wine

Looking through pink colored glasses. Rosé!

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French: Rosé, Spanish: Rosado Italy: Rosato.

Who doesn’t like a good rosé?

How is Rosé made?

Rosé’s can be made in a couple of different ways. I have read so many different and contradictory things on how Rosé is produced that I decided just to add some of the definitions from what I researched. I am definitely not a wine producer so let’s just have some fun with this. In life, things don’t actually have to be so complex unless you are really the wine producer.

A simple rule is that rosé’s normally get their reddish tone from the skin of a red grape. The process in which the wine is extracted is where some differences lie.

Rose’s are generally produced through a skin-contact method. Normally the dark grapes are crushed with the skins in contact for a short period of time. The longer the skins are left in contact with the juice, the more intense the color. Some processes for extracting the color are the following:

Bleeding – is one of the best methods to use for a quality rose. The juice is obtained through stacking the grapes in a tank and using the weight of the grape to crush the grapes. The juice comes in contact with the grape skin for a short period of time allowing for that subtle red tinge to the wine. This method produces a very light colored rose. Rose’s produced by this method are said to have a fruity, fresh and very rich taste to them.

Limited Maceration – The skins of the grapes are left in contact with the juice until the winemaker has decided that they are happy with the color of the wine. Generally this is the most common used technique for producing rose. Probably close to the Bleeding effect.

Quick Note: To macerate is to soften by soaking, and maceration is the process by which the red wine receives its red color.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maceration_%28wine%29  in Rose, maceration is allowed between the must and the stems in a limited fashion as to attain the color most desired.

Blending – Yes, I will list this method, although I truly hope I never have to drink or encounter someone who drinks this type of wine. This process is the simple mixing of red and white wine to impart the color. It is uncommon and discouraged in most wine growing regions. In France it is forbidden by law except for the production of Champagne.

Range of color

The tinge of a rose wine can range from a pale light pink “onion skin” to a dark red almost bright purple tone depending on the wine variety and technique used to make the wine.

In Provence the main colors are:

Melon or Cantaloupe Color

Peach

Mandarin

Red Currant

Grapefruit

Mango

Are you a sweetie?

Rosé’s range from sparkling, to sweet and dry. It all depends again on the grape varietal and technique adopted to make the wine. Normally Old World Rose (generally produced in Europe) will tend to be on the dry side while New World rosé’s (everywhere else) will be less dry to almost sweet. Obviously this is the norm but doesn’t mean there are exceptions to the rule. You might fine some very European style wines in California and some sweeter, high sugar wines from Europe. This is just a little helper for when you are out looking for a good rosé and don’t know where to start.

Price Range?

Rosé’s are normally well priced. You can find some very decent, respectable ones for under $15.00 at places like Trader Joes, Total Wine and maybe even Costco. There is also a nice range of $15-25 ones that are very smooth and delicious to have with this warm summer weather we are having right now in Southern California. I personally enjoy a nice rosé from Provence with a pale light color and hints of Grapefruit and hibiscus.

Tastes/Flavor?

Some of the common tastes/flavors known to rosé’s are: Grapefruit, Strawberry, Hibiscus, Rose Petal, Cherry, Mint, Dark pepper jam, Black pepper, Bell Pepper

Examples
rose picutre
  • Garnacha Rose
  • Cotes du Rhone Rose
  • Provence Rose
  • Sangiovese Rose
  • Mourvedre Rose
  • Pinot Noir Rose
Serving Temperature

Cool Room Temperature (53-63 °F / 12-19 °C)

Food Pairing Affinities

Spicey Dishes, Fried Chicken, Mexican Food, Roast Pork, Middle Eastern dishes but really just about anything goes well with a Rose. Rose is one of my favorite Spring & Summer Wines.

Here are just a couple from Paso that I have enjoyed recently.

Halter Ranch, a California wine from Paso Robles, have a lovely rose at a decent price.

