Okay, okay… by now you’re all very aware that I am a fan of rosé. Although I drink rosé all year long, pink wine is a summertime staple in my eyes, just like picnics, bbqs and the beach. Rosé, which can be made from any grape, falls somewhere between a red and a white wine, but is more like a state of mind than anything — it’s just really fun to drink, regardless of how ‘serious’ the wine is. In my quest to find some killer rosés this summer, I have managed to taste quite a few, but these three Pinot Noir rosés are some of my favorites. In fact, one has earned the crown as my new favorite rosé!
I had been hearing good things about Denner Vineyards since after Nick and I got engaged. Actually, it was our wedding photographer who first told us we should try the wines! So when we were planning our trip to Paso Robles, Denner was near the top of the list.
I’ve written about the Funk Zone more times than I can count on one hand… for magazines, online publications, on my own blog as well as on other blogs. I don’t just talk the talk, I actually live close by and frequent the area regularly. So it’s always fun when a new place opens up that I know will be a great addition to the neighborhood, especially when it comes to food options. That’s why I’m excited that the much anticipated Helena Avenue Bakery is finally here!
You’ve probably noticed that I am a big fan of rosé, especially this time of year. Even diehard red wine drinkers seem to be charmed by pink wine in the summer months. And what’s not to love? Rosé is an easy choice — it’s food friendly, typically low in alcohol and refreshing. You don’t even have to be too picky about the variety or blend when you choose rosé; it’s just its own all encompassing category of “rosé.” Although I do love to try new wines, it’s nice to have a few in your back pocket that deliver year after year. One of my go to California rosés has got to be the Matthiasson Rosé, produced by famed winemaker Steve Matthiasson.
Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a special South African Wine ‘Master Class’ here in Santa Barbara along with several wine industry professionals from SB and LA. I love attending these types of seminars because they’re so informative, but it’s also a great chance to try really interesting wines I may otherwise not have the opportunity to. South Africa in Santa Barbara? Sign me up!
It’s true that Blaufränkisch is pretty hard to find outside of Europe. Most people have never heard of it, but it is one of the prominent grapes of Austria (also known as Lemberger) and can be found in other parts of Europe. Known for its unique characteristics, it’s sort of a combination of Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo and Syrah all in one. I admit that I didn’t know anyone was making Blaufränkisch in California, let alone Santa Barbara County, until meeting David and Anna deLaski. They’re the owners of Solminer Wines, and yes, they make a Blaufränkisch!
There’s a little slice of Tuscany in Paso Robles thanks to the newly opened Allegretto Vineyard Resort, located about a 5 minute drive from downtown Paso. Technically the first ‘resort’ in Paso Robles wine country, the Allegretto opened last fall and I was looking forward to experiencing it firsthand (and crossing my fingers it would transport me back to my time living in Italy!)
Although Nick and I have passed through Paso Robles several times, it was only recently that we first stayed the weekend there. When planning our trip, Halter Ranch Winery, in the Adelaida District of Paso, was a name that kept getting mentioned as a place to visit. Perfect timing, too, since their new tasting room opened up only a couple of months prior!
Rick and Aurora Grimm, the couple behind Grimm’s Bluff, moved their family from Monaco to Santa Barbara in 2007 and soon found themselves missing the European wines they had grown accustomed to. Without much knowledge of California wines, they began exploring the Central Coast to better acquaint themselves with the wines of this region. During their tasting adventures, they found that Paul Lato made some of their favorite Santa Barbara wines, similar in style to their beloved European wines. Little did they know that a few years later they’d have their own label, Grimm’s Bluff Winery, and would hire Paul Lato to be their winemaker!
One of the benefits of living in Southern California is having access to farmers’ market produce all year long, but I especially love when the spring bounty arrives. While perusing yesterday’s farmers’ market, I was immediately inspired to make a spring green frittata, because who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner every now and again? Plus, I had the perfect frittata wine pairing in mind: the 2014 Cultivar Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc.