Author: PositiveVines

Harvesting Grapes – my new adventure in Winemaking

Cathedral Mountain Vineyards As part of my journey through the world of wine, I decided to circle back to learn about the production of the juicy source of wine – grapes. I recently had the opportunity to take two trips to Alpine, TX to participate 

Rosé Wines

Summer is winding down in Texas and my adventures with Rosé this season is one of my wine highlights. And, unlike many regions in the US, Texans still enjoy almost summer like conditions well into the fall. This means that I’ll be enjoying the varietals that turn wine into a light splash of crispness. Rosé can be created from a host of grape varietals. The wine gets it’s color from limited contact with the grape skins during the fermentation process. A recent launch tasting of rose wines from Château de Berne and the Ultimate Provence under the leadership of the Provence Rosé Group, introduced me to Berne Emotion, Berne Inspiration ( and Urban Provence ( These Rosé wines are 2017 offerings with eye catching bottle designs that are a perfect accompaniment with a variety of foods and as wines to drink alone.
Château de Berne is located in the southeast Provences region of France known for it’s production of an exceptional variety of rosé wines. Wines are believed to have been produced at Château de Berne since Roman times. Modern winemaking at the Château started in 1750 with over 200 acres on the estate being dedicated to vineyards. Located in Cote de Provence,Château de Berne is lead by winemaker Alexis Cornu. Alexis is a life long winemaker and has worked in the Provence appellation for over 15 years. Urban Provence is produced in La Garde Freinet at the northern edge of the famed Notre Dame Cathedral.
Berne Emotion is a light bodied dry rosé with a nose of raspberry, strawberry and white flowers. Emotion is a blend of Grenach, Cinsault and Syrah grapes. It is a crisp, clean wine that is easy to drink. I paired this rosé with a medium sharp cheddar cheese from Canada. The rosé’s crispness and flavors of strawberry and a hint of citrus (almost grapefruit like from the Grenache) paired well with the cheddar. Later in the evening, I enjoyed another tasting this time with a seafood pasta dish. I found the rosé once again to be a good pairing with the slightly savory taste of clams.
Château de Berne Emotion

2017 Château de Berne Emotion Rosé
When to Drink: Now
Varietal: 50% Grenache Noir, 25% Cinsault, 25% Syrh
Food Pairing: Seafood, Cheese
Average Selling Price: $15.99
Berne Inspiration is a fruit forward rosé with a nose reminding me of a freshly squeezed cherry with a hint of pomegranate. The taste is strong on the strawberry side. I would describe Inspiration as a sweeter rosé with a high acidity level. This rosé is higher in minerality and I would recommend pairing it with a creamy cheese such as a cheddar or gouda.
Château de Berne Inspiration

2017 Château de Berne Inspiration Rosé
When to Drink: Now
Varietal: 70% Grenache Noir, 20% Cinsault, 10% Syrah
Food Pairing: Creamy Cheeses
Average Selling Price: $19.99
Urban Provence is a dry rose made primarily from Grenache and Syrah grapes with hints of pepper. The nose gives hints of white flowers, red berries and white pepper. This is a shiny, bright rose that pairs well with food. It is fruit forward with tart cherry flavors. Minerality and spices finish the palate. This is a lightly acidic rose.
Urban Provence

2017 Urban Provence Rosé
When to Drink: Now
Varietal: 45% Grenach Noir, 35% Cinsault, 15% Syrah, 5% Rolle
Food Pairing: Seafood, Pork
Average Selling Price: $22.99

Sparkling Rosé for the Summer

Sonoma County, California- photo courtesy Sonoma County Government Sparkling wines (Champagne, Prosecco, Cava) and Rosé wines are two of my favorite go-to selections year round. Rosés are high in abundance during the summer months as they are a delicious treat to drink alone and with 

Pairing Wine with Chinese Food

Yao Fuzi Wine Selection – photo courtesy of Yao Fuzi One of the benefits of being a member of the wine blogging community is the many opportunities to share and learn about new wine and food pairing. Meeting other wine lovers in my community is 