Halter Ranch  Halter Ranch Rose

halter ranch rose

Price: $21.00
Blend:
71% Grenache
9% Syrah
13% Mourvèdre
7% Picpoul Blanc
Fermentation:
De-stemmed and lightly crushed with 24 hours of skin contact, then pressed and fermented in stainless steel tanks; three tanks of Rosé were blended in different proportions after fermentation to create the final cuvée.
Aging:
Aged 2 months in a stainless steel tank; no oak barrel aging.

2016 The Law  Rose, The Law Estate Wines

Price: $21.00

Blend:
70% Mourvèdre
20% Grenache
10% Syrahthew law rose

This wine has a lovely golden hue and is bright and light. If you enjoy apricots and honeydew, this rose is the one for you.

 

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TOP FOODIE & WINE FILMS

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The One Hundred Foot Journey (2014)—COMEDY-DRAMA100ft journey

Director: Lasse Hallström

Writers: Steven Knight (screenplay), Richard C. Morais (book)

Stars: Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Daya

Lovely film! An Indian family, after dealing with the loss of their restaurant and wife/mom, leave Mumbai and their burnt down restaurant for France in search of something new.  On their way the Kadam family experience car trouble and end up in a small town, Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val in the Midi-Pyrénées, where they come across an abandoned restaurant across the road from a French Michelin-starred restaurant. They decide this town will be their new home and they will rebuild their restaurant.  Luckily, the second-oldest son, Hassan (Manish Dayal), was being groomed to be the head cook by their mother when the tragedy happened in Mumbai. The story goes through the battles between the Michelin-starred restaurant across the street and the Indian restaurant, and the son’s evolution in cooking. There are always love stories in the middle which make this film more appetizing. We really enjoyed this film. I don’t think it is for everybody but it’s definitely in our list of favorite foodie movies.

VOTE:    4 Forks and a tasty Spoon

bignightBig Night (1996) – Drama

Directors: Campbell Scott, Stanley Tucci

Writers: Stanley Tucci, Joseph Tropiano

Stars: Tony Shalhoub, Stanley Tucci, Marc Anthony, Minnie Driver, Isabella Rossellini

One of my favorites by far! A drama based in New Jersey in the 1950’s about two Italian immigrant brothers who come to the United States to open an authentic Italian restaurant and live out the American dream.  Primo, the older brother, is a perfectionist chef who refuses to be Americanized and adapt his food to the American palate. He is in a moment in his life where he would ultimately prefer to return to Italy and continue being a chef at a family members restaurant then remain in America and is deciding how to break it to his brother Secondo. The younger brother, on the other hand, is in love with the American dream and the possibilities of making it in the new world so much that he loses sight of everything.

Secondo, distraught by the failing business, is ultimately unable to commit to his girlfriend; he asks a famous and thriving competitor in the restaurant business, Pascal,  for help which leads to what is known as the BIG NIGHT.  Pascal promises Secondo that he will persuade the famous singer, Louis Primo, to dine at the brothers’ restaurant in the last attempts to save the business. The movie demonstrates the dramatic efforts of Primo as he pours his heart and soul into the preparation of each and every bite for the magnificent feast.  The last thirty minutes of the film capture the art and soul of the film. Quiet scenes of just cooking and preparations dubbed in Italian at times just add to the dramatic end to this story. All you want is a bite of that timballo… YUMMMM! A must see foodie movie.

VOTE:    4 Glasses 

JiroJiro – Dreams of Sushi (2011)—DOCUMENTARY

Director: David Gelb

Stars: Jiro Ono, Masuhiro Yamamoto, Daisuke Nakazama

Amazing documentary of an 85 year-old Sushi master Jiro Ono, his Michelin three-starred restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro.. The film portrays one man’s pursuit to perfecting the art of sushi, his life past and present, and follows Jiro’s sons who are also Sushi chefs. Subtitled in English.

VOTE:           5 Rolls and a fatty tuna sashimi

the chef

The Chef (2014)—COMEDY DRAMA

Director: Jon Favreau

Writer: Jon Favreau

Stars: Jon Favreau, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson

A great cast! Great for the entire family! The movie was funny and lively for any foodie audience. Jon Favreau is a professional chef who is obliged to abide by the rules and in a moment of digression, ultimately losing it via social media, decides to quit his job. His personal life isn’t any better and after he leaves his job in LA, he decides to return to his home town in Miami to fix up a food truck. In an attempt to reconnect with ex-wife he decides takes young son to join him on a food truck across the US. The trek across the USA with his son is enlightening. Happy, fun, silly, easy to watch and there’s food too.

