At the last three wine bloggers conferences, I lucked out both with amazing pre-conference excursions and great conference expeditions as well. In 2010, a small group of us traveled on a press trip Seattle to Walla Walla and back, tasting along the way. In 2012, on our pre-conference excursion we dined at King Estates then learned about pinot noir with Robin Pffeifer, then went by TRAIN from Eugene to Portland where I was on the infamous #cuffedincarlton bus.
In 2013, I joined the Seattle to Lake Okanagan trip by way of the Lake Chelan AVA and went on the OK Falls hike where I discovered Painted Rock which I wrote about here also. When the announcement that Wine Blogging Wednesday #80 was Dry Rose, I didn’t have to think too hard about which wine I wanted to write about: “My Derby Wife” rose was one of the wines that I not only tasted on the Lake Chelan trip, but one I bought and had shipped back home to California.
Well, for one, the grapes are grown by an artist named Gwen!
Yes, my namesake is up in Lake Chelan in a beautiful house with views of the Lake and about one mile above the Blending Room wine tasting facility in Mason, WA. She has a painting studio inside, but on the day we visited, she was painting in her sunny garage where a number of her paintings were on display.
You see, winemaker Angela Jacobs adores roller derby–in fact she is a roller derby girl herself! And as explained on the website, “My Derby Wife” means someone who is a best friend or like a big sister: “a roller girl spends so much time committed to her training, her league, and her teammates that out of this undertaking inevitably emerges a handful of brilliant friendships with some incredibly smart and creative women.” Roller girls are so involved with a teammate, they’re practically married, such that “your real-life significant other or spouse becomes your Derby Widow.”
“My Derby Wife” 2012 syrah rose is a tribute to skater “Shorty Ounce” who Angela says is the “skater and athlete, whom I most wanna be like. She’s got all the pizazz, finesse, and strength of a true female athlete packed into a tight little package. I have a whole lot of respect for that. Shorty inspired the My Derby Wife Rosé for the exact same reasons I love this wine. It packs flavor, punch, and gusto all in one tiny little bottle. Pop one open with dinner and you’re sure to see why rollergirls and rosé are not to be underrated or over-achieved.”
Four, it’s a great wine–it really does pack a punch!
In this case, a spicy watermelon punch! Some dry roses are very subtle and mile but this one is not. It’s a lovely coral/pink/salmon color, with a lively fruit, citrus, mint, and cinnamon on the nose. Not sweet but sassy. On the palate it is lively with lots of bright acid, and a clean, lengthy finish. I paired it with a simple summer dinner of grilled chicken sausage, rice, and fresh summer vegetables. WineGirl Wines describe themselves as a nano-winery: for example, Only 20 cases of this rose were produced, and according to the website, it’s all sold out, so you’ll have to get yours next year.
— Gwendolyn Alley, MA (@ArtPredator) August 12, 2013
I also bought a “My Derby Wife” malbec which will give me a reason to revisit WineGirl Wine and tell you more about them as well as the Lake Chelan AVA.