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Spring Time Wine: What to Drink Right Now

DC is simply gorgeous in the spring. After a long and grey winter, Washingtonians are watching for the precise moment the cherry blossoms will peak. I realized it was that time of year when all of the happy hour menus list some sort of “cherry blossom” inspired cocktail.  In reality, cherry blossom peak is when 70% of the Yoshiko cherry trees around the Tidal Basin bloom, turning a marble-grey city into a cotton candy colored paradise. And every good Washingtonian will post some sort of cherry blossom beauty pic on their instagram account, just so all of their non-Washingtonian friends can regret missing the mayhem.

Of course we all enjoy a cocktail of cherry-infused liquor with a splash of saké, but I prefer wine, and of course, it has to be a rosé.  So when Hubby and I took our lab puppy down to the National Mall to frolick in cherry blossom heaven, we had to bring a bottle. I picked the 2014 Lightning Wine Rosé ($19), from California. When I am on vacation, I love to go to a local wine shop and pick up small premium producers that I can’t get back home. So last August I picked up this refreshing rosé (and eleven other wines) at Backroom Wines in downtown Napa. I’ve been waiting seven long months for the ideal moment to pop the cork.

The color is the perfect complement to the pink blossoms and blue sky; aromas of melon, ripe raspberry, red cherry, and citrus are balanced with earthy minerality, giving me a nostalgia for pink lemonade. The taste is a combination of high acid, lime rind, and a slight balsamic strawberry. Refreshing and delicious!

Lightning Wines produced only 143 cases of the 2014 Grenache Rose. Specializing in Rhone varietals, the winemaker, Randy Hester, sources his fruit from Northern California. They also make several different versions of Grenache reds, and a white blend of Grenache Blanc, Piquepoul Blanc, and Roussane. I would love to try their Cease & Desist, matured on the lees in neutral French oak, unfined and unfiltered. That will have to wait until a summer barbeque.

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