Spring Means It’s Time for Rosé!

sherinthecity004Spring is officially here!  There are so many things that I love about this time of year–the weather, the food, the fact that it doesn’t get dark at 4 p.m. and you don’t have to make an excuse to enjoy a glass of Rosé .

Rosè Renaissance!

For many years, rosés were not the wine of choice for those that “appreciated good wine.”   But,  that’s no longer the case. Today,  one would define the taste of a good rose as “refreshing, crisp and simply lovely.”  Much of this can be attributed to the experience and knowledge of today’s winemakers who have truly helped make it a Rosé Renaissance.

There are a number of Rosés that I absolutely enjoy. In my opinion they are perfect for any occasion.  Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Graham Beck Brut Rosé. from South Africa There is no better way than a glass Brut Rosé on a Saturday afternoon. Cheesetique, one of my favorite wine and cheeses shops, serves this delicious South African wine. Pair it with one of their fabulous cheese plates and you are in heaven!
  • 2011 Fourgeray de Beauclair: A Pinot Noir from Marsannay, France. I first experienced this wine at a wine tasting at Grape + Bean. The combination of the perfume aromatics and berries allowed me to experience the wine’s aromatics with both my nose and mouth (a great way to experience any wine or food to say the least). If you haven’t been to Grape + Bean for a wine tasting, I highly recommend doing so. They are great.
  • 2009 Northpoint Rosé from Chateau O’Brien. This is a great Virginia wine. Served chilled, this wine  infused with a hit of citrusy flavors, leaves a refreshing taste in your mouth. It’s a great picnic wine in my opinion.

Are you a fan of Rosés? Which ones are your favorites?

Champagne Tasting at Grape + Bean Makes for a Fun Night in Old Town Alexandria

“There comes a time in every woman’s life when the only thing that helps is a glass of champagne.” ― Bette Davis

71446a6c730d11e2b74e22000a9e07d7_5I’ve always loved champagne … what woman doesn’t? So, when a friend of mine told me about a champagne tasting at Grape+ Bean in Old Town Alexandria, I immediately said “I am in.”
Upon arrival, we were given a glass of Eric Rodez Cuvee des Crayeres Champagne NV by the evening’s sommelier.  This was the perfect introduction to the night. The champagne was light and clean.  The flowery accents were not overpowering at all. Instead, they delighted my palate.

During the course of the tasting we tried several more champagnes paired with a delightful selection of cheeses, ham and pate´ (oh how I love pate´).  They were:

  • Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé Champagne NV
  • Billecart-Salmon “Brut Reserve” Champagne NV
  • 2000 Billecart-Salmon “Cuvée Nicolas-François” Champagne
  • Eric Rodez Grand Vintage Champagne
  • Krug “Grande Cuvée” Brut Champagne NV

What I Learned:

  • I always knew that the “true” champagne always came from Champagne, France, but what I didn’t know was a ring always forms in in the glass-that’s how you can tell it’s true champagne!
  • Champagne is made from two types of grapes–Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. As we continued with the tastings, I could actually taste the intensity of the grapes.

I have enjoyed champagne for years, but I never knew why until now. As we continued with our tasting, I began to notice the similarities in the flavors, specifically the champagnes infused with fruits, such as raspberries, apples and pears (these happen to be some of my favorites).

And, while each champagne we tasted was more intense than the previous one, the flavors tended to be clean and the aromatics of each one were not overpowering.

I’ve always described my style as simple, elegant yet classic and this can be true for the foods and drinks I enjoy.

This was a fantastic tasting hosted by owners David Gwathmey and Sheera Rosenfield.They are the perfect hosts and really know how to put on a fantastic tasting.

Have you attended tastings at Grape + Bean? If not then you should definitely should.