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Today’s Wine Review

Summer is in full swing and here in the Midwest, Summer means heat and humidity. And what makes heat and humidity more palatable? Something cold to drink. It’s a perfect time to drink the lighter wines out there. On my last wine stock up run, I bought eight bottles of white wine, three red and one rosé. I wanted more rosé but I had a difficult time finding any that sounded appealing.

I have to admit that the one I did buy, I bought because of the label. Once again I got sucked in by those marketing wizards. It was a French rosé called AIX Vin De Provence vintage 2013 and was a very pale blush color, not as pink as some I’ve tasted. It was reasonably priced at <$15 so I thought I would give it a try.

It didn’t taste at all as it was described on the label. The label described “bright fruit flavors” and “delicate floral notes”. Well to my uneducated nose, the first thing I smelled was alcohol and at 13% there was plenty to go around. I was expecting pears or strawberries, but what I tasted was more like a dry Sauvignon Blanc with a drop of red food coloring. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the wine, but it was as though someone had switched labels on the bottles. This wine had all the mineral notes of a Sauvignon Blanc and was almost paper dry.

Another rosé I tasted was from our trip to Texas in May I bought a very nice rosé from Pedernales Cellars, from the Texas Hill Country. It was a dry rosé vintage 2013 and was a bright pink color. The first thing I smelled was strawberries and the alcohol second. It is a very refreshing wine that is so drinkable. I found myself refilling my glass more than normal.

I’m on the hunt for more rosé wines. I’ve had a few that are very tasty and some that I wish I’d never opened the bottle. I know it’s a dirty job but somebody has to do it and it might as well be me.

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Today’s Wine Review

I like to think of myself as being pretty adventuresome when it comes to wine. I have my favorites that I always fall back on, but no one can ever accuse me of not being up for tasting something new and completely out of my comfort zone. We took a real vacation last week, something we hadn’t done in a few years. Something was always getting in the way, the never ending home remodel, three surgeries and a small inconvenience called money. We decided that if we didn’t get away for some quality time in a different area code, one or both of us could go postal. The dream vacation was to drive to Washington State and tour their wine country, but as luck would have it, three costly inconveniences forced us to stay a little closer to home. (I think I am cursed.)

Option two was a trip to Texas, drive down to the Riverwalk in San Antonio, then head up to Fredericksburg in the hill country and taste some of their wines. We found out that Texas is fifth in wine production for the United States behind California, New York, Oregon and Washington. Plus because of the size of Texas there are quite a few microclimates and soil conditions, meaning that the same grape planted in the hill country will not produce the same wine that is planted in the northern part of the state or someplace else in the state. I was like a kid in a candy store when we got to Fredericksburg and wanted to stop at every winery we passed. It was a good thing the Mitch was the adult and designated driver and knew when to say when. But we did hit a few of the wineries tasted many wines and brought a few bottles home.

The first bottle I opened when we got home was a Becker Vineyards Riesling 2012. The wine was soft and fruity tasting like pears and peaches, but was not sweet like some of the German Rieslings I tasted. It had a beautiful golden color like straw in the glass. It was soft and smooth and slipped down my throat so easily for a really nice finish. This is a great wine chilled served on the porch, sipped while watching the world go by.

The second bottle was a red blend from Woodrose Winery called Summer Breeze vintage 2010. When we tasted it at the Winery we were surprised at the smell and taste. This was a wine that we couldn’t wait to try out on our friends. It is a blend of Ruby Cabernet and Muscat. Interesting, yes? It was a light red color, not a rosé, but not as dark as some red wines. The first thing I smelled was a citrusy aroma and the first taste was grapefruit, tart and crisp. It had a cherry finish. I paired it with salsa and chips and something we discovered at a restaurant in Texas, jalapeño peppers soaked in honey on top of cream cheese. Very yummy.

The third bottle was a Tempranillo from Pedernales Cellars, vintage 2012. This I paired with Margarita Chicken and it complemented the spicy chicken very nicely. The wine was very smooth and soft with dark fruit flavors. It had a nice long full finish. The wine was a dark red color in the glass with a slight smoky nose, but not off putting at all.

That leaves seven bottles left to open and share. Tasting in the winery is nice and helpful in trying wines you might not normally get to taste, but tasting at home is much more relaxed and the wine is savored more. It’s not the slurp, chew and spit then move on to the next glass in a tasting. At home with friends and family there’s discovery and surprise of something new and shared that makes wine so much fun. I am definitely a wine geek.

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