REVEALING ROSÉ: A Seminar and Tasting from the Wine School at l’Alliance Française

REVEALING ROSÉ: A Seminar and Tasting from the Wine School at l’Alliance Française
7pm on Thursday, July 2nd, $30 Cash

Please join me, Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton, at the  Wine School at l’Alliance Française for “Revealing Rosé” at 7pm on Monday, July 2nd at l’Alliance Française. Why Rosé? And why now? Because there is no better and more refreshing wine to drink this time of year. And our Texas Rosé drinking season is up and running. Topics of discussion will include vintages, types of Rosé, Rosé and food, and the grape varieties and techniques used to make the wines. Sixteen pink wines (all French) will be tasted and bread and a selection of fine cheeses will be served. Roses

The following Rosé wines will be served:
Pins Du Pyla Rose Bordeaux 2014
Villa Des Anges Old Vine Rose 2014
Chapoutier Belleruche Cotes du Rhone Rose 2014
Pigmentum Rose Malbec 2014
Dom Le Pive Gris Rose 2014
Listel Gris Cuvee Centenaire Rose 2014
Ch du Donjon Minervois Rose 2014
Balandran Castieres de Nimes Rose 2014
Dom Cabasse Le Rose de Marie 2014
Commanderie Bargemone Rose de Provence  2014
Domaine  de Triennes Provence Rose  2014
Ch de Lancyre Rose Pic Saint Loup 2014
Hecht & Bannier Rose Cotes de Provence 2014
Mourchon Cotes du Rhone Villages Loubie Rose 2014
Pink Pegau Cotes du Rhone Rose 2014
Ch d’Esclans Whispering Angel Provence Rose 2014

Dress cool and join us for delicious and refreshing Rosé. Revealing Rosé will cost $30.00 per person cash ($31.58 regular). To reserve your spot, please contact Susan at 713-854-7855 or

L’Alliance Française is French Cultural Center in Houston. Located at 427 Lovett Blvd., it is on the Southeast corner of Lovett and Whitney (one block south of Westheimer and two blocks east of Montrose).


Also coming soon:
Tuesday, July 7:   2010 Bordeaux – A vintage overview
Monday, July 13:   Pulling the Cork – and other things you need to know about wine

(Not Quite) Champagne Friday: LUCIEN ALBRECHT Cremant d’ Alsace Rosé

I love bubbly Rosé but I can’t always afford to drink my preferred pink Champagne. So when pink fizz is the required tipple and my finances aren’t cooperating, I look to Tasmania (Jansz Brut Rosé), Burgundy (François Labet Cremant de Bourgogne Rosé), and Alsace (Lucien Albrecht Cremant d’ Alsace Brut Rosé). I’ve already written about the Jansz and I’ll get to the Labet (I need a more current note) so here’s my recent note on the Albrecht from Alsace.lucien-albrecht-cremant-d-alsace-rose

LUCIEN ALBRECHT Cremant d’ Alsace Brut Rosé, Alsace, NV ($19.94)
A 12% alcohol, 100% Pinot Noir sparkling Rosé made using rapid cuvaison and methode champenoise and aged nine-months on-the-lees before remuage and disgorgment.     Sensory: Salmon in color and fully sparkling. Dry and medium-bodied with refreshing acidity and a scant hint of phenolics. A richer-style bubbly with some red fruit and a nice bit of balancing citrus along with notes of earth and toast. Lovely feel in the mouth with enough weight to work with a wide range of foods (Maybe seared scallops over pasta?). YUM. BS: 91.

Champagne Quote:
Tiny bubbles in the wine…make me feel happy, make me feel fine.Don Ho

Champagne Friday: VCP Brut Rosé, NV

Here it is Friday evening and I have fallen down on the job. Time to pick up the slack and get a Champagne Friday posted. Luckily, I have just tasted – or rather drunk – a bit of Clicquot Rosé which was the cream of a nice tasting of Rosé bubbly I did today for an upcoming article on pink fizz (coming next week in time for Valentine’s day). Special thanks to Robert Gilroy (perhaps Houston’s most eligible bachelor) and the ladies in the office who helped me dispose of the evidence.

