Three months into the New Year already, phew! Well, happy March everybody, it’s a beautiful time of year out here in Wine Country, the mustard flowers have begun to crop up in the vineyards, and touches of green are starting to show up everywhere. We’re ready for Spring!
March is the month of St. Patrick’s Day so let’s consider some wines to go with classic Irish foods. Here’s the key: reds, reds, reds. Irish cuisine tends to be on the heavier side, a lot of meat and root veggies, though being a coastal nation there is quite a bit of fish in the traditional Irish diet as well. This allows for a wide range of reds you could pair with Irish dishes!
According to this article, Pinot Noir is an excellent choice with and American-Irish favorite, Corned Beef and Cabbage. Because cabbage can tend to be quite bland without any spices added to it and Corned Beef has a strong, but not all that complex, flavor, Pinot Noir works very well as a middle of the road wine in terms of tannic structure and depth.
A Google search for classic Irish foods turned up a recipe for potato and leek soup. Here’s a whole bunch of ways you can make it: Irish Potato and Leek Soup. This would be the perfect meal to pair with something to counter balance its smooth creaminess, like a Cabernet or Barbera. Both are flavorful and a little spicy, which helps them compliment the flavor of the soup.
Spring is on the way! Wine Club members: celebrate with us at our Spring Luau on April 27th. Detail can be found here. We are also having an Easter Egg Hunt on April 19th, and our first annual Summer Music Series begins in June with Reggae band Simple Creation.
Varietal of the Month: Rosé
We had a new release last month, our 2013 Rosé! Contrary to popular belief, Rosé is not always a sweet wine. In fact it’s become a lot more popular as a dry wine over the past several years.
A discussion of Sweet vs. Dry: With wine these are not always simple descriptors because there’s two different ways people think about them, and often people will be talking about one or the other not realizing that they’re actually have two completely different conversations. I used to run into this all the time when I worked in a tasting room and it finally dawned on me what the problem was.
In wine, there are technical definitions for sweet or dry. Sweet means that during the winemaking process, steps are taken to ensure residual sugars remain in the final product (thus all the sugars are not converted to alcohol). Dry simply means that ALL sugars are converted alcohol, leaving no residual sweetness in the wine. This is the preference for most Rosé wine enthusiasts today.
The confusion for many wine tasters comes when they don’t realize the difference between a technically dry wine and what their personal taste buds are interpreting as sweet. A classic tasting room conversation concerning Rosé might go something like this:
“Is your Rosé dry?”
“Yes. Ma’am it is, I think you’ll love it! Let me pour you a taste.”
“Oh, no, that’s way too sweet; do you have a dry one?”
The customer is tasting a dry wine but because of their individual taste preferences, is interpreting a sweetness. So they believe the wine is not dry because it doesn’t TASTE dry. So taste and technical definitions are two different things.
Our Rose is 100% dry, and comes with a delightfully bright and happy pink color. It has a lot of complexity which can be quite difficult to find in Rosé. Fantastic fruit tones give it a nice roundness, which augments the more classic acidity one would expect to find in a Rosé.
For more information, and some laughs, here’s an amusing article from Buzz Feed on Rosé. Enjoy! Speaking of enjoying, the article is right, Rosé with BBQ is excellent, but it’s also an amazing pairing with cheeses, both hard and soft, and lighter seafood such as scallops, shrimp or oysters. What are some of your favorite pairings?