Hooray for Central Coast Rose for #WinePW

Have you caught the rose’ train yet?

With the current wild proliferation and profusion of rose wine on today’s market, many people have discovered that the rose you find today is not at all like the sweet characterless wine you found in grandma’s glass a few years ago.

Even Brangelina and Drew Barrymore are on the rose train. In the video below, Drew explains how to taste wine and then…

well and then she puts her foot in her mouth and makes a number of ridiculous and false statements while holding her glass by the bowl which warms the wine (and smudges the glass!). Read about everything that’s wrong in the video here.    

Scroll down for a much better video about how to make rose– from someone who is a winemaker first and not an actor.

So if you don’t have rose in your glass yet, you will soon: according to data from Nielsen Co., “rosé has been one of the fastest-growing segments of the market for two years running.”  And Bloomberg reports that  rosé outsells red  wine AND white wine in France while in Australia rosé is the fastest growing wine style.

But it’s not white zin that’s caught our fancy because white zin’s market share is dropping rapidly: instead we are in the pink with ones more similar to the rosé wines of Provence: while more expensive, these pink wines are sophisticated, dry, and crisp, they cut the heat to leave us refreshed, and they pair well with food.

To help you sort through the proliferation, we’ve tasted four from the Central Coast  and paired them with SHRIMP CORN FRITTERS (OMG so good!) and have some ideas for you when this month the #WinePW crew once again say HOORAY for Rose with our theme for August Wine Pairing Weekend Chat is Rosé and… because there are so many ways to pair food with a Rosé.  And because there is so much to say on the subject, we have two  from Chile that I will be publishing about on Monday which is International Rose Day! (Not to be confused with NATIONAL Rose Day which is in June and we wrote about here and more about rose from France and Lodi  here.)

Here on Wine Predator, we decided to stay local and to highlight four wineries we’ve visited in the past year:

2016 – Hearst Ranch Winery “Julia” Rose – SRP $22 – alcohol 14.2%
grapes from San Luis Obispo County, tasting room in San Simeon
42% Petite verdot, 24% Petit syrah, 23% Syrah, 11% Tempuranillo

2016 – Sculpterra – Paso Pink – 15% alcohol – SRP $26
grapes, winery, tasting room Eastside Paso Robles
64% Grenache, 18% Syrah and 18% mouvedre

2016 – Justin Rose of Cabernet Sauvignon – 13.5% alcohol $ SRP $22.50
grapes, winery, tasting room Westside Paso Robles

2016 Plan B Cellars Rose of Mourvedre SRP
grapes from Santa Barbara County, winery and tasting room in Ventura


Just saying: Rose loves smoky and fatty foods like ham and smoked gouda. Think pink and savory and you’re on the right track. But also: rose is versatile and forgiving. Be prepared to be surprised: pulled pork, ham with tons of cloves, grilled copper river salmon. 

2016 – Sculpterra – Paso Pink – 15% alcohol – $26 250 cases
64% Grenache, 18% Syrah and 18% mourvedre

Who doesn’t love the Pink Panther? Such a fun label — they made a relief of the sculpture from the garden for it. This wine offers leanness, power, and lots of character!

Color: Super rich deep color, very pink, and prettier in the glass than it is in the bottle. This is accomplished by allowing the juice to be with the skin overnight — the longer the contact between juice and skin the more intense the color. I suspect they did so in order to match the pink on the label from the Pink Panther on the outside with the pink inside the bottle!

Nose: With watermelon, cucumber, and strawberries, it reminds us of a summer salad of watermelon, mint, feta.

Palate: What a beautiful wine! It is like a sweet tart candy in the way that it pleases all your senses. It hits all the right notes.  Really good with our ham appetizers, this would be really good with a hawaiian pizza. Not a lot of salinity, it is more voluptuous like rainier cherry, strawberry. Fun with depth of character, and it has some sweetness, without being sweet.

Add Sculpterra to your list of MUST VIST wineries in the Paso Robles are: great gardens and wine too!

We love this wine! We liked it when we tasted it in the tasting room, and love it now that we are tasting it again with food.

It’s fantastic with our gorgonzola cranberry and pecan torte: the creamy flavors go beautifully with this wine. At a family gathering this would be a wonderful wine to take.  Take it to your next Easter or Thanksgiving gathering. It went well with our great basin nuts, telling us that this wine goes well with rosemary flavors as well. It is a conversational wine that pairs beautiful and would compliment a special meal. This is a meal wine, it loves a big meal to compliment it and can carry across many flavor profiles. This wine went well with our shrimp fritters, but the others were seriously transformed by the shrimp fritters.

With our dessert of strawberries, blueberries, and sauce of sour creme, lemon juice, honey and lavender, and hazelnut cookie, this wine went better with the cookie than the fruit.

Visit Sculpterra winery, if not for the wine then for the eye candy including a fantastic full sized kaleidoscope.

And to really understand how to make a rose, don’t listen to Drew Barrymore but Sculpterra’s winemaker Paul Frankel :

WINERY says: “This amazing Rosé shows depth in strawberry, raspberry and fresh, ripe, tropical fruits. Syrah gives the wine its jewel-like darker hue, adding notes of crushed herbs, roses, and hints of ripe melon. The Mourvèdre was so unique, loaded with guava, tangerine, and an orange zest tang, I almost wanted to bottle it on its own.”

