California wine in the Springtime

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In California, rosé wines are the harbinger of Springtime. They spent the winter settling and resting, preparing for being bottled. Come March, you start to see the previous year’s gently-hued, feminine wines hitting the shelves at your favorite restaurants, wine retailers and wine bars. These fresh, easy-to-drink wines are affordably priced, simple to understand and great with food.

This weekend I went up to Sonoma to pick up the new Arnot-Roberts rosé of 80% Touriga Nacional & 20% Tinta Cao. I fell in love with this wine last year. This is what I consider to be one of the best California rosé wines on the commercial market. It’s fresh, lively, complex, aromatic and full of energy. This wine is perfect for a sunny Spring day like today, even if it’s not technically Spring yet. At $22, you’d be hard-pressed to find a nicer wine for the money.

Rose is a truly versatile food wine; you can pair it with almost anything. Grilled seafood, pizza, barbecue, charcuterie, pork and grilled vegetables all come to mind. It’s truly a wine for grilling & Summertime, best served chilled and while sitting in your back yard on a warm night.

While we were in the neighborhood, we paid a visit to Iron Horse Vineyards (open to the public, great sparkling wines & view), Wind Gap Wines (appointment only), Dutton-Goldfield (great Pinot Noir & Pinot Blanc), and Porter-Creek Vineyards (amazing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Carignan & Syrah). Lots of the wineries in the area have released their Spring wines and we took full advantage. I tasted over 20 wines and bought more than I needed to!

You would be hard-pressed to not believe it’s Spring today in the Bay Area. I went for a hike at San Bruno Mountain State Park and saw many of the lovely native wildflowers in bloom. Forget-Me-Nots, California Poppy, Lupine & Irises. The weather was outstanding; 65 degrees but it felt more like 70.

We have had a few lackluster wildflower seasons for the last few years around here, but maybe this year will be different. Looks great so far.