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Nov 22

Wine Review: 2009 Arizona Stronghold Dayden Rosé

I love rosé. Partially, I love it because it’s pink, but I also love it because so many people undervalue it. I recommended a rose to a guy the other day and he said, um, I’d rather have a white, not pink. I launched into a quick defense of pink, but he wouldn’t be swayed. Some guys (and gals, for that matter) simply refuse to find their inner pink.

Let me make two things clear about rosé:

  • Just because it’s pink, that doesn’t mean it’s sweet.
  • Just because it’s pink, that doesn’t mean it’s white zinfandel.

In the past few years, I’ve grown to love rosé because it can embrace so many different characteristics. It can be made from a multitude of different grapes and often has the heft of a red with the chill of white.

Usually in October, I’ll drink pink all month and promote the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. This year, I was both on the road for the almost the entire month and I was sick with a horrible case of bronchitis. Needless to say, I didn’t drink pink. The nice folks at Arizona Stronghold Winery, however, sent me this bottle as a sample, just in case I could. In October, some of the proceeds from sales of this bottle were donated to the BCRF. I’m a little late. Late is alright though, as rosé is a great wine to drink with turkey.

The 2009 Arizona Stronghold Dayden Cochise County Rosé is a blend of Zinfandel, Grenache, Sangiovese, Malbec, and Sauvignon Blanc from three different vineyard locations in Chochise County, Arizona.  They chose to make this rosé in the saignée style. Saignée is a method of rosé production that involves bleeding off the juice after limited contact with the skins. The juice only takes on a little of the color of the grape skins, due to the short time in which they had contact, leading to the pink color. The color is a nice medium-dark pink, nothing so peppy that you’ll be embarrassed to hold your glass in public. You can tell immediately that the wine has some heft.

The first thing we noticed was the rose petal nose. I hate saying that a rosé smells like roses, as it seems rather cliche, but there’s no denying that Kevin & I both got a floral aroma. The flavors are full of fruits and flowers, with some light strawberries wrapped in with some sour cherries and crushed flower petals. I know, that sounds ridiculous, but trust me. At only 11.9% AbV, this wine goes down fast and we powered through our bottle. It’s very balanced – you’re not overwhelmed by any one specific flavor or characteristic, and instead enjoy the entire delicate blend of flavors.

The Dayden has structure and heft – it’s not just a back-porch summertime rosé. The winery recommends pairing it with grilled vegetables, cold meats, and salads. I think we may have overchilled it, so that’s something you really need to watch with this one. While we enjoyed it right out of the fridge, it had a much sweeter finish when it was cold. As it warmed up a bit, it had a fuller, less sweet finish and we liked it even better. Definitely chill this wine, but you might want to pull it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you drink it, just to get it up to optimum temperature.

I was hoping this wine might go well with Thanksgiving dinner, and while it might pair nicely with the cranberry portion, I don’t know about the rest. However, it is probably the perfect wine to pull out when you’re having a cold turkey sandwich on Black Friday, after a long day of shopping in the crazy local mall.

You’re probably thinking I just reviewed a wine you need to fly to Arizona to get your hands on. Not true. Recently the good folks at Dep’s Fine Wines have started carrying Arizona Stronghold, so head over there and pick up a bottle for around $12.99.

Our score:

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Posted by Michelle at 8:35 am in Drink Pink! (BCRF), Tastings, Wine Notes | Permalink | Comments (1)
Nov 21

Giveaway #2: And the Winner Is …

Using the random number generator at Random.org, the winner is …

Commenter #5: Holly!

Holly, I will be in touch ASAP … congratulations! You’re now the proud owner of a DVD copy of Blood Into Wine and a lovely cookbook by John Sarich.

My huge thanks to everyone. I got some great ideas from what you’ve given me, with programs like Kroger’s and eFundraising that I didn’t even know existed.

I still have a couple more copies of the movie to give away, plus some books. The next giveaway will be posted on Cyber-Monday, Nov 29. In the meantime, have a great Thanksgiving!

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Copyright Creative Commons by-nc-nd My Wine Education.
Posted by Michelle at 2:31 pm in Contests | Permalink | Comments (1)
Nov 19

Annual Southern Ohio Barrel Tasting Returns!

It’s Thanksgiving and time to start shopping for gifts and, well, wine – not that we ever stop shopping for wine! If you are somehow mall-ed out (how is that possible?) on Saturday, Nov 27, you can relax in some of our fantastic local wineries.

Each year, a group of southern Ohio’s wineries open up their cellars for barrel samplings of unreleased vintages. I think this is the third year (don’t quote me on that) and I’ve yet to attend. We’re never in town for Thanksgiving weekend. But if you are, and if the weather cooperates, go visit some or all of the participating wineries.

