Today’s Rosé: HOGWASH

What better mascot for a medium-bodied pink wine than a medium-bodied pink pig? Hogwash’s 2017, grenache-based rosé packs delicious and lively flavor to pair with a hot summer day or light evening meal.

 

It’s hard to describe how deliciously interesting this rosé is without simply saying “you just have to try it!” Of course we recommend giving the bottle a taste, but to give you an idea of what to expect, we suggest this wine for melon-flavored rosé lovers. Hogwash is like a bowl of fruit infused into a charismatic rosé, but the most prevalent flavors boast melon and berry notes. The first sip suggests cantaloupe while finishing with berries.

Bright and dynamic, each sip leaves you looking for more. It’s balanced and zesty at the same time and begs another sip. Or perhaps that’s just the wine lover in us talking.

 

If you get the chance to try it, let us know what you think!

We Tried Wine Made With Mold

On the surface, mold and wine don’t seem like a good combination. So when we heard about Tibouren Clos Cibonne rosé, we had to find out how a moldy wine tasted.

 

 

But before we get to taste, let’s talk about process. The winery that produces the rosé uses mold during the fermentation process. It rests in a layer on top of rosé’s barrel and is then filtered out at year later when the wine is ready. The mold, we’re assured, is “the good kind” – completely healthy, natural, and a contributor to the wine’s bold, full-bodied flavor.

Sourced from vines over thirty years old, the wine is 90% tibouren (a grape from southern France typically used to produce full-bodied rosés) and 10% grenache. The wine offers unique earthy flavors along with aromas of orange and spice. But don’t be fooled: this full-bodied rosé is just as fruity as most great pinks, bursting with color on the palate.

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We’d recommend it with all of our heart – if everyone else hadn’t beat us to it. The rosé consistently rates high among critics with each vintage produced. The one set back is the price tag. While it’s definitely worth the splurge, we know not everyone can justify over $30 on one bottle of wine.

But if you can, give it a shot. And don’t let the mold myths scare you away. Nature works in our favor with this one!

 

A light rosé for heavy humidity

April showers turned into May humidity, but thankfully we have the perfect wine for a sweltering spring day. Subtle and light with just a bite of acidity in the finish, Luc Pirlet’s grenache rosé is the perfect pair to hot evening.

 

 

The French rosé offers delicate berry notes. Chilled, it is refreshingly cool and – in this weather – likely to create condensation on the glass. While we suggest pairing it with lighter foods, it’s subtle notes make it more refreshing than tasty when paired with food. Even on its own, the wine’s flavor is more of an undertone than a prominent element of the glass.

 

 

 

But what it does offer is the refreshing taste of berries, finishing with a chilled acidity that is sure to soothe the humidity. While not a recommendation for drinkers of sweet, darker rosés, it’s perfect for pink drinkers who see summer drinking as a time to cool off and enjoy the complexities of a French rosé.

This Summer’s Top Five Rosés

It’s summer, which means we have to drink as much rosé as we can before the local wine stores focus their stocking on reds and fall whites.

While summer is coming to a close, our love of rosé continues to go strong. We’ve tried over a dozen fantastic rosés this summer, but have selected our top five in case you don’t have the time (or funds!) to sample our full list.

In order from enjoyed-a-try to bought-three-bottles, here are our top rosés of summer 2017!

 

5. Dune Gris de Gris (2016)

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A delightful light wine for the hottest summer days, Gris de Gris holds subtle flavors of grapefruit. Sweet with a citrus edge, this rosé is a crisp, cool, light-bodied pink wine that pairs perfectly with a sweltering day and light meal.

4. Domanie de Pellehaut Harmonie de Gascogne Blanc (2016)

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Can you tell we like grapefruit rosés? This wine holds similar grapefruit and citrus flavors to the previous wine, but with more of a fruity flavor. With light strawberry flavor, the wine has a gentle edge of sweetness on Gris de Gris. The wine also has a unique grassy nose; if you close your eyes, you can imagine yourself in the winery’s field, sipping the light wine on a warm summer day.

 

3. Phebus

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Want a little more flavor and depth to your rosé? Or are you a fan of Malbec? We have the rosé for you! This wine packs a little more body and flavor, with ripe berry flavors. And to make things better, it’s less than $10 at Total Wines!

