Posts tagged #summer wine

Ouled Thaleb Syrah


Ouled Thaleb Syrah
Region: Zenata, Morocco 
Year: 2011
Price: $16
Retailer: Silverlake Wine

I can't believe it's already August 11th, especially because I spent most of today believing it was the 10th. This summer has flown by, and is exemplified on the porch this evening as the sun begins to melt into the Pacific an hour earlier than it did just a month ago. 

But it's like I've always said, "Summer only ends if you let it."
And this wine will be perfect for summer time feels all year round.

It is a very light and smoky syrah that tastes like I need a cheeseburger or twelve and a lake house with a balcony to stare at the sunset over.  It's brisk, like you need a lightweight sweater or some baggy jeans to cozy up in before retiring to the fire with your friends. It feels like that smell. That BBQ smell that soaks up into your clothes and the salt that bakes into your skin and crunchy hair and you play Apples to Apples for hours before falling asleep in a bed that is not yours, but feels as though it could be. It is something so unfamiliar and so familiar all at once that there is no way to not feel at home with it all. 

And that is this syrah: classic but exciting. Like claiming a top bunk in a new cabin.

Tasting Notes: Fermented in concrete and aged in French Oak, this is everything I love about big reds in flavor but lighter in body. It's like ribs that fall off the bone: delicious and easy to eat. Smells like Molton Brown black pepper body wash and cherries. Tastes not like body wash. The palate is bright berries perfectly balanced with plush tannins and a warm, soft, long-lingering finish. 

Ross Test: A little bitter but still good. 

Posted on August 11, 2015 .

Listen to Jameson Fink's Wine Without Worry Podcast With Special Guest, MEEEE

I had the pleasure of chatting with fellow Saveur Blog Award nominee Jameson Fink about summer wines and all sorts of things. If you like wine information without the pretentious bullshit (which I'm guessing you do since here you are!) you should definitely read Jameson's blog and listen to his podcast, Wine Without Worry. Extremely informational and zero snobbery. He's such a leader in the wine world, and I was very honored to be on his podcast.

During this episode we discuss (I'm ripping this straight from his post because he did it perfectly/I got shit to do):

So first, the wines we drank. I brought a very cool Arnot-Roberts Rosé made from an unusual grape, especially for California. Marissa braved Manhattan traffic to procure a Grüner Veltliner from a top Austrian producer. So what happens in this action-packed half hour? Some highlights:

  • How to pronounce (or not to pronounce) the grapes and regions of summer wines we love. Why can’t we just love Merlot? (Wait, is it MER-LAHT? Cue anxiety.)

  • Red wine in the summertime. Can it be done? (Spoiler alert: Yes. But how? And why? And what?)

  • A discussion on Chardonnay and oak. Which descends into recriminations, then regret, and, finally, reconciliation.

  • Marissa’s favorite California winery and a Chardonnay (aha!) that turned the tide in regards to her relationship with this grape. (BTW, the wine she’s referring to in the podcast is the Skin Fermented.)

  • Where it all began with wine writing, and how she developed her style and approach. Also, what the barriers that keep people from being more gung-ho, gonzo, and garrulous about all things fermented grape juice?

  • I read a passage of Marissa’s, which has really excellent advice on how to deal with ordering wine at a restaurant. And doing so like the champ you are. (We believe in you.)

Yes Way Rosé x Club W's "Summer Water"

summer water wine all the time.jpg

Yes Way Rosé x Club W's "Summer Water"
Price: $18
Region: Napa
Retailer: Club W

Back in March, I was in NYC to host a wine tasting. It was still cold, like snowing (okay, it was a "flurry", which apparently means something to people who live in snow cause for me, it was fucking snowing and "flurry" is not a real word if it's missing a "Mc"), but all of my friends who lived there kept excitedly going on and on about how ROSE SEASON WAS COMING.

"Rosé season?" I pondered, looking out a gray city window, wistfully. "What the fuck is that?"

It took me all of fifteen seconds to realize that much like how I don't understand "suede season" or "winter", "rosé season" is something that people who live outside of California experience because it gets so cold that they cannot drink rosé. On the one hand, I'm like, "Why would you guys ever live like this?! I drink and wear whatever I want all the time!"

