Summer begins with Rose at Gravenstein Grill

I had the pleasure of welcoming summer on June 1st by attending a Pink Out event at a new restaurant, Gravenstein Grill in Sebastopol. There was a fantastic line up of rose to quaff and savor this evening, so I was all in! After pulling into the parking lot I began to walk toward the bar area that opens to a beautiful outdoor seating area on the street side of the building that wraps around to where the event was taking place. I found the space comfortable without pretension.

The menu lures you in with options for everyone in a truly relaxed Sonoma vibe and I can tell you from experience, nice portions as well. I could also see this space as being a comfortable place to grab a cocktail or a glass of wine from the impeccable list of local libations and nosh on house made charcuterie while chatting it up with your friends. Check out the calendar for future wine events and winemaker dinners. I know I’m going back for crispy stuffed squash blossoms soon! Preview the menu before you go, if you’d like here:

With my hydration game in check I was ready for some rose! Here were some of my favorites from the event:

2016 Sidebar Rose is a lovely side project from David Ramey of Ramey Wine Cellars that focuses on grape varieties and wine making style to be enjoyed in their youth. So, lay down your Ramey Wine Cellars purchases for awhile so you can sip on the Sidebar collection in the interim…sounds good to me!

This 100% Syrah rose is sourced from the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County is truly a breath of fresh air! Perfectly dry for summer the glass lures you in with aromas of raspberry and dustings of light pepper. The palate invigorates your taste buds with raspberry and cherry hinted with a muted spiced note. Drink and clink all summer long!

2016 Kokomo Grenache Rose is an annual staple in my house so I was happy to see this wine in the lineup. The winery exudes a laid back and relax style that reminds you that family wineries are true hidden treasures.

This 100% Grenache rose is sourced from Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma County and has brilliant quenching acidity for warm days. I have been known to enjoy this wine all year long though, well when I buy enough. Strawberries and melon lure you gently into the glass and mingle with white peach notes on the palate. It is that peach and strawberry combo that keeps me coming back for more.

2016 County Line Rose hosts my vote for the most beautiful color. This wine label is produced by winegrower, Eric Sussman of Radio-Coteau, and focuses on truly expressive flavors of cool-climate appellations sprinkled through northern California.

This rose is sourced from a Champagne clone of Pinot Noir located in Anderson Valley and with 12% alcohol this is an easy all-day sipper. Backyard or beach views through this bottle would look fabulous, but really you will want to grab a glass and relax at Gravenstein Grill. It would be worth every sip to taste the delicate white peach notes that intermingle with raspberry. There is a fresh small hint of white floral bouquet on the nose that inspires a flower in the hair country garden stroll.

2016 Kobler Estate Winery had two offerings this evening and I wanted to tuck a bottle of each under my arm and run away like I stole a secret. I have enjoyed trying these wines at different events lately and desperately need to find my way into this tasting room soon.

The rose of Grenache showed glimmers of orange hues dancing through the pink beckoning glass. I enjoyed hints of young sweet cherries and raspberry that was warm evening quenching. The rose of Pinot Noir showed apricot and yellow peach notes with a subtle cherry flavor within. I would do curls on the beach with crazy straws with both of these wines so don’t ask me to choose.

2016 Acorn Winery Rosato from their Alegria Vineyards is a beautiful field blend. The winery is located relatively close to my house and owned by two of the nicest people I know, Betsy and Bill Nachbaur. Bill traded in the law books for the vine life in the early 90s and I am so grateful that he did. It is a true pleasure to geek out on grape varietals with him and their wine love is infectious.

This rose is a blend of Dolcetto, Sangiovese, Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc and Syrah. This wine is a true food wine that can pair with so many of summers favorite staples. The flavors of bright cherry meld beautifully with red apple skins and a hint of peach. I love the crisp dry quality of this wine, but the flavors can lend itself to the perfect year-round sipping rose. So, enjoy in summer, but stow some away for fall and winter too!

Thank you Chris Sawyer for the invite to this fantastic event. Looking forward to future events and delicious meals in my future!

Cheers to summers pink drinks and sunny sippers!

2011 Ilocki Podrumi Grasevina

Pronounced more like Ilochkey Podumi Grashevina, this beautiful white wine found me craving something new. This was one of the few souvenirs of the vine I brought back from Croatia and wish I had more of.

Upon first exploration danced with banana hints playing dress up in citrus on the nose. Bright acidity similar to a sauvignon blanc (since people keep asking, “what’s it like”). Young mango and guava on the palate. Perfect sunny sipper!
As I let the air begin to influence the glass this wine opens settling into grapefruit and papaya notes throughout. Sunshine brightens every cell within me as this vino drips through my veins. Happy wine discoveries!

Cheers to traveling in a glass!

Rose Views

I have always loved to drink pink, I just don’t like to wear pink. If I wear it I call it burgundy and God forbid I spill the wine pink on me to “wear” by over swirl. I enjoy a little extra skin contact for a darker blush or bolder varietals for the winter weather months. Who knew pink came in so many hues?!  I have been taking joy in observing others as they are embracing the fact that rose is no longer just a summer sipper. With the lovely shade of wine becoming more popular around summer now I have to get a jump on things to ensure all my friends aren’t sold out before I can procure a few bottles. I sure enjoy taking advantage of the increasing diversity in this category as it grows in popularity. However, the quick selling of some of my favorites has provided a gentle nudge to try more new producers, well more than I usually hunt down and find new loves.

