Wine Review: A to Z 2014 Oregon Rosé

My introduction to rosé wine came through a sweet rosé, and it took me a little while to come to appreciate dry and off-dry rosé wines. A to Z offers up a dry rosé that’s delightfully tart and citrusy.

A to Z 2014 rose

A light and crisp rosé with hints of cirtus and strawberry.

It pairs well with creamy cheeses and sauces, basically anything where you want something crisp and acidic to cleanse the palate. I had it with both a sage cheddar (yum!) and also seafood chili. It did a great job of clearing away the residue spiciness of the chili, which ended up being perfect for me, because as tasty as the chili was, it was right on the cusp of being too spicy for me. The wine kept the heat from building up to too hot levels.

The wine also has noted of strawberry and plum. It has a bit of a lingering finish, but it’s not heavy-handed. I found this rosé to be the kind where each sip invites you to take the next. I’d buy it again, especially given its price (about $12), and I’ll go on to try other A to Z wines a try (perhaps in April for Camp NaNo 😉 ).

As for how helpful it is in getting all those A to Z words down for NaNo…well, I have had a productive week. Taking some time off work has done wonders for my word count. So has the reward of a nice, chilled glass of this rosé when I make my daily goal. Cheers and happy writing!

(Mini) Wine Review: Rivata Casa Rossa

casa rossa

Hello, my new summer crush! You are so fizzy and flirty and sweet.

This is a sweet (but not too sweet) Italian red with a touch of carbonation, so it’s refreshingly fizzy and delightful chilled. It’s fresh and crisp with a hint of blackberry and a strong plum finish.

It’s the perfect wine to sip on a gorgeous summer day when you’re out on the back porch with a good book and a cloudless sky. I’m going to be forced, forced I tell you, to pick up another bottle for to celebrate that first perfect summer day. And at $11.99, it’s a wine that’s going into my gift rotation. I know a few folks who will enjoy it as much (if not more than) me.

Wine Review: Sun Garden 2012 Riesling

I’ve come to learn that I approach wine buying much like I approach book buying. I have my favorite “genre” (reds) and “subgenres” (Sangiovese, Malbec, Pinot Noir…), and my tried and true “authors” (Airfield Estates, Brian Carter Cellars…), but sometimes I want something new. And a catchy cover bottle and the right price point will get my attention.

sun garden 2012 riesling

Sun Garden’s 2012 Riesling is a little like having a glass of early spring sunshine.

That’s how I came to try Sun Garden’s 2012 Riesling. It is a gorgeous bottle (I love turquoise), and while this winter hasn’t been as gray and dreary as past winters, I am starting to give the clouds the stinkeye. The sun on the label immediately perked me up, and the price was right. And I do like (the right) Rieslings.

This is an off-dry Riesling, and any off-dry white is a hard sell for me. I generally like my whites to commit to the sweet or dry end of the spectrum and tend to be underwhelmed by anything in between. Sun Garden’s 2012 Riesling, however, has enough fruitiness to hold my interest. It starts nice and tart and then opens up to a nice, crisp melony-peachy note.

I had it with my baked apples with honey walnut ricotta this past weekend, and it was a perfect compliment to the dessert. The apple really highlighted the tartness of the wine, and the wine, in turn, brought out the sweetness in the dessert. I also had it the next day with some cream of mushroom soup, and while it wasn’t quite as dazzling when paired with the soup, it was nice and light and a good counterweight to the heaviness of the cream.

I’ll likely pick it up again, especially when I want to offset a sweet dessert.

Wine Review: Anakena 2012 Late Harvest Viognier

I’m mainly a fan of red wine, though I go to a number of wine tasting with a friend who’s a huge fan whites, specifically sweet whites, and over the years, we’ve slowly convinced each other to expand our palates. And now I do admit a certain fondness for sweet, fruity whites.

Anakena's 2012 Late Harvest Viognier

Look at that gorgeous golden color!

Anakena’s 2012 Late Harvest Viognier is sweet. It’s a Chilean wine, and I’ve had good luck with Chilean reds, so I picked it up on a whim for when I was in the mood for a sweet white. At $11.99, it’s on the cheaper end of the late harvest wines I like, and it’s one I’ll definitely get again for my own pleasure, but if I’m looking to give someone (like my friend who keeps corrupting expanding my palate, or, my mother, who also likes sweet whites), I’ll stick to my tried and true Airfield and Kestrel picks.

I really like the color and scent of this late harvest. It looks and smells sweet, but not cloyingly sweet. It doesn’t taste cloyingly sweet, either, but I don’t taste many fruity notes. Some are hiding there, but the sweetness overpowers them, and the wine ends on a crisp, almost harsh, note for me. I like wines that have a bit of a bite, so it’s a good ending note for me.

End result: I’d like to try it again, but I’ll wait and get it when I need one more bottle to get a bulk discount. I’ll also be on the lookout for other Anakena wines, especially their reds.