As a Pacific Northwester, I find myself unaccustomed to the sporadic heat waves that dot our otherwise mild summers. During these times I turn my back entirely on the heavy reds and syrupy dessert wines of my winter weather habits and turn to light sparkling wines, recently, Rosés. Last weekend I was delighted to attend and snag a few new favorites at the Drink Pink Rosé Festival, hosted by Patton Valley Vineyard in Gaston, Oregon.
After arriving in Gaston, a quick 45-minute drive southwest of Portland, we were wound up a dry, gravely, rustic road and directed to down a grove of Patton Valley Vineyard’s cherry trees. We walked along the grapevines toward the main event munching on fresh cherry palate cleansers, with the active trills of Calamity Jazz floating through the air, immediately setting the tone for this laidback, pink-themed summer wine tasting.
As a relatively seasoned event planner, I often find myself overly discerning as an attendee, however, Drink Pink had me completely blissful and critique-less. The ambiance, theme and related décor delivered an airy, summery, sophisticated experience and had me justifiably color-obsessed. The 15+ participating wineries showcased a varied palate of pink wines alongside Crown Paella’s, well, paella, and other delicious hors d'oeuvres.
On such a hot summer day, each wine was light and proved to be thirst-quenching (a quality I personally do not often ascribe to wine) – here are a few of my favorites:
Elk Cove – 2011 Pinot Noir Rosé ($15)
This Rosé wins most unique and bang-for-your-buck: a tart yet bright wine with hints of vanilla on the finish, and further reviewed by Anthem’s own #handsomeman here.
The special label pictured dons the Cochon 555 logo, a culinary competition and tour to support local agriculture and raise awareness about sustainable culinary practices. Both Elk Cove and Sokol Blosser were among the featured winemakers in the March 2012 event.
Penner-Ash - 2011 Roseo ($18)
An impressive and beautiful raspberry color (for a Rosé) with the taste to match – this almost effervescent, crisp wine manages bold raspberry and cherry fruit flavors with a lightness only Rosé can provide. Added bonus: the screw top = hassle-free and picnic-ready!
Sokol Blosser – 2011 Rosé of Pinot Noir ($18)
Refreshing citrus on the nose, dry with light strawberry notes.
JK Carriere – 2011 Glass Willamette Valley White Pinot Noir ($20)
Peachy and crisp with light sweetness, high citrus acidity, and a pretty pale blush color for your summer tablescape.
A delicate light copper wine with notes of intermingling strawberry and peach. On the dry side of Rosé with mild acidity.
Patton Valley Vineyard’s own 2011 Pinot Noir Rosé was also among my favorites – you can find the Anthem’s tasting notes and musings on the history // transformation of American Rosé from the #handsomeman here.