2. Brin de Rosé 

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Simple in name and taste, this is a perfect crowd-pleaser for a sunny patio day. It’s light and gentle on the tongue in the way only a French wine can be, but with enough character to make you pour another glass (and another…and another). Not to mention, we love the bottle – it’s original shape sets it apart from traditional rosés and gives it a modern and fun non-traditional flair.

1.  La Garoche (2016)

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This is the rosé we keep coming back for again…and again…and again. The one we check is still in stock, like, weekly. Because how is no one else on to this yet? With sweet berry flavors cut by the minerally aftermath of natural tanins, this dry rosé  is perfect with anything. Especially an empty wine glass! Perfect for wine-lovers and newcomers alike, we recommend snagging a bottle before the season is up!

Photo cred:

Gris de Gris, Pellehaut, PhebusBrin de Rose, La Galoche

Rosé All Day – Summer Rosé Reviews

Summer is finally here and that means it is the ever confusing, hit or miss season of pink wine aka rosé.

Don’t panic! We have a discovered a few general rules for rosé hunting and we have tried many different styles which we will review below to help you narrow down sea of pink bottles at the liquor store.

Rule #1: 

PINK WINE DOES NOT MEAN IT IS SWEET!!!!!

Rosé got a bad reputation from the California White Zinfandel craze that swept the nation in the US’s early wine making years. Most rosés actually aren’t sweet at all! This is why summer is so hard to work with; most wine store displays have the sugar-sweet rosés mixed in with the traditional dry style wines.

Rule #2

The lighter pink in color, the dryer the wine.

And that means what? If the rose looks barely pink at all and looks more like a tinted Instagram filter, then chances are the wine is made in a dry style. Dry means that nearly all of the sugar in the wine was converted to alcohol and it WILL NOT be sweet. However, there are always some rosés that break this rule, so pick wisely.

Rule #3 

France – the Rosé king of the liquor store- tends to make a lot of rosé, but just so you all know nearly all of them are made in the dry style.

We have tried a few that have hints of sweetness which we will list below but if you like that crisp dry rosé on a hot summers day then turn to France.

Wine Reviews:

Now we have been tasting many rosés this summer so far in order to give you a variety of rosés to choose from at the store. Here are a few winning rosés we found so far.

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Name: Globerati Rosé

Country: Italy

Vintage: 2015

Style: Dry style but hint of sweet

Tasting Notes: Berry blasts of flavor but had a light and smooth mouth-feel, aka ‘body.’

  

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Name: Logis de la Bouchardiere Chinon

Country: France

Vintage: 2015

Style: Dry

Tasting Notes: Refreshing and fruity, just slightly over what I would ‘light body’, slightly tannic.

 

Name: Cote des roses

Country: France

Vintage: 2015

Style: Dry style but hint of sweet

Tasting Notes: Obviously the cute bottle is for cliche pun lovers but the wine inside is actually pretty amazing. It’s the first Dry style rose we have ever loved enough to drink the whole bottle in one sitting. It was a mix of being strawberry fresh and almost grapefruit citrus. It’s a unique flavor that you have to try!

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Name: North by Northwest

Country: USA

Vintage: 2014

Style: Dry style but hint of sweet

Tasting Notes: Soft pops of watermelon and strawberry flavors with a refreshing acidity!

 

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Name: Lila Rosé

Country: France

Vintage: none listed

Style: Dry style

Tasting Notes: There are many ‘wine in a can’ producers out there now but we highly suggest you buy Lila over the others. Why? They have engineered their cans so that the wine is not exposed to metal which prevents that terrible metallic taste. The rosé inside is light and when cold from a cooler its the perfect secret beach drink that leaves after tastes of berries and watermelon but goes down like zesty water. Each can contains 8.4oz so that means the four pack is more than one bottle of 750ml wine!

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Name: Plum Island Rosé

Country: USA

Vintage: none listed

Style: Light Sweetness

Tasting Notes: This MA local Vineyard has mastered the rosé art. Their rosé is a new batch each year and a very limited production but WORTH the drive to vineyard to get it or if you are lucky you might be able to find it at Kappy’s. Its falls in the middle of sweet and dry styles and if full for strawberry and light cherry flavors with hints of watermelon and citrus. The wine will fill you up after a while but its so refreshing that you won’t care.

 

Name: Rosatello Sparkling Rosé

Country: Italy

Vintage: none listed

Style: Sweet!

