Summertime Life Hack

Keeping boxed wine chilled under the sun

With Viña 425 moving at a mighty clip, this boxed format has certainly caught on -not least because the red, white and rosé are every bit as delicious as they are irresistible.

Add to that the stamina of the bag-in-the-box format and everyone’s happy: it keeps everything fresh! It is no wonder the wine speaks for itself -fresh from every glass.

Some ask how best to keep these cool on a hot sunny day? While there are a number of ways, one life-hack we want to share just takes a watermelon and some culinary carving skills. Watch and learn…



Since 1985 The Wine Company has been working directly with growers the world over to find great wines that offer incredible value.

Viña 425 is the culmination of our efforts to put delicious wines on every table every night.

From our house to your home we hope you enjoy the fruits of our experience in Viña 425.

Now you can pour exceptional White, Rosé, and Red from a 3L box with complete confidence.

Have a watch to get a load of how Viña 425 came to be -for real!

2018 Rosé season is in full bloom!

Pull up a chair with our man Wil Bailey, Portfolio Director here at The Wine Company, as he offers a few notes and highlights on this year’s rosé offering based on our recent tastings both here and abroad.


2017 Rosé vintage in France
The good news (really) is that this vintage was short in much of France (and as such prices from the growers are universally up), and especially in Provence and much of the South. I say this is good news because EVERYONE is now making Rosé, so while the supply from many individual producers in France is lower than 2015 and 2016 the overall supply only continues to climb as every Thomas, Richard, and Henri in France (and honestly the rest of the world too) has added significant Rosé production to their program in the last two years.

Imagine if everyone had been able to make even MORE wine in 2017… The ever expanding ocean of Rosé labels and producers we saw last year will only get exponentially larger again this year. The surprise now is to find someone who does NOT make a Rosé… While our thirst in the category continues to climb, I am confident that the overall supply is now beyond saturation.

It is my fervent hope that in this over saturated environment QUALITY AND VALUE WILL PREVAIL! There is a lot of very good Rosé out there now. There is far more that is really, really forgettable (or worse). We’ve hung our Rosé hat for over 30 years on finding standouts, being selective, and making our decisions based on tasting the new vintages rather than just buying the wines that worked well the year before. This year’s list is a continuation of that program and commitment. Tell your friends!


Some Noteworthy Rosé Highlights

NEW – Cuvee Jean Paul, Gascogne Rosé – This is for sure the only Tannat/Merlot/Cab Franc Rosé in our book, and it’s just juicy, fresh, and tasty as all get out. It’s much brighter and zingier than you would expect from the blend AND the color is perfectly pale (they must leave the Tannat on the skins for about 10 seconds…). It may be my new porch pounder favorite, and under $10 retail why not share it with everyone in your neighborhood.

NEW – Mas Lauris “Terres Mas Lauris” Luberon Rosé – I expect this will not be the only Luberon Rosé we see introduced to the market this year. Situated on the higher hills between Provence and the Vaucluse/Rhone this region is well positioned to make extremely tasty Rosé in a Provencal style (but at a comparative discount to the over $20 retail that more and more Provence AOC producers are asking). Mas Lauris sits at 1,000 feet in the Luberon hills. 100% Organically farmed and hand harvested. The Rosé is 50% Cinsault, 40% Grenache, and 10% Mourvèdre. It’s delicious. More length and finish than many of the 2017’s we tasted, but still has very fine bones and modest body. It’s a really lovely, and balanced wine. We were only able to get 50 cases, so enjoy it where and while you can. We will also be bringing in a Red!

Acanthes Rosé – This wine has been a hit every year since we started working with it four years ago. The 2017 is great. It’s a little fresher and brighter in style than the slightly more “Tavel-y” 2016, which should make it even more crowd friendly if anything. Along with the Cuvee Jean Paul above this is one of the craziest values in our Rosé collection.

Chateau l’Ermitage Rosé – For sure a candidate for my top Rosé of the vintage and still a screaming deal. 50% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 25% Mourvèdre. Our charming friend Jerome Castillon is completely hitting his stride with this wine in repeat vintages now. Remember there is a historic AOC carve out for his little “St Gilles” sub district of Costieres de Nimes to have a higher proportion of Mourvèdre than anywhere else. BECAUSE IT IS DELICIOUS HERE!

