Sunday, June 08, 2014

California Wine Report ~ 1st Rosé of the Season ~ Everything Starts Over @ 100

Celebrating 100 years, before flying to Dallas, with a glass of Provence Rosé
This past week, the wine trail had me in home state of California judging State Fair Wine Competition. When the week ended I flew down to Newport Beach to pick up my mom, who just turned 100, and we headed back to Dallas for another round of celebrations. Wine bloggers have their weaknesses - @HawkWakaWaka has Jr, @Steve! has his Gus and @Hosemaster has his Lo Hai Qu. I have a centenarian mom who walks faster than me and as I write this, I’m trying to figure out how to tire her out so I can take a nap! Good luck with that. Wine blogging might be dead, but wine blogger’s moms, at least this one; she isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.

At the airport we had an hour or so, and we shared some of the new rosé of the season, the 2013 Domaines Ott from Provence. I had just found out from a DNA report that my mom is related to Marie Antoinette (and my dad is related to Napoleon Bonaparte!) so we celebrated 100 years with a glass of French wine before we got on the plane to Dallas. Mom says she doesn't remember having rosé wine recently. "Everything starts over @100", I once heard.

A grueling week of work, wine judging. And after a day in airplanes and airports, when I awoke this morning I rushed to get up, thinking today was Monday, a work day. Thankfully I was wrong, although I did find a list of things needing to be done. Most of them are done now, and I am vanity blogging. If wine blogging is indeed dead, I want to make sure I do my part to nail a stake in its heart.

Kudos to all the folks at The California State Fair wine Competition, led by Mike Dunne and Rick Kushman. Great event. This year, my longtime friend and colleague Guy Stout joined the judging team. Guy is a great taster and it was really fun to compare notes on what we tasted. At the end of the three days we were pretty tasted out, but we had a lot of great wines.

Ron Washam, aka Hosemaster and his loyal sidekick, Samantha (sans Dosage) were also on board. A couple more great tasters, Samantha had a birthday one of the days and she brought some 2007 Billiot Rosé Champagne to celebrate with. As Ron likes to say, it’s good to have friends in low places.

I love how Californians mix up great wine with cool and groovy food. Darrell Corti and Lucio Gomiero took me to Waterboy, one of the top Sacramento dining spots, last February. I had to go back and see what they were cooking up (sadly for us, Darrell was on a trip to Greece and Italy).

Happy to report back the food was inventive and delicious. One of us had the Picnic Plate, a stylized dish of fried chicken, deviled eggs and corn on the cab. Another of us had a delicious plate of Bucatini pasta with scallops and cauliflower. While not authentically Italian, the dish was verifiably delicious. I no longer expect Italian dishes to be authentic (unless we are in Italy) but I am happily surprised when the food is locally grown, handled with respect to the season and simply prepared. Sacramento is reputed to be the Farm-to-Fork capital of America, and we were not disappointed this past week.

Summer is rapidly approaching. Take time to eat outside while it is still cool and prepare for the warmer days coming by stocking up with your favorite white wine and, of course, the new rosé wines that are just showing up on wine lists and retail shops across the country. For now, I have a party to plan. Thanks for reading!

written and photographed by Alfonso Cevola limited rights reserved On the Wine Trail in Italy
wine blog +  Italian wine blog + Italy W
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