Tassel Ridge Winery won two medals in the new Rosé competition that took place at Simi Winery in Healdsburg, California.

The medals were:

  • SteubenGold
  • 2013 Iowa St. Croix Rosé―Silver (Brand new wine, see article below for more information)

There were two categories: Dry and “A Little Sweet.” The competition did not define “A Little Sweet” but left that decision up to the wineries that submitted wines. Not surprisingly, the biggest category in terms of the number of wines submitted was for dry wines which are usually classified as having less than 1% residual sugar. Our Steuben had 9% sugar and given the preference for dry wines in California, I was not hopeful we’d have a chance given the sweetness of our wine. I learned that sweet is popular in California too as long as the acid is high enough to balance the wine.

The competition was organized by Bob Ecker and it was open to rosés only. It is a recognition of the growing interest in rosés among serious wine drinkers. Until very recently, when American wine consumers purchased a rosé, it was usually an insipid bulk produced wine that was cloyingly sweet. The French started the new trend with dry rosés about five years ago and today there are serious dry rosés being produced and sold at some heart stopping prices. Most are made in Provence. Interest in dry rosés is also growing in the U.S. and judging from the results of this competition, they might not have to be so dry as long as they are balanced.

Our Steuben is one of our most popular wines. It is very fruit-forward and the finish has a nice spicy characteristic that our customers are enthusiastic about. We recommend sipping this wine chilled and by itself or with spicy foods such as Mexican, Asian Stir-Fry, and even Indian cuisine.