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WHY WINE AND SUNLIGHT DON'T MIX!!!

Admin 21/09/2020
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Unless you want its fruity and floral aromas to come to be those of cooked cabbage, wet cardboard and  wet dog, ensure your wine and sunlight stay away from each other. Keep reading for more on this and what else you can do to protect your wine.

Does Sunlight Effect Wine?
Did you realize that direct sunshine exposure can change a magnificent bottle of wine to nasty swill? This unfortunate phenomenon is light strike.

Light strike takes place when the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays flood the bottle. This excites the wine's naturally taking place riboflavin (Vitamin B2) and pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5).

These energized molecules then react with naturally present amino acids. This yields sulfur containing compounds that we can smell at very low levels, and they stink!

3 hours of sun direct exposure is all it takes for wine damage to occur in clear bottles. Wine in green bottles takes just 18 hrs. Be mindful of where a shop has placed its wine prior to acquiring it.

Select a wine that is not near a home window or subjected to the sun.

But is there an additional solution for battling those UV rays?

The shade of the bottle significantly affects UV direct exposure.

 

Bulbs & Bottles: Much More Wine-Saving Techniques
Who would have thought that the shade of the bottle makes such a difference?

 

As proof, a research study revealed that amber glass, not the winemaker's typical choice, offers near COMPLETE defence from UV rays. Green glass offers moderate security, and clear glass very little.

Historically, green glass was the easiest to create in large quantities. It predates any understanding of light strike, hence making it one of the most usual today. Clear glass is a newer selection that provides almost no security.

This is a real shame, as most of us like to see the beautiful shades of white, yellow, green, and rose within.

Lastly, if you intend to get really technical and stop UV damage a lot more, set up LED bulbs. This is a fantastic solution, as they do not emit any UV rays.

 

It's not impossible!
Keeping wine and sunlight separate could appear hard. Yet as we've seen, there are tons of techniques for keeping your wine scrumptious and also sun-free!

Securing your wine from UV rays, taking into consideration the colour of the bottle, and even installing LED bulbs will certainly lengthen the life and also flavour of your wine.

MIRABEAU ROSES - LIVING THE PROVENCE DREAM

Admin 12/05/2020
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Ever thought of selling up, relocating somewhere new and start making wine? Georgina Hindle speaks with Stephen and Jeany Cronk about how they transformed a dream into reality, and tastes through the most recent Mirabeau rosé wines.
Mirabeau rosé wines stand for the fruition of a long-held winemaking desire and a shared love of Provence rosé for British pair Stephen and Jeany Cronk.
 
With no previous experience of making wine, the couple started in 2009 by relocating with their kids from London life to the stunning rolling hills and blue skies of southerly France.
' We were outright supporters to Provence rosé,' states Jeany Cronk. 'It was one of the things we constantly agreed on, we just loved it and it wasn't even especially fashionable in those days.'
 
Commemorating their tenth anniversary last year, the acclaimed Mirabeau variety currently consists of a sparkling rosé and  8 still wines - one in a can - and can be found in more than 50 markets around the globe. Additionally they make a gin.
Scroll down for Mirabeau's wine tasting notes and ratings.
 
' It's a very tough business'
Stephen and Jeany have established a very effective négociant business model, developing their array by sourcing fruit from other places as opposed to taking the more traditional path of making wine entirely from their very own estates.
' The reality is, it's a very tough business,' said Stephen. 'It's extremely capital intensive so we chose to establish a model utilizing other people's vineyards as a négociant, taking the completed base wines and blending them to specific profiles.'
 
They scoured the region for the best vineyards and growers to work with, and employed an experienced winemaking group led by Beaujolais-born winemaker Nathalie Longefay.
 
Mirabeau's 'Classic' gave the group its big break, landing a contract with UK grocery store Waitrose and kick-starting growth in the USA, Canada, Holland and Germany. It is currently an 'entry point' into the range.
 
The Pure and Etoile wines followed, in 2014 as well as 2017 specifically, forming the major emphasis of the brand.
 
