CategoriesUncategorized

Celebrate Lodi Rose

Last month the Amarose team packed their bags, hit the road, and converged on Lodi, California to participate in the annual Celebrate Lodi Rosé festival. We braved temperatures of nearly 110 degrees fahrenheit, a sweltering heat to us New Englanders that registered as merely ‘pretty warm’ to the native residents of the Central Valley city. I personally drove up from Los Angeles, a 6 hour drive that had me worried on several occasions that my car might overheat right there on the I-5.

It was worth the heat, though. As a boutique winery, Amarose doesn’t have a tasting room, but the people at the Lodi Wine Visitors center were kind enough to let us set up a station in their tasting room, making us both the first and the last winery that many saw as they made their way through Lodi’s many delicious offerings. All weekend we treated the denizens of Lodi to free samples while they treated us to wonderful conversation and great feedback about our new 2021 vintage. We met a lot of friendly faces, from a local almond farmer to a Naval officer visiting from Hawaii.

We were busy with our own tasting station, but we still found time to visit a few brick and mortar wineries. The first one we visited was Nostra Vita family winery, a beautiful mediterranean style building nestled in a vineyard with a relaxing outdoor tasting space. There, we enjoyed two tasting flights, one of sparkling wine and one of the regular flat variety. We also decided to go a little crazy and ordered a few wine slushies, which, despite our initial skepticism, turned out to be astonishingly good.

The second winery we visited was Klinker Brick, the primary winery of our very own winemaker, the award winning Joseph Smith. Just as he did with Amarose, he knocked it out of the park with Klinker Brick’s oeuvre of wines. We especially loved the Farrah Syrah, one of Klinker Brick’s top rated reds.

The official name of the festival is ‘Celebrate Lodi Rosé,’ and it’s a relatively new event– 2022 is only its second year. It’s a great showcase of Lodi’s diverse selection of wineries and the wide range of rosé that the region creates. In many ways, Lodi and rosé are a perfect pair: both are up and comers, but to those in the know, they contain as much complexity as their more prestigious counterparts.

CategoriesWineducation

Wine Blending

You may think you know the basic process of wine making. Grapes get grown, grapes get mashed, grapes get processed and stored for a period of time under particular conditions in order to make them alcoholic. If you find the knowledge of this process comforting somehow, if the idea that one type of grape correlates to one type of wine brings you peace, stop reading now. Because I am about to rip you out of that comforting reality like Neo emerging from The Matrix: Most wines are blends of two or more types of grapes.

It wasn’t always this way. Before the 19th century, wines were largely made from a single variety of grape, but with the onset of industrialization it became important for wineries to have consistent yearly output– something that wasn’t always possible with the many variables inherent in agriculture. If a crop of merlot wine fails, then you would go a year without merlot, for example. Wine blending fixed this. By not relying on a single crop, wineries were able to make delicious wines on a consistent basis.

Wine blending is a complex process, one that winemakers have developed into an art. Different wines produce different and surprising tastes when combined, and it takes a skilled hand to know which variety of grapes will bring the precise flavor you’re looking for. It’s a long process of adding and subtracting and adding again, and you need not only a steady hand but also a refined tongue to figure out exactly what’s missing from a blend in progress. Next time you crack open a bottle, keep in mind just how much skill and effort went into making your beverage as delicious as possible.

CategoriesUncategorized

Summer Wines

No matter how much we might wish otherwise, Time keeps marching steadily forward, and it is almost the summer.  Of 2022. I could have sworn it was 2019 three months ago. But whether your mental clock is, like mine, firmly stuck three years in the past or fully functional and up to date, the fact remains that summer is here, and that means it’s time to replenish the wine rack with some tasty varietals perfect for the warmer weather. Without further ado, here’s five wines you should be drinking this summer.

5- MOSCATO

Sweet and fruity, Moscato is a perfect wine for a summer day. It’s got a lighter alcohol content than many wines and a floral aroma that calls to mind blooming gardens and blue skies.

4- CHARDONNAY

Chardonnay is a quintessential white wine that pairs well with chicken, cheese, and seafood. If you’re on the coast this summer and looking to enjoy the day’s catch, it’s hard to find a wine varietal that would serve you better.

3- PINOT NOIR

Despite red wines being generally considered a winter drink, the Pinot Noir is an excellent choice for the summer months. With less tannins and a lower acidity than other reds, the Pinot Noir can be enjoyed with almost anything.

2- SAUVIGNON BLANC

If you’re looking for the opposite of Pinot Noir’s low acidity red, try a high acidity white with Sauvignon Blanc. It’s a flavorful wine that goes well with herb-heavy meals and refreshing green salads.

