Rosa, Rosé, Rosam & the 2017 Eclipse

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There was an eclipse on Monday, did ya know? Of course you did because people wouldn’t shut the fuck up about it! I wasn’t originally that excited, but then I realized that I would have the chance to put together a charcuterie plate and pop some good wine and I changed my tune. My husband and I were out of town up until the day before the eclipse so I didn’t have time to go to the wine shop and purchase a bottle. Luckily I had the Rosa, Rosé, Rosam by La Grange Tiphaine on hand. I thought to myself “I was saving this for a special occasion” and then I realized that a total solar eclipse was like kind of special so I decided to bring it with us.

The area just north of Kansas City was in the path of totality for the eclipse meaning that the moon would completely block the sun and we would experience a few minutes of total darkness. We decided to head up to a state park in Kearney, MO. I know nothing about Kearney except that when I was 18 I briefly dated a guy from there. He was nice and I think I stole his Band of Horses CD. Oops. The traffic wasn’t too too awful and cheese and wine were a good motivation to keep on keepin on. When we made it to the park, we found a big grassy field to set up in. We had three types of cheese, two were from our favorite local cheese producer, Green Dirt Farm. We also had assorted smoked meats and a ton of crackers. As I opened the Rosa this dude walked up and said “wow, y’all know how to picnic”. I took great pride in this compliment since there are few things in life I take more seriously than good wine and charcuterie.

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The Rosa, Rosé, Rosam is technically a Pét-Nat which I was super excited about because a. that is probably my favorite style of wine and b. I had never had a rosé Pét-Nat before. The Rosa smells like bright red berries, more specifically like fresh strawberries and raspberries. On the palate it is all cranberries and hay and a little barnyard-y. It’s delicious and funky and like all of the best qualities of rosé and Pét-Nat combined. This particular rosé is a blend of Grolleau, Côt, Gamay and Cabernet Franc. It is a fuller bodied rosé which I’m not always the biggest fan of, but with the effervescence, it really works. My husband is more of a beer drinker and he turned to me and said “I think this is the best wine I’ve ever had. I REALLY like this.” It is definitely one of my favorites as well.

I was originally going to bring a full-bodied red wine and that would have been a huge mistake because it was muggy AF out. The Rosa was so refreshing and perfect with the charcuterie plate. Both were a great accompaniment to the eclipse. It was super strange watching it progressively getting darker until it eventually looked like sunset. Then we reached totality and could look at the eclipse without our glasses. It was seriously one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. As the moon kept moving and the sun started shining again, a rooster started crowing. It was so bizarre to hear at just after 1:00 p.m. Eventually it was full sun again and we packed up and headed back to the car. I hadn’t mentioned this but it had been storming all morning until just about 20 minutes before the eclipse and it started up again just after. I felt ridiculously lucky that we were able to experience a cloud-free totality.

The traffic sucked on the way back and the clouds rolled back in. I desperately wished we had more Rosa and charcuterie. My friend texted me “I miss the eclipse” and I totally knew how he felt. It was so cool and so short and impossible to capture with my camera. It almost made it cooler that I couldn’t get a good picture, I’ll just have to remember what I experienced. Apparently there is going to be another solar eclipse in 2024 and both Dallas and upstate New York are in the path of totality (we have family in both). In my fantasy, I will be watching the next eclipse from the Bloomer Creek vineyard in the Finger Lakes, drinking one of their Pét-Nats. Oh, and in this fantasy, Trump will have been impeached by 2018 and Elizabeth Warren will be on her second term in the White House.

Just before totality 

Just before totality 

Isa Rosé

Disclaimer: I actually wrote this a few months ago when all I was drinking was rosé but didn't want to overwhelm the blog with rosé posts. However, last night I dominated a round of trivia called Rosé All Day, so I thought I would post this in honor of that. Enjoy!

Here is one of the many things I love about rosé-- it is easy to find great stuff that won’t break the bank. Take the Isa Rosé from Chemins de Bassac, imported by Jenny & Francois, for example. This organic and biodynamic wine was less than $15 at my local liquor store that specializes in wine. Sometimes natural wines can be intimidating either because of the price point or the unpredictability of them, but once you find a great importer, you’re golden. I trust anything brought to me by Jenny & Francois and am always impressed by the price point.

Chemins de Bassac is owned by winemakers, Isabelle and Rémy Ducellier. It is located near the city of Béziers which is in southeastern France, near the Mediterranean Sea. The Ducellier family has owned the 19th century vineyard since the mid-nineties and offer a red, white and Pinot Noir in addition to their rosé. This rosé is made up of Grenache Noir, Mourvèdre and Syrah (basically a rosé version of GSM).

