I have always been fascinated by the public’s changing taste in wine and what drives it. In
Chateau D’ Esclans Whispering Angel Rose
the 80’s it was Sutter Home’s White Zinfandel that was the biggest seller in the U.S. Then in the 90’s it was any California Chardonnay followed by the Pinot Noir revolution. I believe that changing tastes of
this scale are primarily driven by clever marketing and herd mentality. Today it is Rosé that has been on a roll for several years. Ten years ago no one , especially the members of the “Trendy Set” drank Rosé. The reason wasn’t only that it was poorly made but because it was unfashionable to be seen with a glass of Rosé in your hand at any social gathering. Then Brad Pitt released his Miraval Rosé and the immense star power he commanded caused people to take another look at Rosé and they found it to be a very enjoyable wine when it is well-made. Pitt and his Miraval Rosé opened the door and Chateau D’ Esclan Whispering Angel Rosé burst through it to make a meteoric rise and become the default Rosé for the savvy influencers on the party circuit and social media scene.
Whispering Angel Rosé represents the best value for a quality Rosé to be found on the Chateau D’ Esclans Rosé list. Whispering Angel Rosé possesses all the traits that you would expect from a French Rosé from Cotes de Provence. It has a delicate pink color and wonderful bouquet with a crisp taste of light fruit and minerality followed by a clean finish. It shows itself better when enjoyed with lighter fare such as Summer salads, seafood and mild cheeses. This Rosé can best be described as balanced, light and dry. Drink it on ice if you really want to go totally “0210” while flaunting your thrifty side with a bottle of French Rosé for less than $20 USD. Now smile for you Instagram pix
I have noticed that the latest trend is to go directly from Halloween into Christmas and by doing so minimizing Thanksgiving as a holiday. I find this trend to be particularly disturbing because I like Thanksgiving and the traditional family gatherings that revolve around it. We had the pleasure of celebrating our Thanksgiving with my wife’s family, several of which we haven’t seen lately. Our god-daughter Liz was among the family members we got to spend time with on that day. Liz had recently taken a job closer to home after working for a major wine importer and distributor. Luckily for us she had maintained her contacts in the industry and brought some outstanding bottles with her.
The bottle that caught my eye and my curiosity was a Cuvée Rosé Grand Cru Champagne from R.H. Coutier, a producer from Ambonnay. This French sparkler is a delicate Rosé made from 55% Chardonnay and 45% Pinot Noir which explains its enchanting salmon pink color. It’s a well-balanced Champagne that opens with cream notes on the nose leading to red berries, prominently strawberries with an ever so slight hint of mint on the finish. R.H.Coutier received a 90 point rating from Wine Spectator and 92 points from Wine Advocate for this offering making it a great value ($45-$50) for a French Champagne of this quality.
Photo Courtesy: Pennsylvania Winery Association
The Pennsylvania Winery Association has a very useful and informative website and you can get access to it by going to http://www.pennsylvaniawine.com.. Starting on the homepage you can explore many interesting features including an extensive list of winery events for the upcoming year plus trip planning info coupled with downloadable winery maps available under the Trip Planner tab. Pennsylvania is divided into seven wine growing regions with my favorite designation being the “Groundhog Region”. Let France have Bordeaux and Italy have Tuscany, give me that Groundhog A.V.A.. Pennsylvania is home to eleven wine trails and P.W.A. reports that there are one hundred twenty-three wineries in the Commonwealth. While you are visiting the site take the opportunity to add your e-mail address to their e-mail list or consider following them on Twitter. The Pennsylvania Winery Association has done an excellent job with their website and it will certainly offer anyone researching it with an insight into the state’s wineries that isn’t available anywhere else. http://www.pennsylvaniawine.com
Photo courtesy: Bridge Ten Brasserie
I have often heard people refer to Pittsburgh using this “Left Handed” compliment and I can’t understand why there should be any negative connotation attached to it. Being compared to the “City of Light” can only be viewed as a ringing endorsement for the cultural achievements of the city. Dave DeSimone has brought his love of France to life at 20 S. 10th St. in the South Side of Pittsburgh through his restaurant Bridge Ten Brasserie. Bridge Ten Brasserie has captured the feeling of a French brasserie with its menu of hearty yet simply elegant selections that are sure to please any French food lovers palate. The wine list is exemplary and reflects Dave’s encyclopedic knowledge of French wine and their proper food pairings. The choices from the Parisian themed cocktail menu can easily spark vivid memories of an evening spent on The Champs-Élyées. If you would like more information on Bridge Ten Brasserie it can be found at www.bridgeten.com or by calling 412-586-5033
Vina Cobos Bramare Malbec La Consulta Rebon 2009
I usually do not buy a wine with this many words in its name especially when I can not pronounce most of them but I was intrigued by the back story and origins of this Malbec. The Malbec grape is not native to Argentina but was introduced into the region from its homeland of France about 150 years ago, the vines quickly found their new home a perfect match and the rest is history that is still being made today. This Malbec is more complex than the Appellation Malbec with its aroma of exotic spices and floral notes. Dark violet tones treat the eye as the muscular palate of plum, raspberry and black licorice fill your mouth letting you know that this is a seriously complex wine. The finish can only be described as complex and long with rich pliant tannins. The grapes are the key here and are sourced from the Marchiori Vineyard and other properties within Mendoza. The word complex comes up often when describing this Malbec because so many factors come into play during its production not the least being that it is aged 18 months in 100% new Taransaud French oak and then bottled unfined and unfiltered. Wine Advocate gave this 2009 vintage a 94 point rating and commented that it needed to unwind 2-3 years making its cellar life 2014-2024. I am sure it will age wonderfully but I don’t like to wait so I aerated it and it opened up nicely with plenty of aroma. The P.L.C.B. has this wine in limited availability and is most easily purchased through their website www.finewineandgoodspirits.com. The product code is 39329 and the price is more than the normal price of the wines I review at $54.99.