Rose’ To The Rescue!

August 15, 2018 Uncategorized  No comments

Italian insalada Mezzalune



A tough question for wine lovers  - and I realize we’ve broached this subject before – but what do you drink when it’s hotter outside (and inside too) than a wood burning pizza oven? That’s the situation for most of us living in SoCal every summer. There’s no way I want a big, stout Cabernet or Meritage  - perhaps a light Pinot could suffice,  and I’m not much of a lover of the buttery, oaky Chardonnays. That leaves us with a few refreshing as well as flavorful and complex choices – a sparkling wine, a Rhone white, a white Burgundy? I think I’ve got it – a beautiful Rose’. Chilled with aromas of white flowers, peaches and berries, and perfect with some light Italian fare. Relieved that we’ve got a choice to bring to a favorite restaurant – now what shall we pair it with – how about some light pasta dishes? Now that sounds like a summer treat. Off we go to a favorite in Palos Verdes, Gaetano’s.

This is a great Italian place with fantastic wood burning oven pizza, wonderful pastas and beautiful desserts. Being that I was bring a number of bottles of Rose’, we knew in advance that the dining choices should reflect the lighter wine – I wasn’t going to order a Pasta Bolonese or an Osso Bucco. But if someone else did, that would just be another dish that I would have to sample. Here’s what we ordered:

Salad with Baby Greens, heirloom tomatoes, olives , cucumber and reddichio, in an Extra Virgin Olive oil, Lemon and Balsamic Vinegar. Terrific salad, with just a touch of sweetness and acid from the aged Balsamic.

Mezzelune  Homemade Half Moon Ravioli stuffed with Shrimp and Scallops, served with Lobster sauce and diced Zucchini. Now this was a treat. Almost as decadent as the Alfredo, with a terrific seafood brininess and that unmistakable Lobster sauce. And that al dente’ ravioli is just fantastic.

Penne wAsparagusItalian Linguine w clamsPenne with Asparagus  Free range grilled chicken, asparagus, tomatoes, crimini mushrooms, in a parmesan, garlic and olive oil sauce. The char on the grilled chicken really made this stand out more than if it was just sautéed . And the mushrooms and asparagus gave a freshness and crispness that worked well with the acidity of the wines.

Fettucini Alfredo. Calories? Hey, sometimes you’ve got to do it just for the experience. Who doesn’t like this rich, creamy, luscious dish? However, I only eat it once every few years – but it sure is the king of indulgent meals. Some fresh ground pepper really gave it a kick, too. And, after trying this with a crisp Rose’, I can’t imagine pairing it with a heavier red.

 FettuciniItalian nutella bread puddingLinguine with Clams – who does not love this? The salty and briny clams just burst with flavor – and like how a great White Burgundy goes with seafood, the drier Campuget Rose’ really made an impression with this.

Nutella Bread Pudding. I can remember the last time I had ordered a bread pudding – and I’m most assuredly having this again!  –

And guess which wines have the perfect crispness and acidity to cut through the dense cheesiness of the Alfredo, the Penne with garlic, and the Seafood Mezzalune? That’s right – a dry and slightly sweet Rose’. Now, these wines are not as shockingly sweet as we know dessert wines can be – their sweetness is combined with a dry aftertaste for a nice balance. Of the three, the Anjou was the sweetest, with just a touch of sweetness, the Bertrand in the middle, and the Capuget was the driest. A lighter Red would also have worked – but I love finding new combinations of tastes and textures that go well together. One has got to experiment! Just like with composing music – the art of arranging is the interplay and balance of different instruments together – and it’s healthy to try new blends rather to never question the tried and true. Let’s have a deeper look at our selections. AND – all of these wines are under $15! Rose in glass

2017 Alain de la Treille Rose d’Anjou

From MAISON ALAIN DE LA TREILLE, which has been in the heart of Loire Valley since 1885.This beautiful Rosé from the Loire Valley is crisp and refreshing with vibrant aromas of strawberry and raspberry. Juicy and well-balanced and with a long finish, it is a great rose to sip as an aperitif or to pair with light spicy food, salads, poultry dishes or fresh fruits. It worked very well with everything we ordered.  50% Gamay, 50% Grolleau. From 25 year old vines.

To delve a little deeper into The Loire Valley, it’s the second largest producer of AOC rosé in France, coming in under Provence and just above the wine producers of the Rhône Valley,- and is located about 120 miles south of Paris. The Loire is next to many of France’s most famous wine regions: it’s directly north of Cognac, south of Normandy, and west of Burgundy. Anjou is famous for Rosé. – which accounts for half of the Loire’s total wine production.

2017 Chateau de Campuget “1753″ Syrah-Vermentino Rose

80% Syrah  and 20% Vermentino, from Costieres de Nimes, the most Southern Appellation of the Rhone.

“This pale salmon-hued rosé is redolent of plump white peaches, raspberries and red cherries. It’s concentrated and luscious, with a delightfully textured grip. Fresh acidity and touch of crushed-stone lend vitality to the finish.” 91 points from the Wine Enthusiast.

Winemaker’s notes – “A very sexy pale rose. The nose is full of grapefruit and exotic fruits. A delicate freshness offers a vibrant and delicate mouth with hints of red fruits.”

2017 Gerard Bertrand Cote-de-Roses Rose (Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah).

From Languedoc-Roussillon, the single largest wine producing region in the world, and the most Southern Appellation in France.

“Clean and fresh, with a delicate, balanced profile of white raspberry, cherry and lemon zest supported by lightly tangy acidity. Hints of mineral and herb show on the finish. A Provence-style rosé. Drink now. 400,000 cases made.”–- 90 points from the Wine Spectator.

Winemaker’s notes: “A soft, pale, brilliant pink with bluish tints developing over time towards more orangey nuances. The bouquet releases aromas of summer fruits, cassis and redcurrant. Floral notes of rose along with hints of grapefruit complete the picture. The finish is fresh, offering notes of candy. On the palate the impression is fresh and full, with great aromatic persistence and balance.”

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