It is a lovely shade of icy pink, like that frosted lipstick that was popular in the early aughts and I mean this in a nice, nostalgic way, not disparagingly. No way would I be caught dead wearing that shade now, but I may have donned it in my seventh grade school picture WHICH I WILL NOT SHOW YOU. Anyhow, it’s a lovely shade of light pink that I could have compared to way more topical things like the NARS eyeshadow in Goddess, which I am coveting hardcore. There, that’s better than frosted lipstick.

Let’s move on from makeup comparisons. This rosé smells like raspberries, red plum and parsley. It is super subtle on the palate and almost has notes of green apples and green peppers like a white might. There is also a briny/sweatiness to it that could be influenced by being grown so close to the sea. It is light but dense, with so much depth to it. It could hold its own with a heavier dish like pasta or steak easily, but you could also pair it with something lighter like fish or chicken. I’d recommend using some fresh herbs in whatever you’re making.

I’m enjoying this tonight on my porch contemplating World Refugee Day and reading Nayyirah Waheed. I really can’t believe the political mess that is our government right now. If you want to know more of my thoughts on this topic, read this post. I’m trying to move forward. The best thing to do is to support local organizations that do good political work. My favorite in Kansas City is Jewish Vocational Service (JVS). They serve our refugee population and people with disabilities, oh and I should note that they aren’t religious. Weren’t we all immigrants at one time? I think we should care for one another, that should just be a basic tenant we live by. If that’s not your philosophy then I hope you stop reading my blog cause we are all about helping people out around here. And helping people find good wine.  

Petit Cochon Bronzé

I always overcommit. I don’t know if it’s my Jewish guilt or that I get serious FOMO when I see people doing interesting things on social media, but I regularly end up scheduling something every night of the week. This is all fine and good, but it can leave me feeling drained and oh, not seeing my husband, so that sucks. It’s all good stuff that I’m doing-- work meetings, volunteering, drinks with friends, but it’s still exhausting. I’m trying this new thing where I only schedule things two weeknights per week that way I can prioritize important things like working out, cooking at home, seeing my husband, oh and watching The Handmaid’s Tale (duh). Note that this rule does not apply to the weekends which are a fucking free for all.

Tonight is one of my “off” nights and while I didn’t have time to work out, I am making dinner. I decided to make two of my favorite go-to recipes, garlic salmon and Fattoush, which is hands down, my favorite salad (also, I usually make mine with naan because oddly enough, naan is easier to find than pita in KC). I am pairing all of this with Domaine Rimbert’s Petit Cochon Bronzé Rosé, imported by Jenny & Francois. I don’t know if I tend to pair salmon with rosé because they’re both pink or maybe because they both have that briny, seawater quality to them, but either way, these taste great together.

I first tried this rosé at Underdog at a Jenny & Francois tasting. It was April, but it was still kind of chilly and I wasn’t in full rosé mode yet. Well, here we are in late June and I am now in FULL fucking  rosé mode. Seriously, it has been work not to consistently post about rosé because that is most of what I have been drinking this summer. This wine smells like a rose garden with a bit of fennel mixed in. It is super subtle on the palate with notes of apricot and pink peppercorn. It is comprised of 80% Cinsault and 20% Syrah and is the palest shade of pink with an orange hue. I would legit wear a dress this shade because it’s understated and beautiful.

I’m drinking this and listening to Rilo Kiley’s “The Execution of All Things”. I cannot believe that came out in 2002, it’s still so good and relevant. It’s kind of the perfect summer soundtrack and pairs so nicely with the Petit Cochon Bronzé. I read this article a while back that basically said that you will always think the music you listened to as a teenager was the best ever. I think it holds true, at least for me. While I’ve added some new bands into my repertoire, I still rely heavily on the same stuff I listened to in high school-- Radiohead, Neko Case, David Bazan, etc. This wine is a little bit like that too, super good and super nostalgic. Even if you’ve never had it before, you’ll have memories of swigging it straight out of the bottle on hot summer nights in the mid-aughts. Go with it.

Scarpetta Timido Spumante Brut Rosé (Fuck National Rosé Day)

Apparently it is National Rosé Day because every damn day has to be something and it can’t just be Saturday. These national days are bullshit in my opinion, created to move product. That said, I am drinking rosé but it’s because I WANT TO not because someone told me it’s rosé day. The wine I chose to imbibe is the Scarpetta Timido Spumante Brut Rosé. I’ve had Scarpetta’s Frizzante as well as their red blend and loved both, so I figured I couldn’t go wrong with the rosé. This sparkling Italian wine is made from Franconia and Pinot Nero grapes in the Charmante Method, which is also used to make Prosecco.

