• La Quatrième Rosé

    St. Valentin, France

    I am going to give it to the French. Not the battle of the rosés, but rather that they do have a bit of a reputation for romance, and this did begin as an ode to Valentine's Day. So they've got that. They also have the sparking wine thing kind of nailed down, with the whole Champagne and all of that. So here, the fourth and last entry in our War of the Roses, the Chapuy Tradition Brut Rosé. And let's just leave it at that.

    The wine, as described by Wine Spectator when they handed it 91 points:"A spicy thread winds through the flavors of plum brandy, white cherry, bread dough and raw almond in this rosé, fleshed out by a hint of ripe watermelon. An open-knit and fresh Champagne, this has a lively bead and a juicy finish. Drink now through 2017." Don't wait until 2017. Just go ahead and drink now.

  • The Third Man - Austria Enters the Battle


    With two rosés from Austria entering the battle, thus making them the second and third, how could we not think of The Third Man? The famous scene where Harry Lime and Holly Martins ride the Riesenrad (that's the big ferris wheel in the picture to the right) on the Prater in Vienna, talking about taking out all the dots (aka people) down below... pretty cold stuff. These two Austrian rosés may take down their competitors just as coldly.

    A side thought about the Riesenrad, since we are rolling up on Valentines Day: You can rent one of the cars (they are actually more like little cabins) and have a sunset dinner. So romantic, and actually some wonderful views of Vienna. And the dinner will be especially great if you are drinking either the Umathum Rosa or the Alphart Rosé.


    The Umathum Rosa: From biodynamic producer Josef "Pepi" Umathum comes this cuvee from the three most important red wine grapes of Austria: Blaufrankisch, St.Laurent and Zweigelt. We love the spice that the Zweigelt lends balanced with the elegance of the St.Laurent, all hanging on the perfect backbone of Blaufrakisch.

    The Alphart Rosé : A very pure style, one that loses some of the aggressive edge that St Laurent can sometimes show, and tends toward the Pinot Noir end of the St Laurent's varietal spectrum (it is a spontaneous crossing of an unknown grape with Pinot Noir.) Crafted in stainless steel, the wine remains light, vivacious and elegant. One tends to forget to mention the Thermenregion when the subject of red wines comes up, but in Austria Alphart enjoys an excellent reputation for his Pinot Noir, and this wine certainly accentuates St Laurent's ties to the Pinot family.

    Saint Valentin is ready for battle. Which rose will he choose? Both are on sale thru 2/14/15...

  • The Valentine's Day Massacre

    St. Valentine in TerniSt.Valentine Basilica in Terni, Italy

    Our War of the Roses quartet would be incomplete without an Italian contender, so we are bringing this one out of the gate first. And of course (and with all apologies) as this is a battle of the rosés as we roll towards Valentines Day, and this one is Italian, a reference to the St.Valentine's Day Massacre of Al Capone was inevitable. But these things all come so neatly wrapped up together: Saint Valentine was Italian and is the saint for which Valentines day is named- he was buried on February 14th. While little is actually known about Valentinus, as you can see in this beautiful stained glass window which resides in the Saint Valentine Basilica in Terni, Italy, it is generally accepted that he was martyred for marrying "unsanctioned" couples, and here he is shown blessing these young lovers. Who happen to be passing a rose between them. The artist almost certainly meant for it to symbolize the rosé wine we are focusing on right now.

    The wine. This Rosato comes from Rosa del Golfo, a winery with ancient roots in the agricultural traditions of that distant part of the Puglia region known as the Salento Peninsula. The Salento is hailed as the best rosé producing area of Italy, a theory supported and widespread by Italians themselves. Indeed, Rosa Del Golfo takes its name from the rosé wine that made them famous and still to this day is considered the benchmark of Italian rose wines.

    Rosa del Golfo RosatoRosato

    The winery possesses two centuries of history, having always been managed by the Calo' family.The hillside vineyards have clay-limestone soils, with characteristic areas of red earth rich in iron, as well as a mild climate which makes the area ideal for growing grapes and olives. It is exactly this "Terra Rossa" (red soils) that are the secret to the structure and complexity of the wines.

    "The best rosé of Italy" is the way we have heard it described more than a few times. Fighting words? Perhaps. But this is our War of the Rosés and Italy has thrown down the gauntlet. And just as we prefer a rosé to a rose for Valentines Day, in the spirit of the pen being mightier than the sword, we also prefer it to a hail of bullets.

    Which brings us to the Valentine's Day Massacre of 1929. Perhaps more is known about the life of Al Capone than that of Saint Valentine, but it should be pointed out that Alphonse was not Italian: he born in Brooklyn. Had his parents stayed in Italy, he would not have been faced with the dark, dry days of prohibition which is surely what drove him over the edge.


  • The War of the Roses

    The War Of The Roses

    Bring it on. A quick bit of history first: Rather than being just one war, these were dynastic battles fought sporadically from about 1455 to 1487 between two rival branches in the royal House of Plantagenet, so should really be referred to as the Wars of the Roses. The name refers to the badges of the rivals: the White Rose of York and the Red Rose of Lancaster. All the big names were involved-  you've got your Henry's and your Richard's, and it wraps up when a Henry kills a Richard, then marries an Elizabeth, the daughter of an Edward, which actually then unites the two houses and ushers in the "Golden Age" of Elizabeth.

    What does this have to do with wine? Absolutely nothing. But with Valentines Day around the corner, ones thoughts do tend to turn to roses. We don't sell roses. We sell rosés. So we are inviting you to skip the flowers and have yourself a V-Day Rosé Smackdown.

    4 rosé wines from 3 different countries in 2 different styles (still and sparkling.) Add in discounts that range from 10% on up to 30% off and you can afford all the ammunition you need. We'll be posting more information about the history and qualities of each of these contenders, but you can preview (and buy) all four of them right here right now.

    So, are you a Lancaster or are you a York? Let's tear down this House of Plantagenet.

4 Item(s)