Saturday, July 17, 2010

Real Wine Boyz Drink Pink

Summer weather. Summer entertaining. An easy excuse to drink. Call it what you may, but Friday saw another edition of Wine Boyz - and, in honour of the summer and one of this summer's trends, we were drinking pink.

Now that the general wine world is discovering that there's more to Rose than White Zinfandel, I figured it would be fun to try an assortment of pink wines to see if we could reach a general agreement or identify some favourites. I think we succeeded on both fronts.

Boo got called in to work at the last minute, so our eight became seven but we still had a rousing time and we encountered a couple surprises.

527. NV Royal de Neuville Vin Rose Petillant (France)

This wasn't an official entry in the evening's tasting. Being "bubble," it was going to be too identifiably different from all the remaining wines and was simply meant as a cocktail while we waited for stragglers. Good thing we had it as well since The Marquis was delayed by a seat-belt infraction and a possible hauling off to the cop shop. Seems his stunningly good looks and accent weren't cutting it with the newbie officers. He probably could have used something stiffer than a sparkling Rose upon his arrival though.

I had to smile upon reading this label and seeing that it was referred to as "Crackling Rose Wine." I almost broke out into song and old Neil Diamond classics. Thing is, even though I remember liking the song "Cracklin' Rosie" when I was growing up, that was one helluva long time ago and I no longer remember the tune or any of the words.

But the real evening was spent blind tasting the seven wines that everybody brought along. It was quite an array; however, after all the wines were revealed, I was quite surprised by the fact that there were two Okanagan wines, one from Italy and all the rest were French. Out of all the Rose wines in our market, most people still grabbed a French wine. A bit of a surprise since I don't think any of us generally reach for vin francais as a rule.

Most of tonight's guests admitted that they don't drink much Rose either and they were surprised at the array of shades in colour and by the fact that all of the wines were dry.

I think we were all equally surprised by our overall choices. Our first two choices were virtually tied. Four of us picked the evening's first pick as their first choice. The second place wine took the other three first place votes. Even more surprising was that both top spots were taken by the two BC wines! Probably the most determinative factor was the fact that I ranked the number two wine as my fifth choice.

Here are the wines as they finished in our ranking (total points in brackets - lower being "better") -

528. 2008 Therapy Vineyards Pink Freud (VQA Okanagan Valley) (13) (Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cab Sauv & Shiraz)

530. 2009 Meyer Family Vineyards Gamay Rose (VQA Okanagan Valley) (22) (Gamay Noir)

Only 150 cases made of it.

529. 2009 Domaine Houchart Rose (AOC Cotes de Provence) (15) (Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah & Cab Sauv)

531. 2009 Lorgeril L'Orangeraie (Vin de Pays d'Oc - France) (30) (Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah & Merlot)

532. 2009 La Vieille Ferme Rose (AOC Cotes du Ventoux - France) (34) (Cinsault, Grenache & Syrah)

533. 2009 San Silvestro Cantine Monferrato Chiaretto (DOC Monferrato Chiaretto - Piedmont - Italy) (41) (Barbera)

534. 2008 M. Chapoutier Beaurevoir (AOC Tavel - France) (41) (Grenache)

As seems to be the case with these evenings where there are a number of bottles to add to The List, there's not a whole lot of time or space to write much about the wines or the producers. It was also interesting that the last two wines received the same number of points. The difference was that almost everyone had the Monferrato ranked as one of their least favourites, the M. Chapoutier was the most polarizing of all the wines. Five of our tasters rated it as their last place wine, while The Marquis ranked it as his second and I had it smack dab in the middle.

The fact that the BC wines took the top two spots was surprising to all - and, in particular, I was pretty shocked when I saw that the Therapy was our overall favourite - including mine. I've always thought that the marketing was brilliant, but I just never took it all that seriously as a wine. Guess I'll have to now. I'd definitely re-think their pink and re-visit Therapy's Pink Freud.

Just goes to show, chacun son gout. And that even real boyz can drink pink.

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