Thursday, May 25, 2017

Pretty in Pink

He didn't, of course, but he might as well have planned it for me.

If I'd wanted to attend a wine tasting class as part of my birthday celebration, chances are I'd want it to be a pink class.

And as Mac just recently pointed out, that's exactly what Amour Wine Bistro was having tonight: Le Rose Wine Tasting: Rhone Valley and Provence.

Birthday schooling of the highest order. Reservation for two, please.

An attendee tonight could be forgiven for thinking that the class was really just a means for the owner to gather a group of interesting women to hang on his every word, because that's what it seemed to be. Not that a restaurant owner would do such a thing.

Every single attendee was female. And eager to learn. Overheard: "Oh, I love eggplant, but I don't know how to cook it."

Looking to start off with something unlikely, the owner poured a tannic 2007 E. Guigal Rose from the southern Rhone valley to prove that some Roses have wonderful aging potential. "It's 2007 again and we're all young!" he joked. "Who was President then?"

The man who never looked so good as he has in retrospect the past 120 days, that's who.

To set the scene for Domaine Pere Caboche Rose, he painted a picture. "For this wine, you should be sitting on a terrace overlooking the Mediterranean, with a barbecue grill over here for the fish you caught this morning - or got at the market - and drinking this," he said, conjuring up a great visual. "Then you have it all!"

I don't know, give me the terrace, the sea and the grilled fish and I'd probably be quite happy drinking anything. With the exception of the woman who called out, "Are you gonna come cook the fish for me because I just can't do fish on the grill," we got his point.

He admitted his favorite was Le Petit Rouviere Rose and that's one I've swooned over for years because of its lush peach notes and long finish.

Lest it sound like we were hunkered down sipping pinks, listening intently to terroir lessons and taking abundant notes, it should probably be acknowledged that we had a steady stream of food coming at us all the while.

White bean, beet and arugula salad segued in to salmon and tuna tartar with capers on thick, chewy crostini and then creamy Dijon mustard sauced chicken with rice kept our Rose-addled attention spans focused until chocolate tart covered in fresh strawberry slices arrived.

Meanwhile, Teacher had moved on to the finer points of Domaine Petit Coeur Rose, so we refocused on the wine's refined elegance instead of drooling over the bottle's sexy shape because Mac and I just aren't that shallow.

That bottle would make a great candle-holder, that's all I'm saying.

It was while we were sipping the summery aromas of blossoms in a glass courtesy of Domaine Mas de la Rouviere Rose from Bandol, that the owner dazzled one and all by bringing out the equivalent of four bottles of Rose in one hand.

You could just see some of the women's eyes go glassy at the prospect of an entire box of Chateau Montaud Cote de Provence Rose and it wasn't long before several of them requested a box of her own to take home. Just don't be too quick to judge.

For those dedicated to the art of Rose, that's what we call homework. For those of us celebrating our birthdays in long form, it's a marathon, not a sprint.

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