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HART & CRU is a consulting service that brings artisanal wines to avid drinkers through special events, wine tastings, cellar offerings, and wine classes.

SUNDAY WINE READS

COMING SOON

Sunday wine reads are Hart & Crus way of telling our story, the Cru of H&C, our wine loving people around the country, all chime in about a theme each week. The purpose is to make wine more approachable and educate a bit along the way. Hopefully keeping this lite hearted and fun with a bit none pretentious bs to tell the story. We hope you take the time to read what we are thinking about wine today. Cheers

the CRU

SUNDAY MORNING WINE READS : ROSÉ EDITION

Kevin Hart

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THE PINK STUFF,

WHAT IS ROSÉ?

Until recently, rosé was generally known as a sweet pink wine, a “blush” typically coming out of jug bottles (aka mass produced garbage water). The most common was (is) white zinfandel, or as my grandma called it when she ordered it at every dinner out, “white zinzfadel.”

Drinkers have become much more savvy to this delectable juice—and, while “rosé all day” is an essential summer pastime—this style of wine is serious, and should be respected as such.

Literally every wine region in the world makes rosé. Most sommeliers regard the south of France as rosé’s homeland. When I think of rosé, I think of Provence, bouillabaisse, salty lips and crispy pink wine to quench my thirst. Bandol, a small fishing village in Provence, is internationally known for its famed roses. The muse (grape) here is Mourvèdre, and Domaine Tempier is the master. Tempier’s rosés are fresh, vibrant, and reminiscent of strawberry juice. Every sip transports me to the seashore.

There is even an appellation in the southern Rhône valley of France where rosé production is the only one permitted: Tavel. Located right across the river from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Grenache is the main grape. The rosés from here can be tannic and powerful—and boast alcohol levels of around 14%!

In the same way every wine region can produce a rosé, any red grape can be made into a rosé. There are a few different methods of producing rosé. Rosé incorporates the color of the grapeskin into the juice, but not enough to be classified as a red. You will see rosés in all shades of pink—from pale salmon to light coral, bright fuschia and dark magenta pink. The three major ways to produce rosé wine are skin contact, saignée and blending.

SKIN CONTACT, is when the juice is macerated with the grape skins—the longer the maceration, the darker the wine.

SAIGNÉE, aka to bleed, is when a winemaker is making a red wine, and removes a portion of the juice to stay a rosé. This process also intensifies the body of the resulting red.

BLENDING, is simply mixing white and red wine together (not respectable and illegal in France!, Except in Champagne.)


BROC CELLARS, CALIFORNIA

( skin contact ) Basically any and all of their rosés!

Broc Cellars is located in Berkeley, CA, and is my absolute go-to for New California wines. They have made a dry rose of Zinfandel in the past. Another stunner is their Lagrein rosé. Lagrein is a grape that hails from northern Italy and in this application, tastes like savory herbs and yellow squash. It is a fantastic early fall rosé, when the days are still warm but you need a sweatshirt at night. Broc Cellars’ Love Rosé is available year-round and should be a staple in your cellar.

RAILSBACK FRERES”LES RASCASSES” SANTA YNEZ, CALIFORNIA

( skin contact )

A newcomer to the scene, Railsback Freres is a new world wine with Provencal sensibility. Rescasses is the name of the fish that Lulu Peyraud of Domaine Tempier suggests as the best for bouillabaisse. Generous strawberry and a dry finish. A true homage to one of the greatest Rosés is the world, but from the new kids in Cali. Drink up!

40 OUNCE, LOIRE FRANCE

( skin contact )

Yep, it comes in a 40-ounce malt liquor bottle, with a twist-off cap. It’s cheap and delicious AF. This wine is made in the Loire Valley from one of our favorite winemakers, Julien Braud.

SONO MONTENIDOLI, CANAIUOLO, TUSCANY ITALY

( saignée )

Coming from the gorgeous hills of San Gimignano in central Tuscany, this rosé—made from the secondary blending grape in most Chianti—is an elegant and delicate rosé. It pairs well with anything. Tomatoes and mozzarella, anchovies in olive oil, or just on its own. The proprietor Elisabetta has a foundation helping young, underprivileged children, so every purchase goes to a good cause.

