Just to clarify, people, we hardly mean the infamous latte here. Even if the title does seem to scream, “it’s autumn!”. However, as it is officially October, the lovers of summer begrudgingly pull out the sweaters and boots in preparation for the colder months ahead. Those devoted to the fall season rejoice...alongside the marketing geniuses over at Starbucks. Might we suggest a winery to accompany your seasonal transition, whether is be positive or filled with dread? Ladies and Gents, we present to you a couple drops from Smith-Madrone. The name of this winery, sitting in the Spring Mountain District of Napa Valley, found its origin from the brothers who started the establishment - Stuart and Charles Smith circa 1971 - as well as the beloved Madrone tree that has a prominent location on the grounds. Although they have a beautiful Chardonnay and reserve wine in their lineup, today we’re going to take a look at the Smith-Madrone dry Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon. The juice Now for those of you in denial of summer’s end, this Riesling is a fine solace for your woes. The honeysuckle and lemon peel aromas will certainly remind you of warmer weather. The slight, yet distinctive petrol aromas, orange blossom notes and smooth mouthfeel will finish bone-dry. It seems to usher you right into the drier, savory months of autumn. Similar to this varietal’s old world versions, Smith-Madrone grows their Riesling along the steep mountain slopes that assist beautifully to their ripening process and crisp, refreshing notes. Whether paired with crab or seasoned pork loin with root vegetables, surely this wine is truly fit to consume no matter what time of year. For those of you celebrating fall’s arrival one pumpkin recipe at a time, wait no longer than to pop open Smith-Madrone’s 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon. This 100% estate fruit Cabernet sings with an aromatic nose of black cherry, dried herbs and hints of perfume. The mouthfeel continues via flavors consistent with the initial aromas, plus additional flavors of star anise, oak and black cherry skin. A velvety and layered palate bleeds seamlessly into the long, enjoyable finish that extends a warming sensation. In other words, this wine is a flawless pairing for the cooling weather outside. Fair warning: this Cabernet comes with a slightly higher-than-average alcohol level. So take caution with serving at room temperature and instead shoot for a few degrees cooler to get the best expression and balance out of the wine. With this lovely drop, try a pairing of roasted vegetables with parmesan polenta, or skirt steak with rosemary butter. All in all, we say, “so long” to summer and “greetings” to autumn. We hope you enjoy these mountain-bred wines and the seasonal pairings that accompany them so well! Sam Stowell Samantha Stowell began her adventure with wine 4 years ago after quitting her corporate life as an interior designer. After completing the Advanced Level 3 WSET course, she traveled to McLaren Vale, Australia to work for Mollydooker wines on the cellar floor, in the tasting room and, ultimately, their marketing department. Since returning, she has been the resident sommelier of two Southern California establishments, where she focused on developing their wine programs until deciding to retire from the floor and begin her own wine education and recommendation business, Sam(the)Somm.
Ah, Rosé. How we love you. You’re refreshing and crisp and possess all the things we love about sipping on something wonderful as the weather heats up. Since gas prices are starting their yearly climb, and that savings account for your vacation hasn’t seemed to grow itself, how ‘bout we offer some affordable alternatives that fit the bill just swimmingly? Here are three of the newest Rosés to hit your grocery store aisles from brands you already drink, at prices that will make you want to buy them by the case: Barefoot California Rosé This well-known brand is recognized by their footprint logo; it's a popular bubbly and has a low-effect on a customer’s wallet. Although Barefoot's Rosé is new to the marketplace, it’s juicy fruit notes and off-dry finish sings a familiar tune reminiscent of the other infamous styles of wine in their lineup: Moscato, Sweet Red Blend, etc. This pink drop is a blend of Grenache, Zinfandel and Riesling, which explains why the candied red berries and melon are consistent throughout the nose and palate. A fitting choice for a hot summer day or as the base of your favorite sangria recipe; and at an average price of $7, you can afford to experiment with a couple different recipes. Bottoms up! BUY Dark Horse Rosé Another household brand in the world of wine drinkers, Dark Horse made its name by specializing in their inky, luscious and fruit-centric Cabernet Sauvignon, supported by a range of both red and white varietals. Their Rosé is the first blush colored addition to the beloved lineup and is made in a traditional Provence style. Dry in finish yet hardly lacking in succulent fruit, winemaker Beth Liston combined Grenache, Barbera, Pinot Gris and Tempranillo grapes to create the brightness and balance present in every glass of this aromatic drop. A palate pleaser but hardly overdone, Dark Horse Rosé is versatile and fresh with a pleasant amount of weight on the mouthfeel. Easy to pair with, this wine plays well with others, making it flawless for summertime hangs. Available for $10, BUY Apothic Rosé Making their name in the wine industry with their infamous blends in both red and white styles, Apothic just recently revealed their Rosé--the newest blend to enter the family. Out of this blend of Tempranillo and Grenache come ripened watermelon and juicy strawberry flavors that simply pop out of the glass as you take a whiff. The palate hardly disappoints with a medium bodied weight that still manages to stay refreshing and crisp. The finish seems to say “dry”, but fruit flavors resound after taking your last sip, making this pink drink suitable for pairing with heavier hors d'oeuvres or enjoying on it’s own while watching the summer sun go down. Available for 1-cent delivery by Amazon! Sam Stowell Samantha Stowell began her adventure with wine 4 years ago after quitting her corporate life as an interior designer. After completing the Advanced Level 3 WSET course, she traveled to McLaren Vale, Australia to work for Mollydooker wines. Since returning, she has been the sommelier of a wine bar in Downtown Santa Ana, CA, helping to develop their wine program and is currently the resident sommelier at Yves’ Restaurant & Wine Bar in Anaheim Hills, CA. Featured image credit: Wine Folly