VOTE:    4 tacos and an order of fries

ratatouilleRatatouille (2007)—COMPUTER-ANIMATED COMEDY FILM

Directors: Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava

Writers: Brad Bird (screenwriter), Jan Pinkava (original story by), 5 more credits »

Stars: Brad Garrett, Lou Romano, Patton Oswalt

Another amazing film by Pixar, Ratatouille, named after an infamous French dish, takes place in Paris, France and tells the tale of a rat named Remy who aspires to be a real chef and a young garbage boy, Luiguini, who works at an important French restaurant Auguste Gusteau. The story tells of a friendship between a boy and a rat and a rat’s desire to be a chef and have his own restaurant.  It is witty and funny and a great film to watch at all ages. JUST CUTE!

VOTE:           4 Cheeses and a Dash of Basil

chocolatChocolat (2000)—DRAMA ROMANCE

Director: Lasse Hallström

Writers: Joanne Harris (novel), Robert Nelson Jacobs (screenplay)

Stars: Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, Alfred Molina

Another production by Lasse Hallström based in France. It all started in a small town with a young mother (Juliette Binoche) and her six-year-old daughter and their love for Chocolate. The couple move from town to town as the winds change, vagabonds, until they arrive at a small French village, Lansqueet-sous-Tannes. The couple open up a chocolatier, LA Chocolaterie Maya, which transforms people’s lives.  The story shows how this small chocolate shop has ultimately changed people, even the couple. A love story, a foodie movie and much more, this film gives you a little of everything. The film is romantic and fun for all ages.

VOTE:           4 chocolate kisses and a hot chocolate

julie and juliaJulia & Julia (2009)—COMEDY DRAMA

Director: Nora Ephron

Writers: Nora Ephron (screenplay), Julie Powell (book)

Stars: Amy Adams, Meryl Streep, Chris Messina

The film is the journey of a young writer (Julia Powell) living in New York, unhappy at her current job and in search for so happiness in her life, Powell decides to challenge herself to cook every recipe from Julia Child’s cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961) and in order to motivate her she writes a blog that would document her progress. The film parallels the life of Julia Powell today and the story of Julia Child’s in Paris in the 1950’s, highlighting the challenges that each woman faced in their culinary journey and the culmination of their struggles with the celebration of Powell’s blog and Child’s first printed cookbook.

An enjoyable film, filled with passion, food, love, obstacles and achievements. This film inspired me to not only buy Julia Child’s cookbook but to begin my own journey into publishing a cookbook for myself and one for my grandfather.

VOTE:                       4 ½ Merci’s and Thank You’s

haute cuisineHaute Cuisine (2012)/”Les saveurs du Palais” (original title)—BIOGRAPHY COMEDY

Director: Christian Vincent

Writers: Etienne Comar (screenplay), Christian Vincent (screenplay), Danièle Mazet-Delpeuch

Stars: Catherine Frot, Arthur Dupont, Jean d’Ormesson

Haute Cuisine is the cooking and preparation of high-quality food utilizing the traditional style of French cuisine. The film tells the story of Hortense Laborie, a well-known chef who is surprised when the President of the Republic asks her to be his personal cook at the Elysée Palace. Needless to say, the President’s present staff isn’t happy with the appointment of Hortense and there are several little stories and obstacles along the way for her.

The story is good, but not my favorite film.

VOTE:                       3 Ouis and a Salute

spinning platesSpinning Plates (2012)—DOCUMENTARY

Director: Joseph Levy

Writer: Joseph Levy

Stars:  Grant Achatz, Cindy Breitbach, Mike Breitbach, Francisco Martinez, Gabby Martinez, Christian Seel, Thomas Keller

This is an amazing documentary is about 3 separate and extraordinary restaurant chefs, their restaurants and the people who make them who they are. A must see foodie film which really delves into the obstacles and hardships these chef’s go through and their amazing passion for food. I wish they would do a sequel to this. Great documentary! LOVE IT!