For those of my friends that have openly state that they won’t drink pink I plea to open your mind and palate to embrace all that is available. Think of what it is that you did not enjoy before and try to search out the opposite. Don’t like sweet – go dry. Don’t like strawberry flavors – go grapefruit and hints of raspberry. I have enjoyed some beautiful Pinot Noir roses that have a little extra skin contact that showed the flavors of red apple skin dancing across my palate. I have salivated over the flavors of bright cherry from a Cabernet rose. Really my point is…more options, create more choices, so there is truly no reason to upturn your nose. This year I have fallen particularly hard for rose of Grenache on top of my other favorite usual suspects.

To my friends with the upturned nose, learn how different methods impact flavor. Where the grapes picked with lower sugars destined to be a purposed rose by the maceration method leaving them on the skins for a short time for color (under 20 hours).  Was the rose the byproduct or second thought to the voluptuous red by being produced via saignee method, where some of the juice is bled off for rose production while the remaining becomes the concentrated red it was meant to develop in to.  I have enjoyed both styles, but I have always felt that wine (or anything really) that is crafted with intent seems to hold a little extra love in it.

I enjoyed accompanying a friend to a rose industry tasting that showed some best of the best from around the globe. Here were my favorite from the tasting:

2016 Apriori Cellars, Rose Sangiacomo Vineyards – Sonoma Coast

Available for $25.00

Upon first sip this wine reminded me of the invigorating juicy bite of a ripe pomelo with a little pith drenched in juice. It begins to mingle with light raspberry and strawberry making it stellar for any day, but quite quenching on a warm summer day. I think I may need to restock some of this one!

2013 Gloria Ferrer, Brut Rose

Available for $50.00

This bottle of bubbly would be a refreshing beginning or end to any day. You will enjoy the brightness of grapefruit and strawberry upon the nose while the palate entices with creamy meyer lemon infused raspberry dreams. A beautiful glass of pink bubbly that makes every day better! Sometimes you just need to toast to getting through it all gracefully.

2015 Domaine de Baccari, Premiere de Baccari Cuvee Rose

This wine is a lovely blend of 60% Cinsault & 40% Grenache that offers beautiful strawberry and slight citrus notes. I’m not usually too interested with bottle embellishments, but the bottom of this bottle does have a bow that would be supper cute for sipping with the girlfriends. This wine could be one that you have a hard time putting down and almost seems to invite social sipping.

2016 Bonterra Rose, Mendocino County

This wine is currently sold out, but feel free to look at other offerings on:

This wine had the most delicate pink hue that instantly pulls a smile to ones face. Aromas of strawberries in a bed of slightly aromatic white rose petals calls you into your first sip. The palate entertains with strawberry and a hint of white peach flavors that linger into watermelon sips.

2016 J. Richards Winery, Rose of Aleatico

Available for $24.00–ros-wines-c5.aspx

This wine is a fun blend of 80% Aleatico and 20% Syrah that makes me crave a charcuterie board on a warm afternoon. The wine has a watermelon notes that meld with red berries that scream summer sipper. I enjoy the wines from this location and they are truly “Darn Fine Barn Wines” that you must check out if you have never been.


Thank you Rose Today for sharing your love of all things pink! If you want to learn more about this great movement check out:

Cheers to all the beautiful shades of rose!

2011 Pulpit Rock Chenin Blanc

A few years ago, I tried out a company that would send me a mixed case of wine every few months. As I found my storage dwindling I had to cancel & focus on what was already abounding. However, I enjoy nothing more than trying new things in life as well as learning new things. For me, part of the joy in a glass is the fresh discovery, taste, story of the memory & the moment.

This was a bottle that I was glad to discover in that time period. This brilliant Chenin Blanc from Swartland South Africa was a lovely summer daisy yellow. Myer lemon & pineapple twist around my palate in a gentle tug of war between citrus zing with nods toward tropical relaxation. Generously balanced wine with hints of white peach reminding me of gentle breeze caressing my bright orange calla lilies in the back yard.

Cheers to back yard sipping!

Wine Tasting Note Comedy

Sorry ya’ll, but I am laughing out loud at some old tasting notes and thought is appropriate to share. I will not share my photo or the winery name, but I know I do not want to try this wine again. LOL!!!

I will, however, share that this was a 2009 Mendocino Coast Chardonnay, from not going to tell you anyway. Tasting note reads:

“This chardonnay tasted pungent & acidic…funky nose. Not the good kind of funky. Aromas of asparagus pee & lemons turning past prime. Besides turning my stomach with the unpleasant lingering on my palate, this could be a headache creator for sure. Kindly, it just may be past prime. After letting this one breath…gasp, it needs some air damn it! The aromas open up to delicious lemon curd. Still overall unpleasant flavors. Two days later this wine had opened up with hints of caramel & lemon. Still not my style, but more palatable. As it opens up to a cool room temperature the palate balances out.”

I think that was a wine style #fail for me!