Cocagne Rosé – This is another “BUY” year on this wine. 100% Pineau d’Aunis as always, it is super “drinky” this year. The grapefruit/citrus notes that can sometimes be a little strident on this wine are calm, present, and well integrated already. This is one of the most unique wines in our book and should be a standout hit again this year.

Vina 425 Three Liter Box Rosé – as you are all aware we could not be any more excited about this project. This wine is fan/fabulo/tastic. It is a juicy, zesty, gulpable rockstar (in a very sexy black package!). Just you wait. We’re not going to be able to keep it in stock. A wine for the times for SURE!

Scaia Veneto Rosé – Talk about a wine that just keeps getting better… I honestly don’t know how they do it each year, but this is impossibly juicier and more delicious than last year’s was. It is a wine that defies the Italian Rosé category and sits two years running in our top 5 sellers of ANY Rose. Remember it also comes in a beautiful package with a very classy glass “VinoLock” capsule.

Villa Wolf Pinot Noir Rosé – Another wine the husband/wife winemaking team here have completely dialed in in the last two vintages. The 2017 is here now, so you don’t have to just take my word for it. This wine always shows soooooo fresh as they leave a teensy spritz of CO2 in at bottling to help make it pop with every sip.

À santé to the 2018 Rosé Season and to Spring!

Chateau Miraval Rose’ in Minnesota

What’s the highest demand rose’ wine in … well, ever? Brad and Angelina’s new rose’ project, Chateau Miraval. The wine has been getting great press, and was recently discussed on the morning show with The Current at 89.3fm (thank you Chuck!).

The demand for this wine has been incredible worldwide … the first 6000 bottles sold out within hours! Starpower has much to do with it, obviously, but the wine itself is delicious as well. (Plus for those of you into Pink Floyd, there is a great connection to this property.)

For those into press, Wine Spectator bestowed a 90 point rating on the wine.

“Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have released their first wine, a 2012 rose from their Provence estate, Chateau Miraval. In a blind tasting of a flight of Provençal roses at Wine Spectator‘s New York office, the wine was refined and elegant, with pure flavors of dried red berry and tangerine, and a focused finish with flint and spice notes. It scored 90 points, or outstanding, on Wine Spectator‘s 100-point scale.” – Wine Spectator

If you’re looking for this wine, below is a list of retailers and restaurants that have purchased Chateau Miraval rose’. Be sure to call ahead to confirm availability! This is a high demand item. Accounts are listed alphabetically by city.

The 2013 Rose’ season has begun!

Every year we host a huge tasting for the retailers and restaurants of Minnesota to make their picks for the newest releases of rose. This year’s tasting happened yesterday while the temperature in the Twin Cities hit 98 degrees (luckily we have a temperature controlled warehouse to enjoy during events like this).

Understanding how we pick our rose‘ has been covered in an earlier post, but we decided this year to detail, for you, all the rose’ we poured at our tasting.

(However, this list doesn’t represent all of our rose by any means. We have sold out of quite a few already and thus they were not poured at yesterday’s event.)

In the next week, look for more posts featuring our portfolio manager Wil Bailey highlighting his favorite rose’ picks of 2013.

If you are interested in any of the rose’ listed below, email us at, tell us your location, and we will direct you to a store carrying the wine.

Many thanks to our own Nicholas Livingston for compiling this list!


Muga Rose’ 2012 (Rioja, Spain)
From the calcareous (limestone) soils of Rioja, Muga’s Rosado is unique in being a blend of red and white varieties; it’s 60% Garnacha, 30% Viura and 10% Tempranillo. After only 12 hours of skin contact this is then fermented less than a month in small oak barrels and then allowed to come together for a couple months before bottling. 2012 was a vintage for Grenache for its ability to handle dry spells and still bear fragrant fruit –with aromas of peach, pear and cherries, a pleasing sour apple acidity and a nice texture from its time spent of fine lees. Unique and poised for the table, this Rosado closes at the finish with an appetizing scent of cherry frangipane.

Protocolo Rose’ 2012 (Castilla, Spain)
50% Tempranillo, 50% Bobal grown in La Tierra de Castilla in La Mancha in central Spain, this rosado is the easy drinking rosé made by the talented Eguren family -famous for a number of estates including Sierra Cantabria, San Vicente, and Teso la Monja among others. Tempranillo imparts the ripe fruit we love but its the Bobal (incidentally among the grapes with the highest levels of resveratrol) that bears its fresh scents and juicy acids -yielding a rosé with notes of raspberry, strawberry and citrus fruit all coming together into a fresh glass of wine.