Barrel Sampling at Kinkead Ridge

It’s a great opportunity to visit local wineries that are often closed in the winter and snatch up their latest releases … not to mention trying some of their unreleased samples. For this year’s Annual Ohio River Valley Barrel Tasting Tour, you can visit

Hours and tasting fees vary by winery, so make sure to check the web site for more information.


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Posted by Michelle at 11:25 am in Local, Local Wineries, Wine Events | Permalink | Comments (1)
Nov 18

Happy Beaujolais Day!

Every year on November’s third Thursday, the latest vintage of Beaujolais Nouveau is released. Beaujolais Nouveau is a young red wine made from Gamay grapes in the Beaujolais region of France. Don’t age this one – Beaujolais is all about drinking it now.

French law dictates that Beaujolais Nouveau can be released at 12:01 am on the third Thursday of November. It’s so young at this point that the grapes were harvested only weeks earlier, with a short (obviously) fermentation period. Because of this method, the wine is often bright and fruity, with just a hint of tannins. I find it tastes best just a little chilled, and tends to pair nicely with Thanksgiving turkey, so it’s probably okay to age it about a week. 😉

Environmentalists and slow food movement folks tend to get all up in arms about Beaujolais Nouveau. After all, with such a short production cycle, it’s hard to get all that wine exported and ready to go by the third Thursday. Beaujolais Nouveau has one hell of a carbon footprint.

In recent years, Beaujolais producers have really been trying to curb their environmental impact. More and more producers are using environmentally friendly PET bottles, for example. PET bottles use similar material to the 2L bottles of Coke you can pick up at the grocery. The material is 100% recyclable and weighs nearly 50% less than glass. That means it weighs less on the flight over, using less jet fuel.

Of course, not everyone is flying the wine over on a super-fast jet. Georges DuBeoeuf, the largest producer of Beaujolais, has a dispensation from the French government allowing him to bottle and ship early – on boats. (Most of our wine from Europe ships on boats.)This year, Michael Skurnik Importers are bringing in both Domaine Madone and Paul Durdilly Beaujolais via boat. While this takes longer, it’s better for the environment than piling everything on a jet at the last minute.

Beaujolais is a wine that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Every year, parties are held around the world at 12:01, popping the first cork of Beaujolais. It’s a party wine. Keep that in mind when you pick up a bottle and you should be able to enjoy it with a smile on your face.

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Posted by Michelle at 10:06 am in Wine Events, Wine Glossary, Wine Misc, Wine Notes | Permalink | Comments (2)
Nov 15

GIVEAWAY #2: Blood Into Wine AND Chef In the Vineyard

This time, I’m giving away a DVD  and a fancy cookbook filled with gorgeous photos. You can win a copy of Blood Into Wine AND a copy of Chef in the Vineyard: Fresh & Simple Recipes from the Great Wine Estates by John Sarich.

What do you have to do to win this time? Well, I need some ideas.

My sister passed away in 2007 from an undiagnosed congenital heart defect. You can read all about it at the web site for the scholarship fund we’re trying to establish in her name. We have until the end of January 2011 to pull in $2500.00 more dollars, or all the money we’ve raised so far just goes into the general scholarship fund. We don’t want that – we want a memorial scholarship fund in Krystal’s memory. So, we’re $2500 short, we’re quickly running out of time, and the initial committee has burnt out and fallen apart. Assume that I’ll be trying to organize this on my own.

I’m panicking. I need ideas on how to raise that $2500 by the end of January. I can’t just have a fundraising event or silent auction. Having done that, I can tell you I would need a several months to pull that together. But if you have any other ideas on how to quickly raise this money so that all of our previous work isn’t for naught, I need you to put that into the comments section.

So, here are the rules for this go-round:

Enter a comment with an idea (a serious idea, not a joke) of how we can quickly raise $2500 for the scholarship fund.

I’ll leave the comments section open through 11:55 pm EST, Saturday, Nov 20. Any comments entered after that point (in case I’m not awake to close the comments) will not be entered in the contest. On Sunday, Nov 21, I’ll use Random.org to select the number of the winning comment. It will be totally random and is only valid if the winner meets the following conditions:

1. You leave an actual comment on this post and do NOT email me. I’m literally buried in email I haven’t answered from months ago. That’s how many emails I get. I know you folks prefer to email rather than comment, but I need you to use the comments section, okay?

2. When you fill out the comment form, please leave a valid name in the correct field, not a user name. Please don’t make me send an email to wineloverboy2506 or some such thing. I won’t do it. I’d much rather email Dear Emily, You won!

3. When you fill out the comment form, you must include a valid email address that you actually check. I’ll post the name and comment number of the winner on Sunday, but I still need to contact you to negotiate a way to get this DVD to you.

4. Just a reminder about our Comments policy – in particular, the part about being excellent to each other. If I think you’re being rude to another commenter, I will delete you.

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Posted by Michelle at 8:42 am in Books, Contests | Permalink | Comments (6)

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