by Fred McMillin
for February 11, 1999
A Cloud-Nine Valentine
1937 Valentine verse...
"Your afraid of your shadow,
And scared of a mouse.
Wouldn't you feel safer
With a man in the house?"
The Rest of the Story
With next Sunday being Valentine's Day, we suggest
that man in the house come equipped with a charming
rosé (roh-zay). The best one my panel has tasted
in recent months was made by the Saignée method
(French for "bleeding"). Here's how wine whiz
Hugh Johnson describes the technique.
"Red grapes, crushed or merely broken, are
chilled and stand for 12 to 48 hours. The juice
is then drained off without pressing
and cold-fermented in the same fashion as a white
wine...[Particularly noteworthy] are the rare
French rosés made from the Pinot Noir."
And that's how Beringer Winemaker Ed Sbragia
made his first rosé...Pinot Noir grapes were
lightly crushed and then "the pink-hued,
richly-flavored Saignée juice was drained off,
with its pure fruit aromas and flavors intact."
This Week's Winery
1997 Rosé de Saignée, California
Beringer Winery, St. Helena, Napa Valley
Rating—HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for pink wine devotees.
The Grapes—Ed used some Syrah as well, to add
some "cinnamon-spice" flavors.
Food Affinities—Piece of cake...the pink wine
fans I know drink it with any cuisine...My choice
would be a nice garlicy pesto pasta.
Gontact—Allison Simpson, (707) 963-7115
About the origin of Valentine's Day, there were
at least two saints with that name in Roman times,
who met untimely, unromantic ends.
Hence, my favorite theory is that the romantic
Valentine custom rose from the old English belief
that birds chose their mates each year on
Note: For more about light Beringer reds, see
the Nov. 2, 1998 WineDay titled "A Nouveau Month."
About the Writer
Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history
for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine
courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College.
In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred
with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded
to American wine writers.
More articles by
Welcome to WineDay, the electronic
Gourmet Guide's daily update. Monday through Thursday,
WineDay presents a wine profile. Then on Fridays we present
the Winery of the Week to take you through the weekend.
Atlas Peak Ain't Meek
Contra Costa Hoopla
A Grander Alexander
Winery of the Week
Ficklin Plays to Win
Meet Monsieur Omo
Always a Winner
A Central Coast Toast
Feb. 1st—Happy New Year?