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While we enjoy rosé year-round in our house and definitely sipped pink wine on our recent California trip, there is something about cracking open that first bottle of rosé when spring finally arrives in Boston.

We marked that occasion with a sample bottle I had recently received from Spanish DO Utiel Requena. More information on this region is at the end of my blog post.

 

Aula Bobal

This Aula Bobal Rosado wine is from Bodegas Coviñas and is 100% Bobal. Bobal is a dark-skinned grape that is native to Utiel Requena.

The first thing I loved about this wine was the color, of course. I love all things pink, and the vibrant color of this wine and the pretty label are just lovely additions to a summer dining table. This would be a perfect wine for a wedding or baby shower. I am picturing  baskets and baskets of bottles of beautiful pink wine. .  .

We opened this wine right after a long walk, and I was glad I had it chilled. It is perfect (at least for me) right out of the fridge, cool and refreshing. This is definitely not a shrinking violet of rosé wines. I would go as far as to say that it is bold and bright, with notes of strawberry and watermelon, not sweet and not super acidic, just really fresh and balanced but also with a richness about it, if that makes any sense. While this is the perfect addition to your summer wine list, it’s a rosé you could easily drink in the winter; it definitely has structure and flavor with a bit of oomph!

Aula Bobal

It’s also the perfect grilling companion. We had spice and citrus marinated chicken thighs with grilled mushrooms and peppers, and while the wine’s freshness and fruity notes went with the citrus and peppers really well, that bit of boldness it has made it a match for the stronger flavors of the mushrooms and meat. It was the perfect spring dinner!

Grilling

 

Utiel and Requena’s winemaking culture prides itself on tradition with over 2700 years of history. Archaeological digs in this region have proven that the production of wine and its commercialization have continued uninterrupted since the beginning of the Iberian age until present day.  Bobal is the signature grape of this area. Utiel-Requena includes 9 municipalities where you can find a range of micro-climes that help to make different kinds of wines to express the unique terroir found in the region.

 

This wine was provided to me as a review sample. All opinions are my own.

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Tags: blogging, grilling, rose, Rosé season, rose wine, spring, wine, wine blog, wine lover, wine tasting

I recently received a shipment of Wines of Navarra to sample and review on the blog, and so far it has offered a beautiful taste of Spain. The first wine we tried was a 2015 Bodegas Castillo de Monjardin Garnacha.

Castillo Monjardin Garnacha

100% Garnacha from old vines , aged 6 months in American oak.

I am a big fan of Garnacha, and this was a big hit in our house, paired with turkey chili of all things. It would be great with a selection of Spanish meats and cheeses, and I am kind of dreaming of a glass of this wine and a plate of Manchego right now.

Elegant and well balanced, beautiful light ruby in color, this Garnacha offered chocolate, cherry, and earth notes without being heavy or overbearing at all. This is definitely a red for all seasons and could be sipped in front of a fireplace on a snowy day with lighter meat dishes as easily as it would pair with grilled chicken during a summer barbeque. I’m definitely not a red only in winter and white in summer wine drinker, and I always love finding wines that transcend season.

Exploring more of Spain (I’ve been to Barcelona only.) is definitely on my travel wish list, and I would love to walk some of the Camino de Santiago someday. . . so hopefully tasting Navarra wines where they grow is in the cards!

The Wines of Navarra website is really beautiful and offers information on the regions and its wines and gastronomy

About Navarra

Navarra is one of Spain’s 17 autonomous regions, a storied land of vast inherited cultural wealth tucked into the Pyrenees of north-central Spain, just below France.

Navarra lies at the nerve center of a celebrated medieval pilgrimage route, the Camino de Santiago, and was once a Kingdom of Navarra, whose cultural flowering under French monarchs in the late Middle Ages left behind both a stunning architectural legacy and a potent residual ‘Frenchness’ that still pervades local sensibilities.

Navarra sits along a rugged, transitional zone at the convergence of three major climate types–Mediterranean, Continental, and Atlantic. Its landscape comprises semi-desert basin, lush woodland hills and high mountain peaks, all within a total area is smaller than that of Connecticut.

 

Wines of Navarra provided me with wine samples. All opinions are my own.

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Tags: Navarra, sample, Spain, Spanish wine, travel blog, wine, wine blogger, wine lover

Rosé nestled in a bed of green grass in the sun. . . it’s what I am dreaming of these days. I’m also dreaming of boat days, long weekends, sandy feet and salty hair, and garden fresh tomatoes and sunsets that stretch on and on.

As I look out the window, I see my slumped over seedlings and gray skies and wonder will we ever see the sun again? The struggle is real.

But we still have rosé, and that’s just a bit of sunshine in a bottle, a trip to France with the pop of a cork, a brief holiday from all of the worries of the everyday.

 domaine de la bastide cotes du rhone

This 2014 Domaine de la Bastide Côtes du Rhône Rosé was a last minute addition to our wine fridge last weekend, and it’s definitely a wine I would seek out again. Much like how I feel about this spring, I didn’t love this wine at first.

We opened it, and on initial inspection thought it had a vinegar-y nose. Once swirled around in the glass, however, that changed, and it was a delightful, dry wine with those chalky mineral notes I love from a rosé. It had some pretty floral notes as well, maybe rose petal, along with bright strawberry, and a nice crisp finish. Not too acidic, and with no overwhelming flavors, this wine is easy like a summer day and perfect for just that.

The price was definitely right. At $13 a bottle, this wine is great for Saturday afternoons on the patio or at the park or at the beach. . . you get my drift.

Signed,

Desperately Craving Summer

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Tags: rhone, Rosé season, rose wine, wine, wine lover, wine of the week, Wine Wednesday

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