The wine smells like fresh dirt and roses, like gardening, which I do not do. Also some fresh rhubarb, tart but sweet. The same dirt hits hard on the tongue, it’s not bad though, just tastes like being outside. It is floral and acidic, tasting like lilies, which I can’t have in the house because they are toxic to cats unfortunately. It is the loveliest orange pink color. It’s tart like underripe cherries or like a tart cherry pie. Tart cherry pie is one of my favorites to make even though I am a mediocre pie maker at best. They are usually ugly, but always tasty. My family agrees with me.

This rosé reminds me of a trip I took  to British Columbia when I was 21. I was visiting my Canadian cousin, who was a French teacher in Victoria. They had the cutest house in Victoria, which is the absolute cutest city in Canada as far as I’m concerned. I got there a night before my parents came and my cousin and I drank rosé and watched a French film. I was minoring in French and was still getting used to the fact that I could drink legally, and it was probably better wine than I had ever had. The film was a tragic story about a couple, one of whom had HIV and didn’t survive. I kept sipping my wine, amazed I was able to understand most everything. I slept so well on the couch that night and the next day I ate the best salmon of my life.

If you can pair this rosé with a French film and Salmon, good for you. I, on the other hand, am about to go eat Mexican food and see the Heartland Men’s Chorus, so you could say that this wine is a lovely aperitif. If you need an excuse to drink rosé, fine, live up National Rosé Day, but just remember, you don’t need permission to drink good shit. Rosé is great any day of the year, but especially in the summer. Oh and I match my rosé because I got so sunburnt at the pool today as I was reading Missoula (so good and infuriating! Have you read it?) It's also National Herbs and Spices Day if you were wondering. So happy... whatever. 

Oui Oui Rosé

I took close to seven years of French, starting in middle school. Actually, the reason I chose French over Spanish (our only two options) was because the Spanish teacher seemed like a real creep. The French teacher on the other hand was a sweet older woman and I could dig that. Oddly enough, I stopped taking French in high school after one year because THAT teacher seemed like a creep. I started again in college and got pretty close to fluency but never studied abroad because my parents wouldn’t foot the bill and didn't want me taking out loans for it. Ah well. I can still read it for the most part, but forget speaking or listening, not gonna happen. That said, I know the phrase “oui oui” well.

I was so excited to learn about Oui Oui Rosé, a collaboration between my favorite winemaker, Field Recordings, and my favorite wine shop, Underdog. I don’t buy a ton of rosé which is dumb, because it’s great, but I kind of overdid it one summer and still haven’t quite got the hankering back. However, this rosé is delightful. I asked Ryan Sciara, the owner of Underdog and co-creator of this wine to tell me about it and in his words, “It’s 100% Grenache. Central Coast appellation but the majority of the fruit comes from Paso. Oh, and it's f*ing delicious!” Well said.

Oui Oui is bright and fruity with a briny, seawater quality to it and a bit of anise on the nose. It reminds me of the Central Coast of California (duh, I know but listen). I would love to drink this on the deck of a cabin in Big Sur. I’ve actually only driven through Big Sur because it was literally on fire when I was there a few years ago, but it was still fucking amazing. Also, can we talk about how it’s annoying that Big Little Lies is supposed to be set in Monterey but they are like constantly driving over the Bixby Bridge when they are on their way to meet up for drinks or whatever? Where are they going?

This wine also reminds me of the video for Fleet Foxes' new song, Fool's Errand. If you think Fleet Foxes is overrated, whatever, I still like them. I saw them live like five or so years ago and they were fantastic. I'm super excited for the new album. This song is particularly great with a video that is equally wonderful. I could watch modern dance on coastal/forested landscapes all day. Preferably while sipping Oui Oui.

Anyway, this wine feels special for me because it was Field Recordings that introduced me to good wine and Underdog where I went when I started taking wine more seriously. Both have had instrumental roles in my wine journey, so to get to enjoy something created by both of them kind of makes my mind and heart explode.

If I had the foresight to meal plan, I would pair this with some sort of white fish, like tilapia or halibut. But I won’t lie, it also pairs just fine with Annie’s mac & cheese after a long day. So you could say it’s versatile. Also, please don’t judge. Also also, I probably shouldn’t have any more fish this week because I’ve already had it three times in four days. Oops. I foresee drinking a lot of this in the next couple of months because, as they say, rosé season is upon us and I’m game!