On the other hand, I will never experience the sheer joy on two dudes' faces two weeks ago in Brooklyn while I watched them put back their fifth bottle of rosé by the pool at the McCarren Hotel. I don't know if I've ever been as happy as those two dudes in my whole life the way they were acting over this shit. It was FINALLY ROSE SEASON! EVERYTHING WAS GOING TO HAPPEN NOW! IT'S FUCKING ROSE SEASON, MAN!

It is that emotion that my friends at Yes Way Rosé captured with their Napa pinot noir rosé, Summer Water. It's an excitement encapsulated in an easy-going attitude that even us Californians know is specific to summer. It's three months where everything feels possible. There are endless ideas for long weekends and trips to get the hell out of town, daydreams of desert nights, bougainvilleas and beaches. Outdoor movies and the smell of lighted grills, street fairs and the feel of first kisses (even when they are your one hundredth). Everything is beautiful in the summer, a blown-out Polaroid memory waiting to be made. And it all truly seems possible. The sun is out-- what couldn't we do?

Summer Water is an extremely pleasing bottle, whether you're looking at it or drinking it. The label is a design dream with its poppy minimalism. And it tastes like having the most fun. It tastes like those dudes' faces, which were extremely happy and laughing and one of them looked EXACTLY like Bradley Cooper, so also attractive. They were going to Governor's Ball and were just so fucking stoked on life. "THIS SUMMER IS GOING TO BE THE BEST SUMMER!!!" they said like they'd never said it before. And that is exactly what Summer Water tastes like. 

Now, who wants to find a boardwalk and get into some trouble with me and my Summer Water?

ross test summer water.jpg

Tasting Notes: The light floral and strawberry bouquet makes for a wonderful transition into its flavor profile: strawberries with hints of pears and peaches, and a striking minerality. Dry and frisky, this wine takes me to a place where there is lots of sunshine, very little clothing and even less responsibilities. 


My Summer Wine Guide For Man Repeller

Posted on May 21, 2015 .

Olivier Lemasson "Pow Blop Wizz"

pow blop wizz

Olivier Lemasson "Pow Blop Wizz"
Price: $20
Region: Loire, France
Year: 2013
Retailer: DomaineLA

[movie trailer voice]


This wine couldn't be further from how deep and manly I wrote that, but the sentiment is the same. It's a summer blockbuster. But instead of Shia LaBeouf and some zombies, it's a Monster Rally song wrapped in sunshine and a gentle breeze of honeydew soda. It's light, and floral, with a little bit of Calgon nostalgia. I want to bathe in it and die in it and bathe in it, and then die in it all over again.

Or perhaps just float away on a lazy river for forever with endless bottles.

It tastes like the sparkling sweat of the freshest farmer's market strawberry making sweet, sweet love to a pack of Double Bubble in the first minute of it being chewed (because you know, Double Bubble is fatuously juicy at first, then dries up quicker than a vagina stuck at dinner with a staunchly scriptural Republican). 

I'm extremely tough on Rosés that sway sweet. And this one does, but its natural production funk balances it beautifully. The funk in this is very interesting because it is just faintly present, rather than being an outstanding quality. It's mostly on the finish, which is rather musky, but in a good way. I'm not sure you'd notice it unless you know Lemasson's other wines. Or, maybe I'm just immune to it.

Tasting Notes: Cab Franc/Grolleau blend. Fucking superb. Like I said. Honeydew soda breeze on the nose, sweet sweet beautiful HBO sex on the tongue. 

Ross Test: Just the best. The problem with bubbles is they are generally hard to chug, but these bubbles aren't aggressive. They're super friendly like, "HEY WE WANT TO BE IN YOUR MOUTH!" which is tight. And sexy. I'M CHUGGING TWO WHOLE GLASSES WORTH.

Pépière La Pépie Côt


Last night at Silverlake Wine, one of the owners suggested I try this. It being from Loire and a reasonable $16.50, I said YES OF COURSE. Turns out that Côts are what the Loire calls Malbecs, and that they are delectably fun. Unlike the deep flavors of Argentinian Malbecs, Côts are light and energized easy drinkers. Fruity and poppy, this is a perfect party wine and I'm excited to keep it in stock this summer. It's going to be irresistible slightly chilled at dusk in July.