Tasting Notes: The Italians come in first yet again with their sweet and refreshing spritzy wines. This wine is sweet but not sickeningly so. The flavors are bold ripe dark cherries, raspberries, and wild strawberries. The bubbles reminded us of raspberry gingerale and helped keep the wine crisp on the palate. It’s perfect for that summer bubbly by the water or paired with fresh fruits. Sweet wine lovers we have found the rosé for you!

 

Keep Hunting!

We will continue to post winning rosés on our facebook page throughout the summer so stay tuned for other winning bottles. Reach out to us via facebook or the comment area on the blog to update us on any rosés that you love!!

 

 

 

 

Award Winning Rosé: Mill River Winery

Looking for a sweet and calming way to start or end your day? Take a trip down to Mill River Winery, a quaint and rustic winery with well-priced wine tastings and – most importantly – an adorable black lab/pitbull mascot to greet you at the door.

Last week, the girls from Half Past Wine-O-Clock decided there’s nothing wrong with a wine tasting before work as they traveled to Mill River Winery in Rowley, MA. The winery is the perfect mixture of a nick-nack store and a wine tasting room, offering two experiences worthy of both short and longer visits.

The store was positively adorable, featuring several different sections including fall-themed drinks and wine-related trinkets, homemade pastas and jams and – of course – a great holiday display complete with wine-themed tacky sweaters and winter stocking stuffers.

However, our main interest was in the wine.

The wines were lined up on one wall, while the tasting bar featured a synthetic, uneven block of wood to add the rustic feel. For $7 each, we tasted two flights: the Mill River and Plum Island (the sweeter of the two).

You can see the color difference in the Mill River vs. Plum Island wines in both whites and reds:

Would you believe that pale white on the right is an unoaked Chardonnay, while the darker yellow is a Riesling? The reds feature their Petite Shiraz (left) and Plum Island Red (right). One is both visually lighter and physically sweeter than the other.

Our favorite had to be their very own award-winning rosé, from the Plum Island flight. It had enough body and flavor to stand on its own, yet was sweet enough that it still represented its rose genre well. After months of searching for a rosé, that was neither watered down or sickeningly sweet, this wine was the perfect match for us!

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We look forward to the great things soon to come from this winery as well, especially the new wines soon-to-be-released with their very own, home-grown grapes! Check out the image below of their vines:

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Kristen spotted these on our way in, and was very impressed.

Anyone local to the Northshore Massachusetts area is encouraged to check out Mill River Winery, if only to peek at the shop or try a taste of their Gold Medal Rosé!

 

Cheers!

 

 

How Ros(é) Can you Go?

A few days ago, we had an epic Rosé showdown between two wines we found at our favorite local wine store, Pamplemousse. One wine, La Cuvée des Annibals, was selected by a helpful worker. In an odd pitch, he insisted we should buy it because he didn’t like it. “It was too sweet,” he said, “but if you prefer sweet wines, it’s perfect for you.” Paula, who is newer to wine, was especially excited by the word sweet. Kristen decided to select Buttonwood, a Syrah Rosé wine that included her favorite grape. As you can see in the picture below, there was a visual disparity that revealed which of the two was the sweeter rosé. Both, however, featured appealing bottle design, which we warned about in this previous post. 11651035_10207137044610393_1755615613_n Despite the color and design of our cute elephant wine, it is based in California and merely mimics French labeling and style. Either way, it wasn’t as sweet as advertised. Rather, it tasted a bit like…water. At least, enough that we ended up feeding more of it to the bushes than to ourselves. All three of us found it to be flavorless, and Kristen couldn’t even justify using it for cooking. On the other hand, the Buttonwood had a bit more flavor. We could taste the fruity Syrah flavor and appreciated the medium-light body of the wine. This Rose had a smooth finish that left the aftertaste of red fruits like berries and red apples. It was refreshing and tangy which made it a great summer heat pairing. rose-wheel http://vinepair.com/wine-blog/10-shades-of-rose-wine/ This wine adventure revealed to us that we as a group prefer wines that have distinguishable body and stronger flavors. Lighter Rosés are definitely someone else’s cup of tea, but Kristen is a strong believer that a wine can be great if paired with the right food. Perhaps all we needed was tasting snacks with our lighter elephant wine but for now, we are definitely leaning towards a wine that has something to say.

Kristen: 1

Briana: 1

Paula: 1

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