Flirting on the Feminine Side

It’s easy to lump rose wines together in the “feminine” side of the wine world, but the description is apt when it fits like a little pink sun dress on a hot wine country day.

The start of this little adventure began with a meal of takeout chicken teriyaki from one of my favorite Alameda restaurants — Kamakura.

I called in a “to go” order from my car and had 15 minutes to kill before it was ready, so I wandered into the nearby Du Vin Fine Wines shop to find something to drink with dinner.

I’d normally grab a dry riesling or maybe sauvignon blanc, but when I asked the proprietor, Dan Marshall, for a recommendation his response was unexpected.

He thought a rose might be a good choice and  pointed to a $12.99 bottle of pink wine from the Mediterranean coast.

At first, I was doubtful. But my adventurous side took over and I carried the 2010 Cuvee du Golfe de Saint-Tropez by Les Vignerons de Grimaud home for dinner.

It was flirty, fun and fantastic.

The French wine is a light pink color with a mild floral nose. It’s a dry blend of grenache, cinsault and carignane. The grenache fruit comes though, albeit with a whispery light touch.

It was easy to drink and definitely complemented the Japanese chicken dish that included a side of sautéed carrots and steamed rice.

Something Old

When I pulled out a bottle of Thomas Coyne 2004 Vino Tinto Reserva from my cellar the other day, I wasn’t sure what seven years of age had to done to this blend of Portuguese grapes from Lodi.

When I bought the wine several years ago — at a Coyne open house in Livermore — it was fresh, fruity and lip-smacking good. I stuck the bottle in my cellar and completely forgot about it until a few days ago.

I’d made a vegetarian pizza — tomato sauce covered with mozzarella, fresh tomatoes from my garden and some orange bell peppers — and it cried out for a gulpable red wine. The Vino Tinta Rosa fit the bill.

It tasted as fresh as the first taste I’d had years ago, an unexpected pleasure. It felt like I was rediscovering an old friend and made me want to start looking for a taste of the current vintage ($18, available at the winery).

Urban Wineries Pouring in Oakland

The East Bay Vintners Alliance is hosting its annual Urban Wine Experience on the waterfront in Oakland next weekend.

There will be more than 20 wineries pouring dozens of wines on Saturday (Aug. 6) from 2-5 p.m. at the Jack London Pavilion.  There will be 20 different food vendors, paired one-on-one with the wineries. Order online before Aug. 1 and pay $40/ticket. After that, the tab rises to $60.

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