VOTE:                      4 ½ Spinning plates

chefs tableChef’s Table—(2015-TV SERIES ON NETFLIX)

Stars: Dan Barber, Massimo Bottura, Francis Mallmann, Niki Nakayama, Magnus Nilsson, Ben Shewrey

This TV series on Netflix reminds me of spinning plates in that it documents the lives of 6 internationally renowned chefs. Each episode focuses on one chef, the passions, the lives, the obstacles and talents and how they are where they are in the culinary world. A great series for a Foodie or anyone who likes to learn about food and how extraordinary chef’s manipulate and research ingredients to provide us with amazing creations. I really enjoyed this series and wished there were more. Hoping Netflix will keep it going.

VOTE:                       4 ½ I love you’s

WINE MOVIES

sideways 04Sideways (2004)—COMEDY ROMANCE DRAMA

Director: Alexander Payne

Writers: Rex Pickett (novel), Alexander Payne (screenplay)

Stars: Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen

The film follows two middle-aged men, who take a seven day road trip to Wine country in Santa Barbara County in California. The story is very dramatic that takes an unsuccessful writer and wine aficionado who is borderline alcoholic who takes his friend (an actor who’s career seems to have passed its peak) who is about to get married on a road trip to the San Ynez Valley. The film takes you on a journey of these two gentlemen who have reached a moment in their lives where they are depressed and reflective. A great film for the San Ynez Valley and Santa Barbara wine country. The story is very dramatic and sad.

VOTE:                       3 ½ San Ynez yay’s

bottle shockBottle Shock (2008) —COMEDY DRAM

Director: Randall Miller

Writers: Jody Savin (screenplay), Randall Miller (screenplay)

Stars: Chris Pine, Alan Rickman, Bill Pullma

I love this film! I have probably seen this movie a dozen times and I still love to watch it. I think I like to watch it because of the blind Paris wine tasting of 1976 that has become known as the “Judgement of Paris”.

The film takes you back to the 1970’s when a sommelier and wine shop owner Steven Spurrier who is a brit expat living in Paris and a wine lover and regular customer from the US decide to plan a blind test which is intended to showcase Parisian wine and how it surpasses all other wine. In order to do this, he travels to Napa Valley to find wine for the blind tasting. Napa Valley at the time wasn’t famous yet. The film shows the lives of these young wine growers and their passion for wine and how they convinced the other wineries to get their wines to the blind tasting. The ending is great. A must see. J’adore Chateau Montelena.

VOTE:                       4 NAPA’s and a Chateau Montelena

Well I hope you enjoyed these reviews. I know there are more films to explore and see so I will keep this updated as I find more and more film guilty pleasures.

Habitual Wining

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“OZ”The OZ


First off let’s be clear, we are by no means self-proclaimed sommeliers, merely a couple that is on the endless journey for the next best sip.

A read and respond feedback piece of wine habits. The Why! Did we just say habit? Nooooo, not as if we have a problem. Although who knows, lol, but that we are passionate about our wine.  So how to begin? I guess we should begin by providing our who, what, when, where, why and how’s on how we approach wine and the way we go about our wine habits. Habits? We use habits very loosely because we believe that you should think out of the “bottle”, obviously not out of the box, habits after all are meant to be broken.

We know if you are reading this, you must be interested in either wine or interested in how others approach and appreciate what a simple grape can do for you, right? Well let’s just go with that. So why wine? Is it because we always envied that actress or actor sipping that nice glass of wine in their formal wear on the big screen and we wanted to portray ourselves in that aspect? Or is it because mom always had that box of Chablis in the fridge and we always associated wine drinking with happiness and celebration? Have we finally hit that stage in our lives where not only do we want to find that perfect wine and wine combination, but also enjoy the exploration of it as well? We are sure all of this has contributed to where we are today and each coming from different families and backgrounds some have added more or less to our lives but we have definitely hit a time in our lives where we enjoy the finer things in life, where we are in search of that perfect sip, that perfect bite, and that perfect destination. So I guess we choose wine to be the vehicle that transports us and takes us on a journey. It allows us to explore and to learn, to taste and to smell, to stop and to be patient so that we don’t miss all of the passion and technique put into it and we begin appreciating life’s simple pleasures and the people who have given them to us.