These producers are just scratching the surface on rosé. Want more information? Just contact the Cru! We’re always ready to geek out about small producers or chat big picture wine tips.

See you next Sunday.

the Cru - Lindsay Furia

Sommelier - Boca Restaurant Group


I am sure this reading has made you thirsty. Feel free to reach out and let us curate some incredible wine just for you.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DRINKING BY THE SEASONS

Kevin Hart

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Why we drink to the seasons is a question as simple as why we eat and dress for the seasons. Drinking a Barolo in the summertime just seems sinful, while popping a crispy Txakoli at Christmas dinner is plain silly.  

SUMMER: Since we are on its eve, let’s start our chat there. They say wearing white is permitted between Memorial Day and Labor Day, so remind yourself that you should also be drinking white (or pink, or beer). However, there are exceptions to every rule— Gamay with a nice chill is fantastic with grilled fish. Sangiovese and tomatoes go together like mozzarella and basil. And when it is just too freaking hot to drink wine, have a Kölsch.  

Just like there is a sense of place when drinking a wine—referring to its terroir and every aspect of nature that goes into a bottle of wine—there is also a sense of place in the seasons. On these warm days, I’m transported to the South of France and yearn for Bandol Rose. I want to wash down my fritti misti with Pigato from the Italian Riviera. When I pluck some baby lettuces from my garden for a light salad, I immediately pop an Albarino from Rias Baixas, Spain.  

FALL: When Summer winds down and the nights start to get a chill, it can be exciting to throw on a light sweater with a bottle of red Burgundy (side note: my favorite pairing with Burgundy is a bowl of mushrooms). This time of year is my favorite for drinking and traveling to wine regions. Harvest is beginning or underway, and harvest meals are usually very simple cuisine. In Burgundy, these meals typically consist of bread, pates, rillettes, sausages, rabbit terrine, cheeses and fruit tarts for dessert.

Piemonte in the fall is perhaps the most beautiful place on earth. The vineyards are ablaze with orange and the air smells of burnt wood and fog. I find myself drinking Piemontese reds by the case in the fall—from the less serious, but juicy and delicious Barberas and Dolcettos— to the longer lived Langhe Nebbiolos, Barbarescos and Barolos. If you’re among the lucky, the Alba white truffle is the utmost accompaniment to these legendary wines. Shaved over pasta or eggs, the aroma is transportive.  

WINTER: When snow starts to fall and the fire is roaring, there is usually some sort of braise on my stove (on Sundays I should say). Syrahs from the Northern Rhone Valley, Carignan from Languedoc, Brunello from Montalcino, and old vine Cabernet from new California are my go-tos. But anything goes with a roast or a braise.  

But remember, any month that ends in “R” is the best for shucking oysters—and when I think oysters, I think CHAMPAGNE. The crispier the day, the more I want these chilly, briny snacks. Especially near the holidays when you can justify such a splurge.

SPRING: Come March, I’m ready to wash my mouth out with some acidic refreshing whites and am always excited to see the releases from the previous vintage. I have my favs, like Chenin Blanc from the small village of Jasnières in the Loire Valley and Verdicchio from the Marche in central Italy. Spring produce is just as exciting as the Alba white truffle in fall.  

Peas, asparagus and ramps are followed by morel mushrooms later in the fall, and only if the conditions are right. Green vegetables can be somewhat hard to pair with wine—but Grüner Veltliner from Kamptal and Wachau in Austria often solve that dilemma.  

More than anything, drinking to the seasons is fun, and always keeps your palate excited for the next shift in the air. Just like looking forward to trying out that new swimsuit or cashmere sweater. You’re always welcome to say that this piece is a bunch of garbage and drink Merlot 365 days a year. That’s your prerogative and we respect it, too!

The cru is always here to chat. Hit us up with your seasonal favorites.
 

- Kevin O. Hart & Cru


I am sure this reading has made you thirsty. Feel free to reach out and let us curate some incredible wine just for you.