Let me start by thanking Cleveland County Lifestyle and its publisher, Jimmy Darden, for the opportunity to share some of my experience with you. As a man in his late 40s, let me admit right up front that I spent most of my adult life as a non-wine drinker. For years, I drank what I thought men were supposed to drink: beer and whiskey. It wasn’t until I opened Moore Liquor in 2005 that I started my journey into the wonderful world of wine, in which this article purports to make me an expert. In reality, I’m not an expert. And in fact, I don’t think anyone really is. My experience tasting hundreds (maybe thousands) of different wines has taught me several immutable truths:
1) That which tastes good to me, may or may not taste good to you.
2) The price of a bottle of wine has very little to do with how enjoyable it is.
3) Wine “experts” are just people who’ve fooled enough other people into calling them “experts.”
Please keep this in mind when you read wine recommendations from anyone, including me. People who pretend to be able to tell you what kind of beverage you will enjoy have about the same chance of being correct as an Oklahoma meteorologist.
So why even write this article, you ask? Because I endeavor to recommend wines for you that will, at the very least, allow you to decide if we have a commonality of palette. If we do, then you will find value in my opinion and might discover a new wine or two that you never thought to try. If we don’t, then you can drop by the store and simply say, “I’d like a nice bottle of wine. What kind does Bryan NOT enjoy?” At the very least, I want to recommend some wines that work well with the season. Consequently, this article is devoted to the wines of spring.
Spring is the perfect time for pink wines. Some of the more popular “pinks” have the “White Zinfandel” designation. White Zins are great for light drinking at a wedding reception or to enjoy on the porch with neighbors. They rarely offend but also rarely inspire. For this article, I’d like to suggest some more interesting rose’ wines. When recommending wine, I have one main goal; the wine should taste better than it costs. In other words, I think the following wines are more than worth the money you pay for them.
Toad Hollow Dry Rose’
Like many dry roses, this one’s made from Pinot Noir grapes. It comes to us from the Sonoma County in California and is a bargain for those who enjoy a light and fruity wine with limited sugar content. It’s tangy with hints of citrus fruit and berries. It’s not overly complicated and travels from lips to stomach nicely.
This rose’ is also from California and also uses the Pinot Noir grape. However, the grapes are not solely from Sonoma County. About half (43%) come from Monterey County which imparts some extra acidity into the wine, another 9% are grown in Santa Barbara County. The blending of the grapes from different areas gives this wine a nice complexity that would appeal to those who normally mostly drink red wine. I detected a greater presence of tannins (grape skins), although the color might make you think otherwise. Meoimi has made an excellent Pinot Noir for years and just recently introduced this rose’ into the market. It’s well worth picking up.
Gruet Rose’ Brut
This bubbly was born in, of all places, Albuquerque! You may not normally associate good wine with New Mexico, but let this one change your mind. Since it is made in the U.S.A., it’s called a “sparkling wine,” but Gruet uses the same method of fermentation as they do in France. So, we get a wonderfully effervescent product that tickles the nose and dries the throat; a wine that is simultaneously fun and serious.
All of these wines can be enjoyed by themselves but they also pair well with lighter dishes like seafood, salad and a semi-soft cheese like Havarti or Monterrey Jack.
If you’d like to see a video review of these products as well as get an invite to our next free tasting, visit our YouTube channel at YouTube.com/MooreLiquor.
Good wine and good wishes!
Bryan Kerr has served since 2015 as president of the Retail Liquor Association of Oklahoma and is the owner of Moore Liquor.