All Wined Up

Grape + Bean “Rolls Out the Rose” Adding Some Warmth to a Cool, Rainy Spring Day

Guest post by Sherrie Bakshi

This past Saturday, I attended a Rosé Tasting at Grape + Bean in Old Town Alexandria. I am a big fan of rosè wines so this was a perfect way to spend the evening.

Rosè Renaissance!

For many years, rosés were not the wine of choice for those that “appreciated good wine.” However, that’s no longer the case. and today one would define the taste of a good rose as “refreshing, crisp and simply lovely.” Much of this can be attributed to the experience and knowledge of today’s winemakers who have truly helped make it a Rosé Renaissance.

Our Tasting

On this particular evening, we tasted six different wines—three French, Two Spanish and one Californian.
They were:

  • 2011 Mas De Cadenat: A Grenache/Cinsault/Syrah from the Côtes De Provence region
  • 2011 J Mourat: A “Collection” of Cabernet Franc/Negrette/Pinot Noir from Fiefs Vendéens of France
  • 2011 Fourgeray de Beauclair: A Pinot Noir from Marsannay, France
  • 2011 Clua's El Sola D’ En Pol: Garnatxa Negra/Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah from Terra Alta, Spain
  • 2011 Shane's Ma Fille: Syrah from Sonoma County
  • 2011 Vinendos De Inthaca’s Odyessus: Garnacha Negrea from Priorrat, Spain

You could sense the shift in tastes throughout the tasting. The French wines carried perfume aromatics while the Spanish and Californian wines were more earthy and berry infused. And, though I enjoyed them all, I have to admit, I had a few favorites:

  • There is something about a good Pinot Noir. Perhaps I have something for Burgundian wines, but The Fourgeray de Beauclair was simply delightful. The combination of the perfume aromatics and berries allowed me to experience the wine’s aromatics with both my nose and mouth (a great way to experience any wine or food to say the least).
  • A good California wine is just as good as a French one. The Shane “Ma Fille“, primarily made from Syrah, has a bit of a kick to it. It has a zesty taste with a tingly after taste to it. I learned from some research that I conducted that it could be a hint of white pepper and star annise spice infused in the wine that livens it up.
  • Labels can be deceiving. Take a look at the bottle and you’d think it is Greek by its label. But, that’s definitely not the case with the final wine we tasted. The Vinedos De Inthaca’s Odyessus, was the opposite of everything we tasted. Many of the wines we tasted were somewhat light.This one--not the case. You could tell by the look of it, which was comparably darker to the other ones, as well as by its taste, which was more like a light bodied red versus a rosé. By far, the best choice to end the tasting.

If you haven’t been to a wine tasting at Grape + Bean, I highly recommend it. They are located in the heart of Old Town Alexandria, VA and the wines are paired with a selection of cheeses and other samplings from the restaurant’s menu. Once you’ve completed the wine tasting, you may find yourself at the bar, enjoying some of the restaurant’s small plates and glass of wine.

Sherrie loves talking about wining and dining. Check out her blog Sher In the City or follow her on twitter at @Sher_32.