1- ROSÉ

When it comes to summer wine, you really can’t beat rosé. It’s light, refreshing, and bursting with notes of fruit and flowers that are sure to put you in a carefree summer mood. This is an unbiased recommendation. I have no narrative to push. Incidentally, you can get delicious rosé shipped right to your house through the link on our website!

CategoriesTips

Response to ‘Millennials Aren’t Drinking Enough Wine’

About once a month for the past five years, there’s been an article released by a major publication saying something like ‘Millennials aren’t eating enough eggs,’ or ‘Millenials are killing the housing market,’ or ‘Why aren’t Millennials buying enough blood diamonds?’ Mostly you can dismiss these articles as quota-fillers written by bored journalists, and if you read a little deeper you can learn that all millennials really did to push all these great American industries to the brink of collapse was enter the workforce during a recession.

That said, The New York Times did publish an article recently that IS incredibly worrying. Deadly serious. Something that should cause every living person born between 1981 and 1996 to quake with fear. I am of course talking about Eric Asimov’s article ‘The Wine Business Sees a Problem: Millennials Aren’t Drinking Enough.’

Asimov cites surveys that show millennials favoring other beverages like beer and cider over delicious, classy wine. And listen, to an extent I get it. Beer is tasty! Cider is fun! But my god, are you really going to push wine to the curb? 

In the past few years, we’ve been asked to make a lot of sacrifices for the national good. Stay inside! Buy less gas! Work from home! What I’m asking isn’t even a sacrifice. I’m telling you to drink more. This is a gift!

You don’t even have to stop drinking beer or cider. Have a beer! Then have a glass of wine. Uber home. Have some wine in the back of the Uber. Maybe that wine is some delicious Amarose. Have another glass! It’s fine! You’re helping the economy!

A vineyard in California with a beautiful sunset
CategoriesTips

You Should Be Drinking More Rose

It is a scientific fact that wine is good for you. Not only that, there are actually no adverse effects to drinking wine. It’s a miracle beverage. 10 out of 10 scientists agree. There’s no need for you to open a new tab to verify this information, the fact that  we’re saying it here, on the internet, with no cited sources should be enough for you.

            There’s a problem in the world of wine, however. Red wines get a lot of love as a healing tonic, and white wines also have a sizable lobby behind them, but there are comparatively few people out there who understand where to fit a delicious pink rosé.

            The common attitude is that rosé is a spring drink, something fun and flirty that should be consumed before the start of summer. That’s partly right –rosé is fun and flirty– but it not only can be enjoyed year round, it should be! Keeping a few bottles of rosé around throughout the year allows the taste to mature and will give you a different rosé experience in every season.

            Rosé also boasts a wide array of health benefits. It has a low calorie count compared to other wines, making it a perfect choice if you’re on a diet or if you just want something a little lighter than the average fare. Rosé will also help bring down bad cholesterol and contains a respectable dose of antioxidants, which, if I’m doing my research right, means that rosé will make you live forever.

            So put down the reds and the whites for a minute, and pick up a glass of rosé. Your body will thank you.

CategoriesTips

Mead-WTF?

Wine is made from grapes. Everyone knows this. You grow grapes, process them, you age them, you get wine. Very simple. Grapes equal wine. Wine equals grapes. If you want a refined drink with a fruitier taste than beer and less alcohol content than a spirit, you’re going to need grapes.

            Or so we all thought, until a recent trend emerged! That’s right, mead is back in fashion. Famous mostly for the image of ancient Vikings drinking it out of animal horns, mead is distinct from other wine-like beverages because it’s made with honey. Not grapes. I’ll give you a second for the walls of your reality to adjust to this shocking new information.

            Until fairly recently, mead was something of a novelty. It enjoyed popularity throughout Europe until the 17th century, when cane sugar became more widely available and honey was supplanted as the go-to sweetener. Over the years mead dropped in popularity until generally the only stuff you could find was oversweet and gimmicky, not worth the glass it was bottled in.

            But now, interest in mead has surged and craft meaderies have begun popping up all over the country. Modern mead is delicious and varied, with brewers tweaking sweetness, alcohol content, honey sources, and fruit infusions to create a beverage every bit as complex and expansive as grape-based wine. Whatever your drinking preferences, there’s probably a mead out there for you.

            If you’re looking to try something new, head over to your local meadery and try a glass or two. Maybe you’ll find your new obsession.

CategoriesWineducation

Dogs and Wine

If you took a poll of every living human, asking them to list their top two greatest joys in life, there would be a unanimous answer:  Dogs and Wine. Everyone agrees. But there is an unfortunate catch– dogs don’t drink wine. But don’t worry! Through extensive research, I have found, definitively, what type of wine various dog breeds would prefer if they were able to drink it.