VCPPinkVEUVE CLICQUOT PONSARDIN Brut Rosé, Champagne, NV ($55.39)
A 12% alcohol blend of mostly Pinot Noir with some Pinot Meunier and a bit more Chardonnay with 12% red Pinot Noir added before the second fermentation. The wine is salmon-orange in color and fully sparkling dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and scant phenolics. Tasted with several other Rosé bubblies, this is a richer and “foodier” Champagne Rosé with lots of rich red fruit (along with enough citrus) and a supple toasty richness (from lots of reserve wines). Still plenty fresh with a lovely feel in the mouth. Deeply satisfying. This is not aperitif Champagne; rather it is to go with salmon or steak tartar or carpaccio or even simple pasta dishes (but hold the red sauce).  YUM! BS: 93+.

After all, what is your host’s purpose in having a party? Surely not for you to enjoy yourself; if that were their sole purpose, they’d have simply sent Champagne and women over to your place by taxi. – PJ O’Rourke

CHAMPAGNE FRIDAY “Two-fer” – KRUG Grande Cuvée and DOM PERIGNON Rosé 2000

So, its Friday (actually (2/3/12), about 6:15pm. We – Robert, Ned, and I – are sipping Jansz Brut (the subject of a recent Champagne Friday posting). The white stretch limo pulls into my driveway. We bring our Champagne glasses and get in. As the limo pulls out of the driveway and down the street, Robert pulls out a bottle of Krug Grande Cuvee. He opens and pours. While the Jansz had been fine, this Krug is amazing (see note below). I don’t care what you are about to do, this is a good way to start. We sip the Krug all the way downtown to Toyota Center, finishing the bottle just as we arrive. We go inside to get a drink and find our seats (Mid-Court, 18 rows up – Sweet!) so we can watch the Houston Rockets embarrass the Phoenix Suns. After we walk out and find our car and driver, we load up and Robert pulls out another bottle, this time a Dom Perignon Rosé 2000, which we drink on the way home. Returning home took a lot less time so there is still some DP Rosé for Miss Carol to have a glass when we get there. She approves but retires from the living room as we are acting like three men who’ve been drinking Champagne and beer and … and, as she put it, being “guys” all evening. Miss Carol did not ride in the limo or go to the game as she would rather face an IRS audit conducted by a malevolent dentist than attend a professional sporting event. Here’s the run-down on the bubbles.

KRUG Grand Cuvée, Champagne, NV
Tech Note: 12% Alcohol. An unspecified blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier, possibly dozens of wines sourced from 6 to 10 vintages that, after blending and second fermentation, is aged another 6 years on the lees (en tirage). The complete, real-deal, specific tech info is unavailable. But, after drinking the wine, I don’t really care all that much. Sensory Note: Due to the siuation in which we enjoyed this wine, I have no color note. Dry, medium-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and scant but still present phenolics. On pouring, there is the expected citrus fruit, toast, and mineral. As the wine warms and bubbles a bit in the glass, the citrus expands beyond lemon as some tree fruit (apple, pear?) and subtle red fruit essence comes in, the simple toast expands to toasted brioche served in a bakery, and the mineral combines with the acidity to provide structure and depth. Bear Note: The wine starts interesting but becomes complex and intriguing. It satisfies as if it were an aged red Burgundy. Truly delicious. Goes way beyond basic “Brut Non-Vintage.” BS: 95. ($125)

DOM PERIGNON Rosé, Champagne, 2000
Tech Note: 12% Alcohol. A blend of 45% Chardonnay and 55% Pinot Noir, of which 1/4 is still red Pinot Noir.     Sensory Note:  No color note due to dark limo. Dry, medium full-bodied with freshly balanced acidity and light phenolics. Deep, rich, and satisfying with supple red fruit and enough ripe citrus to keep it balanced. There is richness from the red fruit and the distinctive toasty-yeasty biscuit character. So good in the mouth, you are reluctant to swallow.  Satisfying and delicious.     Bear Note: More than being Champagne that can stand up to food, this is Champagne AS food. YUM.  BS: 97 now and it will only improve with a few more years of age. ($375)

Thank you, Robert!

A couple of my favorite Champagne quotes seem to apply here:
“Too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
“Champagne offers a minimum of alcohol and a maximum of companionship.” – David Niven