Spring Rosé

Spring is officially here! This is a cause for celebration and I propose a toast to spring with a Rosé. Not White Zin, but a real Rosé. To me, Rosé says spring with its beautiful color and refreshing taste.  It’s such a gorgeous accent to the spring table.

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While shopping for our Easter holiday, I stopped into Bin 201 – my favorite boutique wine shop – for some suggestions.  Bin 201 is conveniently located in the Annapolis Towne Centre right across from Whole Foods. It is so easy to stop in and talk about what I plan to serve. The staff is friendly, fun and so knowledgeable about their wines. It’s the place to go and explore all the possibilities.

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I’m so impressed by their service, the atmosphere and the wines they offer.  Anytime I ask for a recommendation, they nail it – I’ve never been disappointed.  I strolled in last week with my Easter menu and asked the manager, Pete Rutski, to help me find some Rosés for the holiday and to carry me into spring. Here are his selections:

IMG_60521. Gonet-Medeville Premier Cru Extra Brut Rosé NV Champagne, France  $50.99

How better to begin any festive meal than with bubbles!? Gonet-Medeville sources their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from 5 different premier cru vineyard sites surrounding the village of Epernay (known for its exceptionally chalky soils). This Rosé is an energetic and fruit-driven delight, with generous aromatics, rich red berry tones and a fine, lively perlage. An abundant minerality lingers on its long, precise finish. Champagne is incredibly food-versatile, but will match especially well with rich, savory fare like honey-glazed ham or creamy potato gratin.

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2. Crios Rosé of Malbec 2015, Mendoza, Argentina $11.99

One of Argentina’s premier female winemakers, Susana Balbo, offers this chewy, extroverted Malbec rosé. The wine opens with a fragrant bouquet of cherry and wild strawberries, followed by a dry and concentrated palate, blooming with loads of telltale spicy red fruits. Balanced and direct, this is a great alternative for red wine drinkers as the weather warms. Fresh but medium-bodied, Crios will stand up nicely to roasted leg of lamb with a balsamic-fig reduction.

IMG_60623. Clos Cibonne Tibouren Rosé 2014, Côtes de Provence, France $27.99

Crafted entirely of the rare native varietal Tibouren, this is a dry, savory rosé that ages for a year in large casks prior to release. A gorgeous nose of dried red fruit, orange peel and flowering herbs leads to a subtle but mouth-filling palate of spice and minerals, sweeping you away on a cool Mediterranean breeze. Try Cibonne with more tangy dishes, like deviled eggs or curried lamb chops.

IMG_60634. Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé 2015, Coastal Region, South Africa $13.99

When you think “Cab Sauv,” you probably don’t think “pink wine,” but this South African offering is indeed 100% Cab, harvested early to retain the grapes’ acidity. Fresh and ripe, Mulderbosch offers a delicate waft of strawberry and rose petals. Plenty of red cherries follow, along with a round mouthfeel and juicy, smile-inducing conclusion. Herb roasted chicken is a wonderful match.

IMG_60655. Ostatu Rosado 2015, Rioja, Spain $16.99

Rioja is Spain’s most important wine region, known primarily for their Tempranillo-based reds; however, this area also produces some terrific bargain rosé, or Rosado. Pale salmon in color, Ostatu is a blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha and Viura (a white grape!). Aromas of bright red cherries and minerals hint at the juicy palate, highlighted by just a touch of peach. It’s all driven by fresh acidity to a clean, citric finish. Perfect for more rustic fare, like roasted root vegetables or a sage and wild mushroom stuffing.

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Another find at Bin 201 is their Case of the Month.  Each month they come out with a new box of 12 bottles for just $99.00.  This is such a fun way to explore different wines.  The cases are made up of a seasonal mix of whites and reds, sometimes with a sparkler or rosé thrown in.  CLICK HERE  to the March Case of the Month.  Then there are the specialty boxes.  I’d not delved into the Spanish one that you see below at the time I wrote this but I promise that I will!  These cases serve our household well.IMG_6068

If you are looking to expand your wine knowledge, they also offer regular tastings & classes.  The events are listed on their website.  If you have never been to Bin 201 I hope you check it out  – you will know you have arrived upon seeing their fun murals in the parking lot:IMG_6037And, should you find yourself in Baltimore, check out their sister shop, Bin 604.IMG_6035IMG_6036

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