Mirabeau Factfile
Business established: 2009
Initial vintage: 'Classic', 2010
Proprietors: Stephen and Jeany Cronk
Winemaker: Nathalie Longefay
Model: Négociant with estate wine expected
Variety consists of: VClassic, Pure, Etoile, La Folie sparkling, Azure, Belle Année, Forever Summer , X and Prêt-à-Porter Rosé to Go!
Estate: 20 hectares (ha), with 14ha under vine and planted to Grenache, Cinsault and Rolle, situated in Notre Dame des Anges.
 
How Classic, Pure and Etoile wines are made
Stephen Cronk defines Classic as 'a really great representation of a Provence rosé'.
 
It's made from a non-prescriptive blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault and is dominated by red fruits. There is less than 1g of residual sugar, as in all 3 of these wines, but there is an impact of sweetness balanced by acidity and a round taste.
Pure has a different profile. 'It's more citrussy with grapefruit flavours and a mineral quality,' states Stephen. 'The framework makes it a slightly more serious wine and for people that are used to drinking Provence rosés. It's even more direct with the backbone on the palate.'
 
Etoile is made in smaller amounts from grapes grown at high altitudes in the Mont Ste-Victoire appellation just south of Aix-en-Provence.
It is always 90% Grenache and 10% Cinsault, with a profile that Stephen describes as 'rock fruits on the nose, peach and apricot, with a minerality and concentration that makes it even more of a gastronomic wine'.
Sourcing the appropriate base wines.
 
Aside from Etoile, Mirabeau wines are made to a specific 'taste and quality profile' rather than a specific blend, according to the team. It resources the base wines that have the called for flavour profiles.
 
' Our method is to taste as widely as feasible' states Jeany. The team believes its initiatives to establish and nurture strong partnerships with the area's growers have actually helped in this regard.
 
' We have an enormous panel of wines to purchase from, which is a big benefit,' says Jeany. 'Due to the fact that Nathalie has the stlye of each of our 3 core  wines efficiently in her head as a profile, we progressively choose what will go into the final blend.
 
' Even in times of severe shortage we have actually been blessed enough to get some wonderful wines to collaborate with.'
 
Consistency between vintages
This access to top quality grapes from the 2,000 ha of prime Côtes de Provence vineyards additionally permits Mirabeau to more conveniently blend-out vintage variation.
 
' The négociant model truly enables us to pick the best wines from the best sellers to produce that constant style our customers recognise.
 
' We know customers who enjoy Pure and would like it to be the exact same annually and we acknowledge that. We work all year long to have those connections with growers and become their key partner - it’s a transparent and symbiotic model.'
When selected, the base wines will be blended and bottled throughout the year. It's nearly a bottled-to-order system, with the couple 'drawing the wines down as and when they need them'.
 
They have found that this provides even more flexibility, especially given the needs of labelling and  marketing wines in various countries and for various customers, from exclusive supermarket labels to Hebrew back labels.
Other wines in the range.
 
Numerous new wines have actually been launched on top of the core range, some as fun experiments and others in a nod to customer preferences as well as ecological considerations.
For example, there is a sparkling rose called La Folie, comprised this year of Cinsault, Syrah, Grenache and Collombard.
 
It was introduced four years before and is made using the Charmat Technique - the procedure commonly found in Prosecco - to deliver freshness, fruit flavours and sparkle at a budget friendly price.
Forever Summer  was born with the trend for low  alcohol wines in mind.
 
 
Reverse osmosis has actually reduced the alcohol level from 13% to 11% abv. The original objective was someplace nearer to 9%, but the couple found that reducing abv by more than 2% had way too much impact on the wine's structure.
This bottling, available specifically at UK supermarket Sainsburys as of 2 years ago, is likewise classified as 'plant based', because it is sourced from growers that utilize vegan winemaking strategies.
 
The range also consists of Mirabeau's 'Prêt-à-Porter Canettes Rosé to Go!'; rosé in a can that Jeany refers to as having 'so many positives', not the very least at outings and celebrations.
 
It began as a special project with Whole Foods in the US, labelled as a Vin de France made from Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah. However, amid the rising popularity of both canned wine and rosé, the wine is now widely stocked.
' It simply spoke to me as a customer, but we really did not intend to fall into the trap of not putting wonderful  wine in there,' Jeany says.
 
