Cupcake Vineyards Rosé 2019, California
Cost: $12-14
S ometimes you get so used to seeing a wine everywhere, from supermarkets to discount stores to wine shops that you forget about how good it is.
It’s like that with the Cupcake Vineyards wines. They produce many very good wines at an outstanding price. I have been drinking their wines since they began 12 years ago, and I’ve never had a bad bottle.
These are not wines to lay down in your cellar; they are meant to be enjoyed right away, while they are young, fresh and vibrant. These wines are meant to be enjoyed in celebrating the daily joys of life, and even in quarantine pandemic mode, there are plenty of things to celebrate.
This Rosé is a perfect summer wine. Full of fresh fruit flavors like strawberry, raspberry, watermelon and nectarine, it would be a great wine on a picnic or backyard barbecue. It has a smooth, silky texture not usually found in wine at this price.
The grapes come from coastal vineyards where cool ocean breezes help the grapes ripen slowly and fully. The resulting wine is crisp and fresh with a slightly sweet taste.
The bottle has a twist-off cap to make it easy to use. For even more convenience, the wine also comes in 375 ml. cans, so you can pack them to go anywhere without worrying about a corkscrew or breaking the bottle.
Cupcake also makes a delicious New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc that is a great example of that grape. It sells for only $10-12, about half of what you might guess if you were tasting the wine blind. It is full of crisp, refreshing flavors, such as grapefruit, key lime and Meyer Lemon. This wine also comes in cans.
Winery: Even though they don’t own any vineyards or a tasting room, Cupcake Vineyards has taken the world of wine by storm since its launch in 2008. Their success shows that wine drinkers appreciate value.
The name is appropriate because it is meant to evoke an indulgent treat that produces joy and anticipation, much like the wines behind the label.
Winemaker Jessica Tomei works with grapes from all over the world to produce pleasant, balanced wines across the taste spectrum.
With headquarters in Livermore, California, Cupcake is close to all the fantastic grapes in the Central Coast region.
Tomei received a bachelor’s degree in Viticulture & Enology from the University of California, Davis. Since then, she has completed harvests around the world, working at vineyards in Tuscany, Italy; Napa; and Chile. After settling in California, Tomei created original wine for her family label and consulted for a boutique winery in Napa.
Her hands-on approach starts in the vineyard, working alongside growers to ensure the grapes reach the perfect ripeness. With each wine she allows the vineyard characteristics to shine through to create a true expression of the grapes.
Cupcake is part of The Wine Group, which includes such brands as Big House, Concannon, Fisheye, Franzia and Corbett Canyon. The parent company started out as part of Coca-Cola Bottling of New York before it was spun off in 1981. It is now a privately held company, the world’s third-largest wine producer by volume.
Cupcake offers Moscato d’Asti from Italy; Black Forest, a blend of five reds; Prosecco from Italy; Red Velvet blend; Shiraz from Australia; Pinot Noir; Petite Sirah; Merlot; Malbec from Argentina; Cabernet Sauvignon; two kinds of California Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand; Riesling from Germany; Pinot Grigio from Italy, and Angel Food white blend.
This is a wonderful winery that has found a successful formula and stuck with it. You can take a trip around the world of wine with their reasonably priced offerings.
Goes with: We had this tasty wine with takeout from our favorite Chinese restaurant, China. Asian food often is hard to pair with wine because of the spiciness of some food and the sweet sauces with others.
That’s not a problem for the Cupcake Rosé. It paired with everything we had. I like Kung Po Chicken, which has some heat to it, with chicken fried rice, an egg roll and fried chicken wings. The duck sauce for the egg rolls is pretty sweet, so it makes a wine pairing tricky.
I drank the Cupcake with every part of my meal. It was great in cooling off the heat of the spicy Kung Po Chicken and the hint of sweetness made it an ideal pairing with the egg roll and duck sauce.
My wife Teri liked it just as well with her sweet and sour chicken.
This is an ideal food wine, and will pair with all kinds of meals, including prosciutto wrapped melon, an arugula salad or just as a delightful complement to a warm, sunny day.
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