Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pretty in Pink: Secco's first-ever Rosé crawl

I believe it was Secco Wine Bar's Master of Ceremonies, Matt Brehony, who said it best, "Rosé is not 'grandma wine,' nor is it sickly sweet, nor will it cause a man to menstruate", so put aside any memories of that jug 'o wine swill your aunt used to drink. The rosé I'm talking about can be delicate and light with just a hint of sweetness, darker and bolder with more of a deep pink hue, effervescent and dry or anywhere in between. This is the wine that will cool you to the core on a hot day while elegantly elevating a simple bowl of vegetable soup or a piece of crostini topped with a dollop of tart 'n soft goat cheese, or as witnessed by last night's festivities, get the summer party started come hell or high water (literally).
Oh, it rained, and rained and rained. View from Secco
As an honest-to-goodness rosé junkie, I was all over the idea of a point to point Richmond wine crawl from the get-go. First off, I love how Julia Battaglini et. al. are thinking out of the box when it comes to events like these, and judging from the crowds at each our stops, I figure the popularity of future wine crawls will only increase. Even better, concentrating an entire evening on a single wine is a great way for folks like myself to really delve into one specific style of wine making. Who knew that rosés are made by leaving the grape skins intact for just a few days versus the usual two weeks or that, while France is still the leading producer of rosé (think Loire Valley, Languedoc or Bergerac regions), Spain, Italy and the U.S. are making some pretty darned good juice?

Our first stop was Amici Ristorante where generous glasses of a lovely Mottura Negroamaro Salento from the Puglia region of Italy were poured to get the evening started. Slightly dry with hints of fruit (cherry and strawberries?) it was an excellent aperitif.
Line 'em up. The gang at Amici
Next stop was Amour Wine Bistro where a handful of rosés were offered up with a few snack options for purchase. There, we opted for the Atmosphere Vin de Pays du Var (Provence) which was a super light, refreshing, crisp and fruity.
My husband, Tim, definitely enjoyed it
Next up was to be a stop at Can Can to sample a 2010 Domaine de Mirail, Cote de Gascone, but we unfortunately couldn't get in the door because it was so packed, so off to Secco we went and not a moment too soon since this happened....
Then, this happened...
Power is out at Secco, but the party is just getting started
We literally arrived at Secco a hair's breadth ahead of one heck of a thunderstorm complete with cloud to ground lightening and flooding in Carytown, but never fear, there was plenty of wine to be had by candlelight. We started with a glass of Cote de Provence Manon which was super light and lovely with just a hint of peachiness followed by a glass of Il Baladin, a Italian beer from the Piemonte region of Italy (on tap).

Tim and photographer extraordinaire Steven Salpukas w/ glasses in hand
The scene at Secco was raucous and lively, clearly demonstrating that any lack of air conditioning, snacks or even a shortage of wine glasses would not dampen this evening. It was a fantastic time, and a terrific way to support Richmond's local restaurants while getting a serious wine primer firsthand. Keep an eye out for the next one. Pin It Now!


  1. Sounds like a perfect way to kick off summer, even with the rain. Secco is a wonderful place. They hosted a book signing pasta and wine dinner a couple of weeks ago to help me celebrate the release of The Glorious Pasta of Italy. The food-and the wine pairings-were fantastic, including a Tenuta Mazzolino Brute Rose to start the evening. I'll keep my eyes open for the next RVA wine crawl. Thanks for the post!

  2. Domenica,

    We missed you last night, that's for sure. You would have loved it. Best of luck with the book tour and keep us posted on everything!


  3. My first try at a cabernet was a disaster (I think I ended up with some cleaning solution/acid in my batch). Since that first attempt, I have found that it is both a science, and an art! My second batch was a success, and a good one if I don't say so myself. I did find a website that helped a ton though (broke down and paid, but well worth it) at I am sure there are others too. Cheers!

  4. Just saw this post....I am a rosé junkie! Wish we had more to choose from in the USA (at least NC). And why do the distributors think we only want it in the summer...I love it year round! Love your blog and the way you write!

  5. Thanks Mary! If you ever make it to VA, come to Secco. It's a fantastic wine bar. I love Rose as well. My fav :) Happy Holidays

    Bert, congrats on making your own wine. I'm not there yet, that's for sure!


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