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Dinner at Aventine Proves Matching Theory

The media table at the Vino California wine dinner at Aventine Hollywood. Yes, we’re in there somewhere.

The thing about wine dinners is that they are generally pretty pricey affairs, and it’s understandable, since a lot of time and effort goes into planning the menus and matching the wines, plus the cost of the wines, since you’re generally drinking a different wine with each course. We were, fortunately, the guests at a recent dinner at restaurant Aventine Hollywood, as part of the Vino California Italian Wine Classic – a wine event featuring a grand tasting and dinners around Southern

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Celebrity Wine FAQ – Wallace Langham

 

 

 

 

Wallace Langham, Courtesy CBS

It’s really interesting how many people have questions about wine – even folks who don’t drink or can’t drink at all.

Take Wallace Langham, who plays lab tech Hodge on CSI.

“I stopped drinking wine,” he told Anne at a party at the TV Critics Press Tour.  “I stopped drinking altogether.   But I can think of one.   Ah.  Is it all right to drink rosé all year round?”

Langham was asking on behalf of his wife, who loves rosé.  We say you go, Mrs. Langham (assuming that’s your name).  Rosé

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Tablas Creek 2009 Rosé

 

 

Courtesy Tablas Creek Vineyards

 

Type: Dry rosé Made with: Mourvedre, Grenache, Counoise Plays well with: duck, figs, cheese, nuts and picnic fare.

Let’s be clear.  This is not a sweet wine.  Alas, US rosés, in particular, have that bad rep from the cheap box wines that were so popular in the 1960s and ’70s.  But this ain’t your daddy’s Lancers.  The Tablas Creek 2009 Rosé was pink, as in the color a fresh rosé should have. The nose was fruity with watermelon and strawberry, and the fruitiness continued into the taste, even though it is

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Jason Haas - Tablas Creek Rosé Heaven

Jason Haas, of Tablas Creek and nice pink stuff

We’re having an insanely good lunch at the Hospice du Rhone on the last day of April – duck confit, goat cheese, roasted veggies (food was catered by The Girl and The Fig, of Sonoma, California), and it’s the rosé lunch, partly sponsored by the Synidcat de Tavel, where they make some of the world’s greatest dry rosés.  Every table had five Tavels to share.

So what does Jason Haas, general manager of Tablas Creek Winery, go around and do?  Plops down random bottles of the Tablas Creek 2009

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Consensio 2008 Rosé

Type: Dry roséMade with: Syrah and GrenachePlays well with: Seafood, salmon, chicken, pork, it’s rose – anything goes!

This rosé is so spectacular that you can’t help feeling a little smug when folks who supposedly “know” sneer that they don’t drink rosé. Good. More for us.

Bone dry, it’s made up of sixty percent syrah and forty percent grenache with a scant .02 percent residual sugar. You won’t taste even the slightest hint of sweetness.

The salmon color is typical of a rosé from the French region of Provence. The nose is full of guava and watermelon – promising

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Chateau d’Aqueria 2007 Rose Tavel

The good folks at Blackwell’s wines and spririts were featuring Chateau d’Aqueria 2007 Tavel when we wandered in there a couple months ago. The winery is one of the oldest in the Tavel region of France’s southern Rhone region (French wines being labeled after where they’re grown and made rather than by the grapes in them, with each region using basically the same grapes to make the wine, anyway, so a Bordeaux is always going to have cabernet sauvignon and merlot in it, no matter who in Bordeaux made it). Tavel is best known here in the States –

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Coral Mustang 2006 Tempranillo Rosé

When you’re ready to drink this rosé, pull it from the fridge about half an hour to an hour before you drink it.  You want it chilled, but not too cold or you’ll miss all the lovely complexities in the wine.

It’s light in color with a strawberry nose.  There are none of the herbs, leather or smoke that you normally associate with tempranillo.  That’s because those elements, along with the color, come from the skins of the grapes.  Red wines are red because they are initially fermented after the whole grape berry has been crushed to release some

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Yosemite View 2007 California Caprice Rose

Yosemite View is Mariposa Wine Company’s “value” line, but it is a significant value, especially the 2007 Caprice Rose.

Roses are often blends and it’s not unusual to sip one and wonder what went into it.  Fortunately, we didn’t have to wonder with the Caprice Rose, an exceptional wine, let alone rose. The blend of juices is 30 percent cinsault, 60 percent zinfandel and 10 percent pinot grigio. which is different to be sure. Take away the cinsault’s structure and the pinot grigio’s acidity and you’re left with the usual syrupy sweet white zinfandel. But put together with some

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