Domaine la Rocalière Classic Tavel ($19.99)
Rhône Valley, France
From the producer:
"Tavel, Lirac. The only two South Rhône wines located on the right bank.
Welcome to our home, in this tiny square where we have not yet found limits: the size of these terroirs, their richness, their beauty, the immense pleasure that we find there to design our wines and our desire to do the best.
Welcome to Domaine la Rocalière, a family house of about 40 hectares established since 1995 in the heart of the Tavellois vineyards.
We cultivate season after season our commitment to organic farming, our commitment to our vineyards, the love of a job well done and passion for wine.
Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah and Mourvèdre: The grapes have been vinified separately with great care, they each bring their typicality: Grenache brings bold and fruity; Cinsault finesse and length; Syrah and Mourvèdre finally, besides a beautiful color and flavors of red berries give slowly developing a long life to the wine.
In summer, our Tavel is enjoyed fresh as an aperitif. It goes well with white meats and fresh cheeses and particularly highlights the Provençal specialties (Brandade, tapenade, etc.), Provençal and Asian cuisine."
The first thing you will notice is that this wine is very dark. There is a misunderstanding that dark roses are sweeter, but in fact it has nothing to do with sugar content, and everything to do with the kinds of grapes in the wine, and the length of skin contact during maceration. This wine is robust enough to pair with a variety of foods, but has enough character to savor it on its own.
Awestruck "Lovestruck" Coconut Rosé Cider ($14.99)
Sidney, New York
From the producer:
"We are fanatical about crafting transcendent, awe-inspiring liquid. That's why we put it right on our labels. Each and every apple in our blends specifically loves you, and they’ve all come together to help improve your day.
We are a group of young people who believe in good work, good times and good cider. We are devoted to crafting complex, delicious hard ciders by blending fresh-pressed New York State apples with natural herbs, spices and ingenuity. At Awestruck we strive for innovation and creativity in crafting our ciders."
I don't usually like sweeter ciders, but this one had me at the first sip. Awestruck is great at making seemingly weird flavor combinations really work. In this case, there is a floral note (hibiscus) that offsets the sweetness of the cider, and the coconut is just strong enough to be really summery and delicious, but not too overpowering. I'm really impressed with this!