Rosé Gin
Not content solely with wine production, there’s even a Mirabeau Rosé gin.
It uses 100% neutral grape spirit, from the alcohol extracted during the production of Forever Summer, and a host of local botanicals. Together with juniper berries, these include coriander seeds, orris and angelica root, Citron de Menton peel and enthusiasm, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, lavender, Rose de Mai flowers and jasmine.
 
Domaine wine on the horizon
Based in Notre-Dame des Anges, which became the 5th official sub-region of Côte de Provence in 2014, the Mirabeau group now has the creation of their very own 'domaine' wine in mind.
They will begin exploring for the first time later on this year, using Mirabeau's 14 hectares of vineyards. It consists of primarily Grenache, Cinsault and Rolle, which is also referred to as Vermentino.
‘We’ve got a broad range and all our products need our attention, so we’re not going to bring a new wine out for the sake of it,’ say the couple
' We do not know when we'll have a wine that is good enough because it will have to be different. We wish to take our time and also experiment technically and find something that’s really small batch.’
 
Advertising biodiversity
The pair said they were committed to environmentally-responsible viticulture and intend to step in as little as possible in the vineyard.
‘It’s a survival essential,’ says Stephen, who believes strongly in the idea of regenerative farming; this involves encouraging biodiversity that will then re nourish the soil and help build resilience to erosion and drought. It is hoped that limited ploughing will encourage vines to store more CO2 in the soil.
 
Influenced by Oregon winemaker, botanist and environmentalist Mimi Casteel, Stephen intends to 'take organic to the next level' and to 'see whether we can relocate away from a mono-culture to a biodiverse vineyard and still make great wine'.
He includes, 'Where we can move the dial on an ecological front, we do.' Like numerous amongst a brand-new generation of wine makers, along with veteran opponents of chemicals and herbicides, he claims that years of using sprays and treating throughout the wine world was 'all entirely wrong'.
 
The Mirabeau estate doesn't make use of any type of unsafe pesticides, preferring natural compost and manure on the creeping plants.
 
The pair have actually established an ambitious goal to reduce their carbon impact by intending to become plastic-free, and reduce using power, water and raw materials.
See Mirabeau's wine notes and ratings
 
Mirabeau, La Folie NV, Vin de France, Southwest France 
 
A fragile, very light pink shimmering made in the Charmat Approach (the same as Prosecco) to retain a beautiful fresh flavour of strawberries and raspberries together with zesty lemon and lime. Made from Cinsault, Syrah, Grenache and Colombard grown in northern Provence and the Luberon, it has crisp acidity.
Points 90
 
A remarkable floral nose rupturing with elderflower, peach and citrus. On the pallet it's juicy and loaded with summer season berries with hints of grapefruit and underlying minerality. A mix of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah, it's structured with a beautiful soft appearance, mouthwatering activity and also is extremely Provençal in style ...
Points 91
 
 
 
A fruit-forward nose with soft, green apple and pear notes coming through along with lemon and ripe apricot. It's absolutely a different style to the Pure and Classic wines in Mirabeu's variety, with an appetizing level of acidity providing freshness and power, plus a focus on stone fruit and crunchy citrus flavours.
Points 91
 
 
A meaningful nose of berry notes that, on the taste buds, transforms right into succulent and juicy red cherries, raspberries and strawberries. The palate uses a light creaminess and smooth texture with a round, crisp coating. Made from 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah and 15% Cinsault, it has complexity as well as drive.
Points 90
 
 
 
 
This is aptly named, tasting like a summertime dessert, packed with delicious strawberries and fragile lotion flavours. It's revitalizing and extremely drinkable with tips of citrus on the palate and a refined spicy side on the coating. Forever Summer is the first lower alcohol wine in Mirabeau's range.
Points 89
 
Mirabeau, Prêt-à-Porter Canettes Rosé to Go!, Méditerranée IGP
 
 
An ingenious product from the Mirabeau group: its Prêt à Concierge can. This has a lovely red berry fruit flavour, ripe cherries, raspberries and wild strawberries, together with tips of grapefruit and apricot. Rejuvenating as well as yummy, it makes a great alfresco option for picnics, beach trips or drinking by the pool.
Points 88

Drool-Worthy Comfort Food and Wine Pairings

Admin 07/05/2020
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Right here are some crave-worthy comfort food and wine pairings. Be warned, naps are not included (although, you'll be tempted!).

