Sunday, May 13, 2012

Cellarmistress Pinks Out!!

Every May in San Francisco, there is a lovely event that takes place at Butterfly Restaurant. The event is called "Pink Out! SF" and it is a celebration of Rosé. Rosé is a wine often misunderstood and overlooked and I beg to disagree with the non-believers. I am a huge fan of this wine. The more,the merrier! It is made of virtually every red varietal grape, in many different styles (including the dreaded, sweet White Zinfandel, which we will not talk about here...) If you can get past the stigma that pink wines have been burdened with for the past thirty plus years and realize what you have isa virtual goldmine of flavors, you too will enjoy this wine! I look forward to celebrating this event every year, albeit virtually from out in the field, but still proud to partake!

This year, samples came to me from two Sonoma County wineries: Gloria Ferrer Champagne Caves and Envolve Winery. I also received a sample from Chateau D'Esclans in the Provence (France) and Croft (Portugal). These four wines were all unique in style and distinctively different! From the serious to the not so serious...

The 2007 Gloria Ferrer Brut Rosé is just gorgeous and a wonderful example of a sparkling rosé. I had the pleasure of visiting the winery in Sonoma last Fall and enjoyed every breathtaking moment of sitting on their terrace and drinking in the view. With that in mind, this handcrafted wine is heavenly,with its hints of cranberry, strawberry and cotton candy. Off dry, perfec talone or with cheese and charcuterie. Loved it! $45.

The 2011 Chateau D'Esclans "Whispering Angel" was a breath of fresh air. From its light, iridescent color to its fresh and fruity flavors, this wine held court at my place! Handcrafted with a much higher perceived value, I was blown away at the $19 price point! Fashioned from five varietal grapes:Grenache, Rolle, Syrah, Cinsault and Tibouren and stainless steel fermented. I want more of this wine now!

I was excited to try the 2011 Envolve Winery Sonoma Mountain Rosé. For those of you who aren't familiar, if you happened to watch ABC's "The Bachelor" show on prime time earlier this year, you would have familiarized yourselves with Ben Flajnik, one of the winery's partners and winemakers. This rosé punched me in the face with its huge strawberry/raspberry/rhubarb "Jolly Rancher" flavors but I couldn't quite grasp the finish. I wasn't excited. It was a tad too sweet so I'm not understanding why they fermented it sweeter rather than drier. It would've been so much more palatable and enjoyable as a drier wine. Perhaps for future vintages? Time will tell. $24.99.

The last wine we sampled was Croft Pink Port. I was skeptical. At first sip, I didn't much care for it. I like my dessert wines with more substance.However, the next day, I made a nice Martini out of it. It makes a great mixer!In fact if you go their website, there's a link for cocktail recipes. I'm not really sure what the price point is on this one. But I can't imagine it would be pricey. Not if you're going to make cocktails with it. It was a great thought, whoever decided to create this concoction. I think it would definitely appeal to women.

So, this event has me so excited to seek out more Rosé wines!! And I plan to do that in a couple months when I visit Napa and Sonoma again! Cheers everyone! It's Summertime! Get your Pink on and Pink out!

And Gentlemen, keep in mind that we women love a man who drinks "Pink"!

A special thanks to the team at TasteLive for inviting me to participate again this year and to my great friend Katherine Parker for providing the fun"Pink Out! SF" photo.

"You Saw It Here First"...This post was created solely for"Cellarmistress' Cellar Talk" by Grace Hoffman. Grace is an Italian-born, American-bred wine blogger/educator with an all-consuming passion for wine and all it encompasses.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Rock Stars & Their Wines, Part Two: Carlos Santana Sparkles...

A couple days ago, I was one of a team of wine bloggers chosen to participate in an event called "The Wines Of MUSEXPO." MUSEXPO was an event that took place in Hollywood. An international festival bringing bands together and...WINE! Our friend, Ziggy Eschliman (better known as Sommelier to the music world and @ZiggyTheWineGal on Twitter) was our on-line hostess with the mostest and we sampled our way through an array of wines! So what does rock 'n roll have to do with wine? CHECK THIS OUT!!

Carlos Santana...Rock star extraordinaire...He delves in some serious stuff... Restaurants, shoes (yes, I happen to own a couple pairs of his designer shoes...) and BUBBLY. His relationship with Mumm Napa Winery in Napa Valley has been long standing and his latest creation, Santana Brut, has proven successful. And it is delicious! At $45 a bottle, this gorgeous sparkler (35% Pinot Noir, 65% Chardonnay) bursts with red apple, hazelnut biscotti and a huge kiss of strawberry on the finish. Light effervescent bubbles will transport you to a dark and raunchy state of mind. Guess there's a reason why he sang, "Black Magic Woman"... But the best part, part of the proceeds of your purchase of this wine goes to the Milagro Foundation, a charity that helps under privileged children. And when you're done with the bottle, you'll want to find an artsy thing to do with it because the front and back labels are fabric with the classic Santana logo and the metal cap, well...It's one of the coolest I've ever seen...So smooth!!!

Santana Brut is available at Mumm Napa Winery or online at their website, For more information about the Milagro Foundation, please check out their website at What are you waiting for? Everyone has a rock star within them! Go unleash yours and sparkle!!

"You Saw It Here First"...This post was created solely for "Cellarmistress' Cellar Talk" by Grace Hoffman. Grace is an Italian-born, American-bred wine blogger/educator with an all-consuming passion for wine and all it encompasses.