Deepening the flavors of grapes

Cecilia Beretta Vineyards courtesy of Corney and Barrow

In vino veritas – in wine there is truth
Ancient Romans believed that wine makes people tell the truth. It does. The rich flavors, relaxing nose and enticing levels of alcohol have been known to loosen the tongue.
A not so well-kept secret among foodies who want great food at value prices, is the wine section of Trader Joe’s grocery store. I like to visit it at least once a month to see what new treats are available at reasonable prices. The variety of wines is extensive and if you are willing to experiment, there are jewels to be found under $20 per bottle.
A recent find is Soraie Vento Cecilia Beretta red wine. The Cecilia Beretta winery is a small Pasqua family run operation near Verona in North-East Italy. The 2015 red wine blend is a combination of four grape varietals produced from partially dried grapes. This red blend has a cherry nose with a nice palate of fruits with hints of spice. Medium tannins give this red a round mouthfeel with hints of acidity providing a velvety touch.

Soraie Veneto Cecilia Beretta IGT

When to Drink: Now
Alcohol Content: 14%
Varietals: 40% Merlot, 30% Corvina, 20% Cabernet, 10% Croatina
Food Pairing: Beef, Pork, Heavy Poultry Dishes, Heavy cheeses
Average Selling Price: $8
PositiveVines Helpful Hint: using partially dried grapes is an Italian process known as the appasimento technique. This technique allows the grapes natural sugars to becaome more concentrated.
Stop by Trader Joe’s and pick up a few bottles of Soraie Vento Cecilia Beretta red wine. Don’t disparage this offering because of the price. This is a good solid value wine. If you enjoy Italian wines with hints of spice, this value priced bottle is great for sharing with friends and everyday drinking.

Remember to drink what it is that makes you truly happy and always think positively!

Drink Responsibly!

#TraderJoesValue #ItalianWines

Focus on Excellence!

Focus, Focus, Focus – when a winemaker devotes 100% to create an excellent wine. Sunday afternoons are food and wine exploration times for me. I enjoy going to 2 or 3 different stores in order to find new wines. I particularly enjoy new wines that 

Sparkling Wines with an Island Fizz!

Sparkling wines are on of the easiest wines to serve as part of a cocktail. Bubbles add delight to the nose and palate when paired with simple liquors and juices. One of my favorites is a sparkling cocktail that I’ve created called The Island Fizz. 

Lewis Grace Tempranillo – El Dorado’s Grape Gold Rush

El Dorado County Vineyards – Courtesy of El Dorado County Wine Association

In 1848 California’s Gold Rush began in El Dorado County with James Marshall’s discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill. As people began to come to California, the wine industry was born. In 1870 El Dorado County was a significant producer behind Los Angeles and Sonoma counties. As prohibition took hold of the wine industry- along with a dwindling population and subsequent economic challenges- the vines all but dried up in El Dorado County. Winemaking made a resurgence in the 1960s after studies of the terroir showed that El Dorado County had the right soil and climate to grow over 50 varieties of grapes.
El Dorado County boasts over 50 wineries with 2,000 acres of vines and was proclaimed as an American Viticultural Area in 1983. Day 2 of the 2017 Wine Blogger’s featured over 20 family owned wineries providing tastings during lunch.
One of the highlights of the tasting was Grace Patriot Winery ( This winery was established in 1890 as part of the original Irving Ranch on historic land. The winery was named after Lewis Grace an American Revolutionary soldier and his family carries the name on the wines. Tyler Grace, the fourth grandson of Lewis Grace, is the estate winemaker.
I had the pleasure of tasting the Lewis Grace 2014 Reserve Tempranillo. This was one of the El Dorado wines that I have continued to enjoy since returning to Texas. Lewis Grace Tempranillo is a deep purple treat with a nose that features dark fruit, mocha and spices. The palate is equally rich with medium tannins and a lasting finish. Oak fermentation is evident and well balanced, reminding me of the scent of leaves and a pit fire that we gather around in the fall and early winter.
When to Drink: Now or can hold up to 5 years
Alcohol Content: 14.1%
Varietal: Tempranillo
Food Pairing: Beef, Lamb, Pork, Spicy Foods
Average Selling Price: $30/bottle

Remember to drink what it is that makes you truly happy and always think positively!

Drink Responsibly!

#eldoradowines @gracepatriot #tempranillo

Explore the regions of Texas Wine

Becker Vineyards – Courtesy Texas Wine Country Texas wines and vines occupy an important role in the history of global wine production. With over 4,000 acres of vineyards planted and boasting 436 wineries, Texas is continuing to impress national and international wine makers winning several