Images of wine pairings have a tendency to enter a decidedly exclusive direction. Great cheeses, charcuterie boards, and foie gras appear to be the very best friends of wine. Yet at the end of a long, difficult day, who has the strength or power for that?

There's no shortage of people that would rather eat those hearty, familiar dishes that have brought us happiness since childhood. The kind of suppers that adhere to your ribs and make you feel just a little bit guilty. And who says you can not pair a great bottle of wine with all that?

 

Meatloaf & Mashed Potatoes

Try: Juicy Italian reds like Montepulciano d'Abruzzo

Why It Works: Large and also fruity wines like Montepulciano d'Abruzzo have been taking on hearty meats and tomato sauces since the first Italian grandmother thought her kids looked too skinny.

The dark cherry and raspberry fruitiness located in these Italian standards stand up to meatloaf, while including a degree of tasty herbaceousness that weds with the heavy natural herbs and seasonings.

 

 

Top Ramen

Try: Something bubbly with a little sweetness, like Lambrusco or Prosecco. 

Why It Works: The eco-friendly apple and melon notes from your ordinary Prosecco are most likely to go wonderfully well with a chicken or shrimp Ramen, while the strawberry-rhubarb fruitiness of a Lambrusco should work best with beef-based styles.

The bubbles in both are extremely rejuvenating after mouthfuls of salty noodles and oily broth, and they will help clean your palate.

 

Bean & Cheese Burrito

Try: Strong, full-flavored reds like Rioja Crianza or Sangiovese 

Why It Works: The full-flavored notes of natural leather, pepper, and natural herbs that are so frequent in Tempranillo and Sangiovese pair wonderfully with cheeses and heartier red sauces, with the tannins cutting well through the heavier tastes.

The full bodies of both red wines enhance the durable taste and also scale of burritos (particularly if you bought one that's the size of a toss cushion).

 

Fish and Chips.

Try: Tight dry wines, like Pinot Grigio 

Why It Works:The lip-puckering acid in these wines cuts through batter and oil like a razor, leaving your mouth free of oil (and any residual fishiness, as well).

Furthermore, the citrus-heavy notes present includes zest: like if you had actually squeezed some lemon over your fish.

 

Pizza Rolls.

Try: Dry, full-flavored Italian reds like Chianti or Nero d'Avola

Why It Works: The fuller body and rich, red notes of tomato and leafy natural herbs you'll locate in Chianti and Nero d'Avola were essentially made to match the heartiness of pizza roll filling.

Typically, Nero d'Avola displays notes of cured meat, which is ideal to accompany more pepperoni-heavy snacks in general.

 

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup.

Try: Rich, floral reds like Chilean Carménère or Cabernet Franc. 

Why It Works:With their notable degrees of pyrazine, these savory wines do double duty by matching the abundant, tomato quality of the soup, while also adding an enhanced complexity to the natural herbs and seasoning that it's made with.

The higher acid and tannins in these reds additionally pair incredibly with the fat in a barbequed cheese: do your best not to soak it in your wine glass!

 

Sloppy Joes & French Fries.

Try: Strong, meaty reds, like New World Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz

Why It Works: The thriving black fruits and high tannins in Chilean Cab or South African Shiraz are more than a match for the abundant, red beef and sauce that comprise your typical Sloppy Joe.

Those exact same tannins will certainly have marvels worked with them by the saltiness of the fries, as salt has a method of silencing the bitterness related to harsher tannins.

 

Chocolate Chip Cookie a la Mode.

Try: Darker, fortified white wines like Commandaria  

Why It Works: The complete body of a Commandaria is going to match the creaminess of your ice cream incredibly, and its rich toffee and nut tastes will certainly complement the cookie, too; you'll vouch it has nuts in it!

There's also an unusual amount of acidity in a Commandaria that will cut through the dairy of a cookie a la mode quite nicely.

 

Tuna or Chicken Salad Sandwiches.

Try: Clean and light whites like a Pinot Grigio or Verdejo. 