Lord knows the first wine we ever tasted, tasted like wine. Not Chocolate or red fruits, vanilla, it wasn’t dry or fruity, there were no tannins, it was just wine. We didn’t know anything about wine except for the fact that we enjoyed the taste. That’s it. We had no clue of the dynamics, complexity  and diversity there could be in wine until we began going to wine tasting and listening to friends and families at dinner parties and learning from others. That’s where we began to have a greater appreciation for the vintner, the man behind the curtain “OZ!” So, have you ever asked yourself or wondered why you drink wine? Please share! We’d love to know.

Next Saturday’s post we will explore the which wine to drink and go from there! So cheers to your Saturday libations, hoping you find that perfect sip. See you next Saturday!

Oh My Goodness, Dragon Chili!!! Pairing Time.

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Normally in May in Southern California you don’t have the overcast, chilly days but lately the weather here has been so crazy you never know what to expect. This morning, before our long hike, I decided to make my Yummy Dragon Chili and put it the crock pot before leaving. The hike was great but I came home and had no idea what wine to pair with my chili. After a 10 mile hike, I knew I deserved something yummy and delicious that had just a little spice and structure to hit me exactly where I wanted it to. So, what to do? Google It? Go with my gut? Open the cooler, close my eyes, and pick? So there I was in the middle of what could only be defined as a genuine wine dilemma….GSM, Cabernet Sauvignon, Rose or a Pinot Grigio.

Now I love wine and have been learning a great deal but I am nowhere near a sommelier standing and find myself having to research to avoid doing what every wine and food lover hates…..POOR PAIRING!!! Yes, I said it! So while I thought a structured, tannic red would be great (I think that’s just because I love structured, bold flavors) I learned that I need to lean toward the lighter reds: Syrah, GSM, Zin or possibly even a nice Rose or white. Its chilly out so a white or Rose is less appealing. I know a beer is the best option but it doesn’t say relaxation and doesn’t comfort me like a nice red so I am leaning toward a GSM from Paso.

We finally decided between a Pinot Noir 2013 from Adelaida in Paso Robles, Tres Violet 2012 from Calcareous, or a Syrah Clone#1 from Beckman Vineyards. All stand up wine but we went with the Pinot Noir from Adelaida. Happy Saturday!

Wine Pairing for Chili

Calcareous Vineyards, Paso Robles CA

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Recently we began our journey to the centrally located, beautiful town of Paso Robles, California. On our first visit ever we were recommended by the Marriott hotel to visit the Calcareous vineyard in the heart of Paso Robles. 

After two very disappointing tastings, one at a renowned vineyard and another one at a very small vineyard, we decided to follow our local recommendations. Driving through the windy, picturesque roads of the countryside was peaceful and comforting and we finally made it to our destination. 

The views are amazing and the tasting room has huge windows opening to its vineyard overlooking the Paso countryside. Outdoor tables are available for drinking and picnicking for all visitors. 

After going through the tasting menu we immediately decided to become club members. Some of our favorite picks are: 

  1. 2012 Tres Violets – GSM (an acronym you will soon get very familiar with in Paso which means Grenache Syrah Mourvèdre) this one with Syrah leading in percentage.
  2. 2013 Grenache and 2013 Grenache Blanc
  3. York Mountain 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon
  4. Twisted Paso – Main squeeze & Matriarch Red Blend (found locally at total wine but a great find if you can’t get to Paso)

We are waiting to try the Moose and the Lloyd but we are confident this vineyard won’t let us down. The Pinot Noir’s are tasty as well. Obviously we lean toward our reds but the whites are impressive as well. 

We’ve been back already 3 times in the last year and never miss this stop on our trips. 

Great staff, great story, great vineyard! 

     Calcareous