Three Little Pinks and the Big Smooth Reds

{These wines were provided as media samples with no other compensation. Thoughts, opinions are my own. All photos are bottle shots taken from the respective website. Thank you Teuwen Communications, The Provence Rosé Group, and Freehand PR for providing them}

Once upon a time there were Three Little Pinks. Two lived in a charming country home in Provence, Chateau de Berne. The last preferred the vibrant energy of the city, Urban Provence. Each was known to be elegant, vibrant, dry and a little fruity. They were well-known on the party circuit for being intriguing and versatile guests. While they were most likely to be seen in the spring and summer months, they were welcome all year long.

The first pink was named Emotion. It was a blend of 50% Grenache, the remaining equal parts Cinsault and Syrah. A medley of lighter red fruit, strawberry and raspberry, floral and fresh, balanced. It could be paired with a variety of appetizers, salads, or enjoyed on its own. No small talk with this one. You’ll likely find it in a meaningful tete-a-tete.

The second was called Inspiration ($20) and was a bit bolder than its country counterpart, being 70% Grenache. Darker red fruit, more minerality, more structure. It maintains a fresh finish which keeps the wine light, even when the conversation gets a little heady.

The Urban Provence ($23) is a bit more complex with the addition of Rolle. Strawberry, white peach, white flowers, a touch of pepper. This one hangs out by the pool and elicits peals of laughter and lively banter from the crowd.

Now, in a familiar story, you might connect “Big” and “Bad” and I suppose we could use the adjective in a colloquial way, one in which “bad” means “good.” In this tale, the “Pinks” counterparts are smooth, real smooth. Charming the crowd, grabbing ones attention and then gliding past. They were born and raised in Lodi, California by Don Sebastiani & Sons. One is named Cabernet Sauvignon, the other Zinfandel.

The Big Smooth Cabernet Sauvignon ($17)is 83% its namesake and has some Merlot, Petit Verdot, Petite Sirah and Malbec. Before joining the party, it spends 14 months in barrel, mostly American. Bing Cherry and Blackberry, toasty notes and spice, and as indicated by its name, finishes smooth. You’ll find this near the charcuterie plate where it livens up the conversation.

The Big Smooth Zinfandel ($17) pulls no punches. It comes from old vines and is firmly entrenched in its identity. Black cherry, blackberry, big and round and spicy. Time has rounded its edges and softened delivery. Sweet notes of vanilla and caramel from 12 months in mostly American oak. It likes to hang out by the grill sharing stories from the glory days.

While there is not huffing or puffing at this party, you will find plenty of sniffing and swirling. And while nothing gets blown down, your guests may be blown over by the approachable price points and varied personalities.

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Being a stay- at-home mom can leave one thirsting for a taste of the outside world, a world in which sentences are composed of more than three words. Being an educator means one is always seeking an opportunity to explore and learn. Being a woman with a need to connect can be a challenge when adult conversations are rare. In wine, I find the marriage of art and science, agriculture and storytelling provides limitless areas to explore. But it is the people that keep me engaged. The tenacity needed to keep the family dream alive, the risk to start anew, the trials and principles. I love the history of the vine, the impact of a season, the sentiment in the bottle. That is why I write. I write to tell their stories, to share a piece of mine. I write to learn as I teach others. I write to connect with new friends, to disconnect from the world. I write to celebrate what makes each of us unique, and that which ties us together.

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