Why It Works: The light, simple notes of citrus and melon will blend well with the white meat of both of these bound salads, without adding even more heaviness.

Their crisp level of acidity will likewise serve to stabilize the splendor of the mayo, without being so overwhelming that you're worried it will curdle.

 

Wine and comfort food are completely complementary: they fit like Peanut Butter and Jelly!

What are a few of your favourite wines to pair with comfort food?

Crisis May Cut Wine Sales In Europe By Half

Admin 28/04/2020
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The closure of bars and restaurants to contain the spread of COVID-19 has reduced global wine sales considerably, and wine makers' revenues in Europe could be cut in half, the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) has claimed.

While wine sales are likely to expand once again once lockdowns are alleviated, the situation could bring permanent changes to the industry.

European manufacturers, specifically in France, Italy, as well as Spain, have asked for urgent assistance, with French winemakers being penalised by US tolls of 25% as part of Washington's response to EU airplane subsidies, in addition to the lockdowns.

"In Europe, the shutdown of this important channel of distribution might bring a reduction of 35% in volume and a reduction of almost 50% in sales," OIV director general Pau Roca told a webcast news conference, without giving a timeframe.

Roca said that circulation has actually moved to retailers and online purchases, but overall consumption is anticipated to go down, along with prices, hitting wine makers' turn over and productivity.

With global profits from wine at record highs last year, the shrinkage in the sector is comparable to that seen at the end of World War II, he added.

Mediterranean nations will certainly be most influenced as they count heavily on bars, restaurants as well as terraces, and tourism will remain limited even after lockdown actions are lifted.

" At this moment everybody concurs that the lockdown has actually had a damaging effect, possibly irreparable unless outstanding public resources for restoration are put forward," said Roca, whose organisation groups the governments of 47 wine-producing nations.

More Aid Needed
French agriculture minister Didier Guillaume said on Thursday 23 April that French winemakers are stifled, and have asked for even more aid from the EU.

" While certain countries are starting to reopen their harbours, it holds true for China for instance, for the near future the situation does not leave much room for optimism," he claimed on LCI information channel.

Both largest markets on the planet, Europe and the USA, might reduce their imports, he stated, and specified, "Trade flows may recoup with the economy, however some long-term modifications may occur."

The international wine trade - the global value of wine exports - topped €31.8 billion in 2019, a new record high, OIV said, with France leading the way with €9.8 billion exported.

On Monday 20 April, the European Union's executive projection that wine consumption in the bloc's 27 countries will certainly fall by 8% in the 2019/20 period contrasted to the average of the last five years.

A GUIDE TO ROSE STYLES

Admin 16/04/2020
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A Guide to different Styles of Rosé

Rosé is made when the juice of red wine is strained from its skins before it gets too dark. 

Grenache Rosé
Style: Fruity
Tasting Notes: Generally a great ruby red colour with notes of ripe strawberry, orange, hibiscus with a hint of allspice. You'll find wines of Grenache to have moderately high acidity, yet since many have quite a bit of shade and body, normally you'll want to serve them cold to keep them zesty. Perfect pairing with this wine would certainly be a summer takeout Greek Gyros with dill tzatziki.Try our Mirabeau Pure for your perfect Grenache experience.


Sangiovese Rosé
Style: Fruity
Tasting Notes: A bright copper red color that sparkles in the light, Sangiovese seems like it was made to be a rosé wine. Notes of fresh strawberries,melon, roses and yellow peach are complimented with mouth quenching acidity. A few Sangiovese rosé have a more bitter note on the finish, which makes this fruity wine taste pleasantly dry. Definitely serve cold, perhaps with a bowl of Moroccan couscous and chicken. Try Our Karipides Rose from Greece or our Italian Belguardo.

Syrah Rosé
Design: Savory
Tasting Notes: American Syrah rosé is typically made in the 'Saignée Approach' which typically suggests it will certainly have much deeper colors of ruby as well as notes of white pepper, eco-friendly olive, strawberry, cherry as well as peach skin - certainly on the fashionable side. Rosé of Syrah have a tendency to be  on the bolder end  and are best offered a little warmer than fridge temperature levels in a normal wine glass. This is a surprisingly great rose wine with pepperoni pizza or a bowl of chili. Try our Tsiakkas Rodinos with your next pizza!!!


Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé
Design: Savory
Tasting Notes: This kind of rosé is almost exclusively made in the 'Saignée Technique'. Cabernet rosé are a deep ruby red shade with red wine-like flavors of green bell pepper, cherry sauce, black currant as well as pepper spice. The only large difference is that Cabernet rosé wines usually have increased level of acidity due to the fact that they aren't normally matured in oak.

Zinfandel Rosé (a.k.a. White Zinfandel).
Style: Sweet
Tasting Notes: Possibly the most prominent rosé (in regards to volume however not necessarily for quality) marketed in the USA! Many 'white' Zinfandel is made purposely to an 'off-dry' design with about 3-5 grams of residual sugar making it moderately sweet.It tastes of strawberry, cotton candy, lemon and green melon with a moderately high level of acidity. You'll want to serve it ice cold possibly with Thai food.


Tavel Rosé (from the Côtes du Rhône).
Stlye: Savory and Rich.
Tasting Notes:Stated to be a fave of author and also male's male, Ernest Hemingway, Tavel is an unusually dry Rosé. It has more body and structure than many pink wines and is taken into consideration to have all the personality of an excellent red wine, simply with much less colour. It is made primarily with Grenache and Cinsault, yet 9 varieties are allowed in the blend. Usually high in alcohol and low in acid, this salmon-pink wine ages well and as its nose of summertime fruits turn to abundant, nutty notes in time. Toss some brisket on the barbeque and enjoy!

Provence Rosé.
Style: Fruity and Lean.
Tasting Notes Rosé, from Provence, is the little black dress of pink wines. This wine is just as your home on the patio as it is in the dining room, Its fresh, crisp, dry style is a masterful suit for nearly any meal; even a juicy hamburger makes a perfect partner. Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah and Mourvèdre are all used to develop this pale, pink rosé and offer it fragrances of strawberry, fresh-cut watermelon, and rose petal, finishing with a distinctive, salty minerality on the palate. Any of our Mirabeau Selections will keep you going back for more Provence Roses!!!

Cerasuolo Rose
Style: Dry and Crisp
​Tasting notes: Abruzzo’s classic red wine, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, becomes known as Cerasuolo when it’s vinified in a rosé style. The word Cerasuolo means cherry-red, which aptly describes the deeply colourful rosé wine from the Montepulciano grape. It’s produced by employing a short maceration of the grape juice with the skins of the grapes and then the lightly coloured juice is separated and vinified much like a white wine. Because the Montepulciano grape is high in natural colouring pigments, Cerasuolo rosé is deeper both in pink colour and flavour. It’s one of the heartiest of Italy’s rosés, with hints of strawberry, dried cherry and exotic spices such as orange peel and cinnamon. Most of the top producers in Abruzzo make Cerasuolo and, thankfully, some of those are exported. While it is delicious as a summertime aperitif, the versatility of rosé with food is often overlooked. The ‘Abruzzesi’ are known for their liberal use of pepperoncini (chilli peppers) in their cooking and Cerasuolo will cool down the heat while enhancing the pepperoncino flavour with a little spiciness of its own. It is just what you want when the sun breaks through as an aperitif wine or with a spontaneous sunny picnic. Good with ‘meaty’ fish: grilled seabass, Salade Niçoise, seared tuna and some peppery French fries. Check out Our Castorani Cerasualo D'Abruzzo if this Style appeals to you!

Pinot Noir Rosé.
Style: Delicately Fruity.
Tasting Notes: Pinot Noir is a diva on the grape runway. The fruit is intolerant of any type of extreme weather and is considered sensitive and temperamental,, but when it's on and at its best, can produce a very sexy glass of wine. In rosé, Pinot Noir supplies bright acidity and soft, refined fragrances of crab apple, watermelon, raspberries, strawberries, and damp stone. The grape can produce earthy-but-elegant wines that are great, crisp, and dry, and would certainly be fascinating with a fresh goat cheese salad.

For those we havent mentioned, Check out our Special Selection of Rose wines to find your Perfect Rose. ROSE AWAY!!!

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