut and mineral flavors; an unmistakable classic. (Think Global Wines, Santa Barbara, Calif.)

Los Bermejos, $20, ***

Lanzarote Rosado 2009

Coppery red with floral, earthy aromas and fresh, stony flavors. (Jos--[COPYRIGHT] Pastor Selections/Vi--$(1$)os & Gourmet)

Borsao, $8, ** '--

Campo de Borja 2010

Delicate pink, with light fruit aromas and lingering flavors of cherries and earth. (Jorge Ordonez/Tempranillo, New Rochelle, N.Y.)

Castellroig Pened--(R)s Rosat, $15, ** '--

Vi de Terrer 2010

Dry and full-bodied, with light fruit flavors. (C.&.P Wines)

Olivares, $12, **

Jumilla Rosado 2010

Juicy, ripe and tangy, with earthy fruit flavors. (The Rare Wine Company, Vineburg, Calif.)

CUNE, $15, **

Rioja Rosado 2009

Earthy and floral with flavors of nuts and herbs; slightly hot from alcohol. (Europvin U.S.A., Van Nuys, Calif.)

Julian Chivite Navarra, $12, **

Gran Feudo Rosado 2010

Light, dry and refreshing with subtle fruit flavors. (Spanish Wine Collection, Congers, N.Y.)

Nekeas Navarra, $9, **

Vega Sindoa Rosado 2010

A trifle dense and heavy, but with attractive chalky flavors. (Jorge Ordo--$(1$)ez/Tempranillo) 

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