wine review! : Baron Gassier 2017 Cuvée Élégance Rosé

i’m pretty sure this is the first Côtes-de-provence Sainte-Victoire rosé i’ve had and i like it a lot. it was on sale at Sainsbury’s for £10 (down from £13) so it was a little more than the usual £4-£7 range of bottom-shelf wines i go for but still worth it imo.

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it’s lovely and smooth (with a very pretty pale pink color). my main impression is that it’s silky but with the minerality that’s the main reason i love Provençal rosé. that minerality almost goes into something like diesel or grass notes that i’m learning are common to South African white wines (which i also like) but the fruit notes keep it from going full gasoline.

aside from those mineral notes the most interesting thing to me is the texture because while this isn’t ‘heavy’ by any means it is definitely fuller than other rosés i’ve had. like when i say ‘silky’ it’s not just smoothness, it means there’s an actual weight to it that stands out. so for example, this maybe wouldn’t be my first choice to have while sitting on a patio in the sun, but it is definitely complex and delicious with everything i want out of a Provençal rosé.

4.5/5

wine review! 2016 Emotion Côtes de Provence Rosé

even though it’s march, today was the first proper sunny day in a while (following the Beast storm that gave us a week of snow and empty grocery stores and whatnot) so i couldn’t resist getting some lovely rosé. for the complete Provençal experience i took a picture of it with my Cézanne print.

the first nose is definitely strawberries and makes me smile. it’s light and tart at first before filling out in the middle and ending with some nice mineral (and maybe vegetal) dryness. it’s what i think you would call ‘moreish’.

i’m having it with olives, bread and cheese, shrimp and other little tapas sort of snacks but i can definitely imagine this going well with a light pasta. all in all i’m basically in heaven with this lunch 😊

for price-to-value comparison, this is another low-priced Tesco rosé. it was £5 when i got it today but i think usually it’s a tiny bit more expensive. it’s drier than the regular Tesco Côtes de Provence Rosé and since today it happened to be £1.50 cheaper it’s definitely much better for the price. it’s still not as complex as it could be so it’s not mind-blowing or anything, but still very nice overall. tomorrow i’m gonna try an M&S rosé i got specially for a train ride, so it’ll be interesting to see how it compares.

4/5

wine review! 2016 Tesco Côtes de Provence Rosé

before i moved to the UK i only knew of Tesco as the place that sells horse meat in its hamburgers, but now that i live here i found out they also sell wine. tesco wines really highlight the classist connotations of wine drinking because they sell any number of wonderful wines and grape varieties under their ‘tesco’s finest’ label, but at the same time, if you brought a bottle of tesco’s finest to someone’s dinner party it would probably seem like you’re kind of cheap even though it could be completely delicious and better than any number of more expensive bottles. this particular bottle (partially just because it’s Provençal) is definitely much tastier than most of the rosés that were on the shelf with it.

anyways, the back label describes it this way:

Delicious stone fruit flavours are balanced with notes of fresh strawberries and redcurrants to create this crisp, delicate and dry wine with its signature pink pale colour.

‘strawberry’ is usually a red flag (lol 🍓) for me when choosing rosé because that generally means it’s gonna be on the sweeter side, but a ‘sweet’ Provençal rosé is still gonna be drier than most which is one of the nice characteristics of this region. i sort of get what they mean with the redcurrant because the beginning of it is juicy without being sharp or tart; i’d almost call it watery if that didn’t sound like a bad thing. it does end with the refreshing dryness i like in a rosé, but the whole thing is still a tiny bit too fruity for my tastes.

overall it’s mostly nice, and for £6.50 i’m happy with it. if this was the middle of summer instead of the end of january, i would easily buy a few bottles for a lazy sunday party or something. this would definitely be a fun bottle to compare to a Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence rosé because it’s tasty but also clearly lacking some of the mineraly limestone flavor that (imo) defines Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence wines.

finally, for an extra special treat below you can see the bottle pictured next to my roses, who are only just waking up from their wintertime sleep ❄🌹😴

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wine: it’s great!

i have no willpower to write vaguely intellectual things about videogames, which was the original plan, so instead imma write about wine, which is fun and great.

wine! i started drinking wine in my teens i guess because my family likes wine and i’m semi-related to somebody with a vineyard, but i didn’t really have the palate for any sort of alcohol until my early twenties (i didn’t ~enjoy~ beer until i was like, 25). the first wines i bought on my own were Charles Shaw cabernet sauvingon, which used to be ‘two buck chuck’ in california but has subsequently seen some price rises, and jugs of Carlo Rossi, which has some of the best commercials around.

that said, i first learned about wine thanks to The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes radio show that i listened to cassette tapes of when i was a kid. the show was sponsored by Petri Wine, with the Petri Wine guy visiting Dr. Watson to hear a story as the framing device for each episode. the best ones start with the Petri rep trying to talk to Dr. Watson about wine, which Watson really does not give a shit about. it’s wonderful, and the theme song is neat.

right at this very moment i’m drinking Camino del Ángel Merlot from Sainsbury’s, which had a letter ‘A’ ranking out of ABCDEF, with A being ‘light’ and ‘F’ being, uh, ‘full’, or something? i don’t really remember. anyways, it’s good and i like the scent. i used to be a bartender and had to describe wines with the usual wine-drinker vocabulary so i’m trying to avoid it here because eh, who needs wine recommendations from me. 

it took me a while to figure out what kind of wine i liked but i’ve at least gotten to the point where i know what i prefer (i say prefer because there’s really no kind of wine i dislike). for red my favorite flavors are dirt and mold without a lot of spice, for white i like rocks (or ~mineral~), and my favorite kind of wine is Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence rosé, and not just because it comes in a neat bottle and has a lovely pink color. Provençal rosé would 100% be one of my desert island drinks, even though if i was actually on a desert island i’d definitely die from dehydration after like two days. it’s light and dry but still refreshing while leaving your mouth feeling clean and nice.

i also particularly enjoy dessert/sweet/fortified/after-dinner wines like port and muscat, but i’ve actually started moving away from them since i’ve moved to Scotland. i figured i should take the opportunity to drink/learn about scotch, which as of now i can only really enjoy after a long dinner because i still don’t love smoky drinks. scotch is a weird one because i love the dirt flavor you get from peaty scotch but generally the more peat there is the more smoke there is, so i’ve yet to find a particular scotch that would be my go-to brand/label/flavor profile. in terms of an after-dinner spirit my favorite will probably always be armagnac, so if that’s an option i tend to go for that over wine or scotch anyways. it’s totally evil and fucked up but there’s definitely a part of me that loves armagnac enough that i’d eat an ortolan if the opportunity presented itself.

anyways, writing this was fun so maybe once i feel like scanning things again i’ll post some of my custom recipes from my bartending days, including the spec recipes i half-blood-princed to make way better than the ones written by our ‘chief mixologist’ (lol)