Don’t worry. I’m off the cocktail train for a little while. I’m back to my beloved grapes!
Especially the ones that are affordable and delicious. So get your wallets ready to hold on to some of that cash, and get ready for a crazy, yummy bottle of vino.
Let me clarify. The crazy is about the actual bottle. The yummy is about what’s inside.
I picked up a bottle of Bonny Doon’s 2013 Vin Gris de Cigare on one of our scorching hot days here in Los Angeles last week. It was on sale for $13.99. Bonny Doon Vineyard sounded familiar to me. (i have since discovered that i was thinking of bounty hunter. oops.)
It was a lovely color for a rosé, and I am always up for trying a new pink.
But wait, I have to stop myself there. This is not just a “rosé”. This is a Vin Gris, made in the traditional vin gris style. If you’ll remember back when I reviewed Chateau du Campuget, I talked about how rosés were made by leaving the skins in with the juice for a limited amount of time. With Vin Gris, the grapes are pressed and juice starts to ferment without any additional skin contact. Because some of the grape varietals were red, their juice has a slight pink tint to it. This is sometimes (but not in bonny doon’s case!) done first to create the Vin Gris, and then the rest of the pressing can be used with the skins to make their own red wine.
So let’s start over.
I found this lovely vin gris, so I picked up a bottle (actually two). I head over to the counter and set my purchases on the counter.
But then I see this.
What the heck?!
But then, looking back at the label – which at first seemed like a lovely drawing of a countryside landscape with a strange pink triangle over it – I realize that there is a UFO of some kind flying over this quaint countryside and shining it’s pink beam on this unsuspecting land!
Once again. What the heck?!
Turns out the wine maker, Randall Grahm, was fascinated by the fact that in France in 1954, the town of Chateauneuf-du-Pape banned “Le Cigare Volant” – UFOs – from landing in their vineyards. They were so worried that the cigar-shaped alien aircraft would damage their crops that they created a law banning them.
I suppose so far, the aliens have obliged. (?!?!)
Anyway, the cashier and I had a strange conversation about aliens and recently banned NBA owners (unrelated, i think), and then I went on my merry way.
Until last night, when I decided it was the perfect time to crack open the strange alien wine.
The gorgeous coral color did not disappoint. This is a light, crisp rose, with the perfect amount of grapefruit acidity to make your mouth water, and subtle almost ripe strawberry that gives you the fruit you’re looking for without being overwhelming. It has notes of flavors reminiscent of green tea, with a touch of creaminess to give it a gorgeous mouth-feel.
Even the blend of grape varieties used makes you do a bit of a double take. Bonny Doon’s Vin Gris is comprised of 55% grenache, 23.5% mourvèdre, 10% roussanne, 2.5% carignane, 2% grenache blanc, and 7% cineast.
Yum. What a perfect wine to kick that cocktail craving I’d been having to the curb.
(you can see I drank a glass or two before it dawned on me that i should take a few pictures and maybe tell you all about it. dangerously good, this wine.)
The Vin Gris De Cigare would be beautifully paired with seafood or rich, buttery sauces. I had a glass with a pasta sauce that accidentally got out-of-hand spicy, and it actually matched up quite nicely. With spicier foods, more of the strawberry and fruity creaminess came out.
I ditched the sauce and kept the wine.
Since we just came out of the time of year where you are stuck with the only rosés you can find, I am tempted to go back and buy a case while this is on sale. Just so I can store it away for the cold(er) months later this year when I just want a lovely, lovely rosé.
But until I have a decent cellar… I’ll probably go back and buy a bottle or two, and then keep looking for more new and interesting Affordable Wines to share with you all.