California wine in the Springtime


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.