Saturday, October 27, 2007

A Rosé By Any Other Name?

I recently read a great article at, by Jeff Richards in which he explore the use and misuse of the terms "rosé" and "blush," as they apply to wines. Mr. Richards sites several sources including,
As much as I've learned about wine in the 20 years that I've worked with the industry, made wine and now co-host a radio show dedicated to the subject, I was a little hazy on the true distinc
And now, thanks to the magic of Google and
my little BloggyDoggy, here's the Viva La Difference from
First of all Rosé wine is not a blending of red and white wine (abstraction made of the exceptional case of Champagne Rosé).

Rosé wine is made from red grape-varieties. And, nowadays, many winemakers mix a certain amount of white grapes with
the red.

The elaboration of rosé wine is delicate. It is probably why the amateur is sometimes disappointed by the quality of a rosé. Particularity, European rosé is "dry". On the contrary,
American rosé is sweet and similar to white wine.

There are at least three methods of makin
g rosé wine:

Gray or pale rosé wine

The grapes are pressed as soon as they arrive in the cellar. It allows a quicker diffusion of the color in the must.

The juice is left a very short time in conta
ct with the skin. No more than a few hours! That way the must is delicately colored.

Rosé wine is then made in the same way as a white wine, fermentation of the must cleared of solid elements with out any more maceration. The winemaker obtains a gray or pale rosé wine (for Gris de Bourgogne or Rosé de Loire).

Colored pink wine

To obtain a colored pink wine the grapes are put in the fermentation tank after having been crushed. The juice quickly enriches itself in alcohol with the temperature going up (in the tank).

At the contact of the solid element the color quickly diffuses. The winemaker chooses the intensity of
the color by controlling a sample every hour. When he is satisfied he devattes.

The wine is evacuated in another tank to finish fermenting. The must left in the original tank is evacuated and not used for rosé any more.

The bleeding

To obtain an even more intense color, once an hour, during the initial fermentation the winemaker takes out of the tank a certain amount of juice.

When the color is satisfying, the wine making process goes on as for a white wine. Rosé de Provence are obtai
n by that method.

Above is the label from one our local rosé favorites.

GRAPE VARIETY: 38% Grenache, 33% Syrah, 15%
Mourvedre, 14% Viognier
VINEYARD: Cass Vineyard, Paso Robles;
French Camp Vineyard, Paso Robles;
Fralich Vineyard, Paso Robles
BOTTLING DATE: January 11, 2007
ALCOHOL: 14.3%
PRODUCTION: 411 cases
RELEASE DATE: February 1, 2007

Friday, October 19, 2007

Cleveland ROCKS!

I've just returned from a trip that began in Hendersonville , North Carolina and ended in the Cleveland area. It was lots of fun in Cleveland. First off I played a big reunion bash in Kent, Ohio with my original drummer (Spider Allen) and bass player (Cute Bill Brauning) from our band in college (The T.P. Waterhouse Jug Band & Electric Screendoor Salesmen).

So what's this have to do with food and wine? While in Kent, I visited a great little wine shop called 101 Bottles of Beer on the Wall .... and 1700+ bottles of wine.

You can hear my interview with Audrey (pictured above), the Assistant Manager on our show's podcast from October 13th.

In the burbs of Cleveland I was searching for a blues club and went into a place called Lolita's in an area known as "the Tremont District." The blues club down the block was closed and the interior of Lolita's looked inviting. A brick building built in 1814 with pressed copper ceiling accented by the modern hammered copper bar top, Great lighting, warm woods .... every little detail. And then....

... the happy hour menu. A glass of "Lola's Choice of the Day" red wine (100% French Cinsault) $4, five different gourmet appetizers $5 each. And these were hearty appetizers beautifully presented. Every staff member I had contact with was gracious and knowledgeable. John, who was tending the bar, knew the answer, and more, to every wine question I asked.

On the plane home I found out, from a Cleveland native seated next to me, that Lola's in downtown Cleveland and Lolita's are owned by Chef Michael Symon who is a current Iron Chef finalist. I aslo learned that Lola's is considered by most as the finest restaurant in Cleveland.

My other pleasant surprise was the best Huevos Rancheros I've had in a restaurant in a long time. At Nuevo Acapulco in North Olmstead, Ohio (about 5 miles from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport). Owned by a wonderfully friendly family, it adjoined the motel I stayed the night before my flight out.
That night we ran up a bar bill there for six cocktails: $24! Calling Rachel Ray.

Below are some interesting bottles I spotted at 101 Bottles Of Beer On The Wall in Kent.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Wheat, Me Worry? A Berry Good Fall Recipe

From Elisabeth Kahan of Vineyard Canyon Ranch Olive Oil comes this wheat berry salad with edamame that has it all. Of course, it uses their Award Winning Tuscan Style Olive Oil. It's crunchy, chewy, sweet, savory and zesty and packed full of nutrient dense ingredients.
This simple to prepare
salad is perfect for upcoming Holiday feasts with it's festive red and green colors.
Try it out and let Elisabeth know what you thought.

Servings— 4
1 cup uncooked wheat berries
4 cups water
1 cups shelled edamame (soy beans – you can buy them in the freezer section at Trader Joe’s)
1/2 cup chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/3 cup dried cranberries
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Place wheat and water in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 1/2 hours or until wheat kernels are plump and tender. Drain.

Cook edamame according to package. Remove shells.

Combine edamame, wheat, tomato, celery, and dried cranberries in a large bowl. Combine vinegar and next 4 ingredients stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over wheat mixture, and toss well to coat. Sprinkle with parsley.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Boyz

Uh oh. Want to tell the Australian wine industry that global warming is "junk science?" Reports like this give all of us involved in this industry cause for pause.
According to industry groups, Australia's 2008 grape vintage could be cut by more than half thanks to a severe drought in the country's wine-grape producing areas.
This would result in a $2.6 billion (US) cut in the country's export business, possibly forcing hundreds of the country's 7,500 wine-grape growers out of business.
"Some growers will not be able to recover, and some vineyards will be lost as a result of the drought," said Mark McKenzie, executive director of Wine Grape Growers' Australia. "We think some 800 growers are in immediate financial peril, with up to 1,000 at risk over time.
They are broke," he said. The Wine Grape Growers and Winemakers' Federation of Australia estimated that the 2008 vintage is likely to fall to between 800,000 tons and 1.3 million tons in 2008. This is compared with a normal seasonal crop of about 1.9 million ton.
Australia has some 7,500 grape growers.