  1. Corgis: Moscato

            Corgis are pale, fluffy, and sweet, and there’s really no wine they could pair with better than a nice moscato. If you have doubts, pour yourself a glass of moscato and pull up a picture of a corgi (or get the real thing, if you have one!). Take a sip. Then look at the corgi. Take another sip. Have another look. See? They are the same.

  1. German Shepherd: Pinot Noir

            It’s easy to imagine a German shepherd drinking a glass of pinot noir in between bites of dog food. Both dog and wine are simultaneously mature and agreeable, medium-bodied, and well-tempered. Next time you pair a pinot noir with dinner, think about the German shepherds in your life, and see if it all doesn’t taste a little bit better.

  1. Dachshund: Zinfandel

            Picture a dachshund trying to drink a zinfandel. It wouldn’t be able to! Its front legs are so stubby that there’s no possible way it would be able to raise a glass to its lips. You’d have to feed it like a baby! What silly dogs.

  1. Husky: Chardonnay

            Bobsleds. Chardonnay. Thick fur. Chardonnay. UCONN Women’s Basketball. Chardonnay. These things fit together so well I bet you didn’t even realize I was listing different items. Anyway, a husky would drink chardonnay. It just would.

  1. Shih Tzu: Rosé

            Nothing says springtime like a rosé, except maybe a shih tzu drinking a rosé. Light, fruity, and breezy, they might be the best match on this list. You owe it to shih tzus everywhere to get yourself some rosé. They want you to drink more rosé. Maybe even some Amarose! Just a thought.

CategoriesWineducation

Lodi Wine Country

If you ask for an opinion of the central valley from residents of California, travelers who might have visited on their way up or down the west coast, or really anyone with even a basic understanding of California geography, you will get largely the same story: The central valley is a boring, never-ending stretch of land on either side of I-5 that makes long-haul truckers long for the cornfields of Nebraska. For long stretches there is nothing but gray-brown landscape and overcrowded truck stops, the only reprieve from the misery coming in the form of the occasional tumbleweed, or perhaps a herd of cattle.

But those in the know are aware that the central valley contains more than a few hidden gems– places like Lodi Wine Country, where Amarose wine is made. Lodi is an ideal place for a winery, with a climate measurably cooler than the scorching heat of the southern central valley and sandy soil that is excellent for cultivating the complex, versatile flavor that makes Amarose so delicious.

Lodi is just east of the Bay Area, a short drive from San Francisco, Oakland, or Berkley, and just south of Sacramento, the state’s capital. The proximity to the sea and the many tributaries of the San Joaquin Delta have driven wine production in Lodi for more than 100 years and lend a pastoral beauty to the land that is absent in the popular image of the central valley.

Wine from Lodi tends to be bold and complex, with unapologetic fruit notes and a distinctively pale color that sets it aside from other California wines. Amarose exemplifies the best of the Lodi wine region– delightfully drinkable and versatile, with bold bursts of flavor and an instantly recognizable pale-pink color that lets you know that you are in for a treat.

CategoriesWineducation

2020 Rose Still Rocking

If, like us at Amarose, you have a Google Alert running for any mention of the word ‘rosé,’ you probably saw Lettie Teague’s recent article for the Wall Street Journal entitled ‘Why Last Year’s Rosés Are Your Best Bet for Drinking Now.’ In the article, Teague gives a worrying prognosis– due to a series of complications concerning the strange, terrifying monster described by leading economists as the ‘Supply Chain,’ this year’s rosés are not only going to be more expensive than the previous years’, but also slower in finding their way to the desperate, rosé-crazed public. 

But worry not: this story has an upside. New rosé might be priced through the roof, but last year’s batch is not only more affordable, it also tastes better! While rosé is traditionally billed by the wine industry as a spring wine, sold and consumed after minimal aging, letting a bottle sit in the cellar actually develops the flavor, just as it does with red wine.

By now you’re probably wondering: year-old rosé? Where can I find that? Your tastebuds long for a wine that’s fruity and refreshing, but also complex and mature. Luckily, Amarose has your back. Our 2020 rosé remains as crisp and refreshing as it was when we first rolled it out– only now with an even more nuanced flavor profile, thanks to over a year in the cellar.

So as the weather starts to warm up this spring, snag the last remaining bottles of the 2020 Amarose vintage through our website, and let your taste buds thank you later. Who knows– maybe if you buy enough Amarose, the ‘Supply Chain’ will have pity on us and bless us with another 100 years of prosperity! Possibly! I’m just a wine blogger. I don’t really know how this works.

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