I purchased this wine with an industry discount.

2016 – Hearst Ranch Winery – $22 – alcohol 14.2%
42% petite verdot, 24% petite syrah, 23% syrah, 11% tempranillo

Named after Julia Morgan, who partnered William Hearst as the architect to bring his dreams to fruition, this wine honors her in a very elegant subtle way. Pale pink in color with an elegant nose, this rose of  GSM is all about subtlety. It’s not overly fruity, or overly floral but does offer cling peach and kernel on the nose. The palate is also subtle, with a clean finish and some roundness, a very interesting blend that is definitely on the dry side.

However, where the wine really shines is like food. Much like Hearst needed the guidance an th partnership of Julia Morgan to make his dreams into reality, this wine shows the best when paired with food.

This wine LOVES food!

We liked the rosemary notes of the pecans, and we felt that maybe if the rosemary notes went through to our dessert it would work. The lavender was intriguing, however once we added in the rosemary, it has elevated this pairing beyond comprehension. The herbal qualities brought out wonders in this wine — brings out a really amazing minerality. Think butternut squash ravioli with sage brown butter sauce.

WINERY says: “Our primary goal when blending rosé is to make it delicious! To us, rosé should be bright, playful and above all else, approachable.  Chill this wine 50˚ and take a moment to gaze upon the beautiful pink hue while in your glass.”

I purchased this wine with an industry discount.

Plan B Cellars Rose of Mourvedre  

What is not to love about a refillable container?

Fill, chill, kill, refill! That’s the mantra a Plan B when it comes to growlers.

This wine is a fresh food product. Like a growler of beer, your growler of wine should be kept refrigerated and opened within a month or two. Once opened, you should drink it within a few days. (I learned my lesson the hard way!)

In color, it is a robust salmon, very orangey-pink. (If you ask Drew, it is not going to Pavlovian pink.) Instead, this is a rather sophisticated and intriguing color.

On the nose, we find citrus, in particular tangerine with some sage- mint qualities along with wet earth and white bentonite clay and fresh apricot skin. On the palate, it has more refreshing tangerine with an engaging roundness mid-palate and a clean yet lingering finish of apricot kernel. Somewhere there’s a hint of almond.

While I definitely enjoyed it with the shrimp cake, the real winner here in terms of pairing was the smoked gouda with canadian bacon.

Where’s my grilled gouda and Canadian bacon sandwich?

However, I could see this as being the best wine ever with a BLT with avocado– especially on toasted bread. I also know that winery staff enjoy it with sushi!

I bought a growler a year ago which I have refilled a few times and purchased with an industry discount.

2016 – Justin Rose of Cabernet Sauvignon – 13.5% alcohol – SRP $22.50

In June, we brought out this wine just to see if it would pair well with our Copper River Salmon meal with rice pilaf and grilled veggies. It was beautiful with this meal. The lovely rich fatty q1ualities of the fish went beautifully with this wine. The herbs de provence on the veggies were harmonious with the lovely grilled stone fruit and smoked trout in our salad. This wine is quite versatile and has a wide range of happy pairings. The salmon brings out apricot. The Justin rose cuts through the rich fatty flavors of the Salmon, and is fresh, bright and brilliant.

Because this wine is from the Central Coast, and because we enjoyed it when we visited the Justin facility last summer, we thought we’d share our notes about it in this post also. (We loved it with food then as well! So versatile! Seems like it goes with everything!)

The nose on this wine just makes us want to dive right in. Citrus and watermelon on the finish, citrus on the palate, there is also a minty freshness. This is a fresh, satisfying wine. Because it is a rose of Cabernet, I poured it in a big Cabernet glass which  brought out the stoney freshness in this wine, particularly peach in the high palette of this wine. This is a dry rose that has a lot going on!

This wine was provided as a sample for my review consideration. Please note that I am very conflicted about promoting Justin Wines considering they decimated a watershed. 

Wine Pairing Weekend aka #WinePW is a group of bloggers who gather together once a month on the second Saturday to create food and wine pairings around a theme. Then during a twitter chat from 8-9am PST, we discuss the wine and food, our successes and failures. David Crowley started the group in June 2014 and it’s been going strong ever since. The theme for our August Wine Pairing Weekend Chat is Rosé and… because there are endless meal ideas that pair with a Rosé. Next month,  for September 2017, Sue and I are hosting with a theme of Portugal which you can read about here.

14 thoughts on “Hooray for Central Coast Rose for #WinePW

  1. I was always so hesitant to drink rosé because I dislike the cloying sweetness of a white zin and that was synonymous in my mind to rosé until I joined this lovely group and learned how wonderfully crisp and dry they can be. Thanks for giving me three more to put on my to try list.


  2. haha! I recognize that screen shot! As always I apparently needed to charge my phone! You can see the variation in rose colors in your wines. They run such a wide array. Happy to see Central Coast represented so well!


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  5. What a fabulous selection of rosés to highlight the versatility of these wines! I hope the refillable growler is a trend in the making – sort of going back in time, to the days when folks walked down to the local winemaker and refilled their jugs. Looks like you guys had fun with the pairings, too!


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