summer solstice: hot. dry. slightly rose.

Technically, summer begins tomorrow, but here in Texas the hot pavement has been burning my feet for months. The moist sweat from my brow keeps my skin young; the constant dripping, accompanied by the exploding sun, accelerates my intolerance for summer. It doesn’t help that concrete radiates heat.

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I can always tell it’s getting warmer when the sommelier starts bringing home Roses. Ranging from bright pink to slightly blush, the accumulation of cold, sometimes fruity, sometimes dry wines scream summer.

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(Image credit: foodgal)

Tonight I couldn’t help myself, as I opened the refrigerator door and spied a salmon rose, lush with color and hailing from Provence. I can always tell it’s a good wine when the sommelier leaves the plastic sample pour on the wine bottle, as the lovely nectar seems to drip into my glass instead of overflow. The anxieties of the day, the backlog of emails, and the complaints of coworkers dissipate as I watch the pretty pink wine cascade into my crystal glass. This wine must be outstanding.

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Made from a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah, the Chateau Riotor Cotes de Provence Rose coexists as dry and slightly fruity. A state of mind, food friendly, and ever growing in popularity, the Provence Rose is the epitome of summer romanticism. An amazing grace to a mother’s woes. The beginning of a heated passion of the sun and my quenched soul. $15 retail.

Hot.

Moist.

Exotic.

The honey of summer.

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Eat well. Drink well. Cheers.

I STILL HATE PICKLES

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a rose by any other name… is not rosѐ.

So, it has been almost a year since we moved to Houston.  We have so far survived living in this city, which for those in the know, can definitely be a challenge.  I was just about to claim victory in the relocation department when the humidity hit.  No seriously, like 95% humidity.  Even at 7 am.  It’s miserable, but just like everything else in Houston (traffic, air quality, toll road confusion), you eventually accept the humidity and stop complaining.  It’s like almost everything else in my life right now:  slowly learning how to let go, swim downstream, and engage in the concept of imperfection.

Like I’ve said before, being a working mother is really hard, especially when you have career aspirations, home objectives, extraordinarily high husband expectations, and genuinely loving child hopes.  Keeping it together, in a nice rolled up little branded ball, takes a lot of energy.  Lately, I have been finding myself waking up at 2 am, with dozens of ideas, emails, blogs, dreams, and pending thoughts flooding my mind.  I can’t turn it off.  It’s like my soul is screaming for me to do more, be more, live more.  And my body is saying… can’t we get some rest already?  I am Leaning In as much as possible, to all areas of my life! I definitely need to relax, so tonight I am sipping on a confident, cool, refreshing Texas Rosѐ.

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According to any and all wine blogs, articles, and magazines, this summer is all about Rosѐ.  For those who don’t know, Rosѐ may be the oldest type of fashioned wine, with colors ranging from light orange to varied purple, and is produced in almost every wine country in the world.  The flush is created from the contact of grape skins during maceration, and the sweetness can range from very dry to massive.   Since Rosѐ is a style of winemaking, the grapes that are used in process range from region to region.  Rosѐ can be found from old world to new world wineries, and is most notoriously found in France.  But with the terrior of Texas being so diverse, and with eight federal viticulture areas, it is no wonder that Texas, too, has found its passion for Rosѐ.

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One of the best Rosѐs on the Texas market right now hails from Lubbock’s McPherson Cellars.  There is a lot of history surrounding the winemaker, Kim McPherson, who has not only a degree in Food Nutrition Science from Texas Tech, but has completed the enology and viticulture program at UC Davis.  He has experience in Napa Valley, but also as a winemaker for Llano and Cap Rock Wineries.  Staying true to his roots, Kim McPherson purchased an aging coca cola bottling plant in Lubbock, and transformed it into a state of the art winery.  Recently been named one of the most influential winemakers in the US, it is no wonder that McPherson has been able to produce a vast number of award-winning wines, including the 2012 Dry Rosѐ, Vin Gris.

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Sitting on the back porch watching Sommbaby slide, swing, and meander through her sandbox, I can smell the slight aromas of strawberry and pomegranate in this bright pink Rosѐ.  This vintage is made in Rhone style, and is a blend of Cinsault, Mourvedre, and Grenache.  Dry, cool, and crisp, I am not overwhelmed with sweetness as I watch the condensation crawl down the side of my glass.  Perfect with almost any type of summer food, I imagine the 2012 McPherson Cellars Dry Rosѐ Vin Gris pairing beautifully with a medley of beet salad with goat cheese, bleu burgers, and crispy barbeque.  An ideal wine to please all palates of an evening gathering.  Another plus? Readily available at retail, $11.

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Going Local has never been easier with this Texas wine, and has made my decisions that much easier when shopping at our neighborhood market.  Between trying to be an engaged employee, wonderful wife, loving mother, and intermittent housekeeper, finding the brands that help support goals of Leaning In to my life lessens my anxiety.  So, while I sit back and ponder with Sommbaby on the faint moon and emerging stars, I sip on this remarkable, restorative pink libation that hones in on my inner needs.  Cheers.

Go Local. Go Texan.