Marques de Caceres Rose’ 2012 (Rioja, Spain)
85% Tempranillo 15% Garnacha, this Riojan Rosado is especially structured fragrant and fruity in 2012 because the growing season was warm and sunny all the way from bud break through harvest. Fermented long and slow under controlled temperature, this never sees oak in order to preserve its scents of fresh berries and that echo on a refreshing palate but has ample body for richer food pairings and even has a bit of tannin to stand up to fleshier foods.

Muga, Protocolo, Caceres Rose

Martin Ray Pinot Noir Rose’ 2012 (Russian River Valley)
Russian River Valley Pinot Noir already benefits from the long ripening of the cool days from morning and evening fogs but this is from one of the best vintages of the decade -making a rose that is concentrated in its aromas and flavors: Mouthwatering aromas of ripe strawberry and mango are enhanced by notes of orange zest, rose petal and a hint of savory green herbs. This intensely aromatic, flavorful wine is crisp and juicy in the mouth, with lingering flavors of strawberry, tropical fruit and citrus. Long, delicious finish.

Pedroncelli Zinfandel Rose’ 2012 (Dry Creek Valley)
Best Buy Wine Enthusiast, this is perhaps the best rosé they’ve ever made –which is saying a lot because it is always delicious, the 2012 is gorgeous. Signature Selection Dry Zinfandel Rosé is full of fresh strawberry and raspberry fruit –ripened yet still bright, fresh but plush, fleshy and somehow snappy with an engaging aroma throughout the finish. A skeptical friend of mine Angela Kallsen said she would actually drink this Zin rosé –no small feat I assure you!

Cline Mourvedre Rose’ 2012 (Sonoma)
2012 heralds a great vintage for this wine. From Cline’s Oakley ranch in Contra Costa county. These century-old vines grow in the deep sand-soil along the delta of the San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers whose cool winds preserve bright acidity. This rosé is made as a Blanc de Noir or “white of red grapes,” in the style of a white wine. The skins are removed by pressing before fermentation begins yielding a pleasant fruit on the nose where plum, pomegranate and cherry dominate, balanced by a delicate hint of sweet anise –an excellent chilled accompaniment for spicy foods, chicken Provencal, salmon or Teriyaki.

Cline, Pedroncelli, Martin Ray, Goats do Roam

Goats do Roam Rose’ 2012 (Stellenbosch, South Africa)
From South Africa’s Western Cape, this fuller bodied rosé is made of 46% Syrah for body, 33% Grenache for fruit, 11% Mourvèdre for spice, and 10% Gamay for freshness. Balanced into a great blend that makes a deep color, fuller scents and flavors and a tangy cherry palate with a bit more of a mouthfeel than the quieter rosés –and great with grilled foods because of it.

Morrisfarms “Mandriolo” Rose’ 2012 (Tuscany)
A fresh and frisky rosé made from 100% Sangiovese, this is a welcomed new arrival from Morisfarms, the renowned pioneer of Morellino. This charms for being a pale rosé that is light and nimble but a compelling example of what sets the Morisfarms apart from their other Tuscan neighbors.

Borsao Rose’ 2012 (Campo de Borja, Spain)
We love their Tres Picos WE LOVE their rosado! Borsao is renowned for having the best Garnacha rose in all of Aragon. Coming from Spain’s Campo de Borja appellation of Aragón, this is clean and crisp, with bright red fruit like wild strawberries. On the palate it makes quite the impression as a easy drinking, dry rosé: snappy, fair, polished, and bright, this is an engaging to the last drop.

Villa Wolf Pinot Noir Rose’ 2012 (Pfalz, Germany)
Estate grown in the Pfalz, the Villa Wolf Rosé de Pinot Noir is a true rosé, made with a brief maceration before pressing to extract a lovely salmon color. It is light and refreshing, with bright berry and fruit flavors and a clean, zippy finish.

La Vielle Ferme Rose’ 2011 (Rhone Valley, France)
From chalky Mt Ventoux, slow ripening Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah combine to yield a richly structured rosé made in the saignée method of bleeding off early fermenting wine from a batch of red before extracting too much color -which is full and fragrant as a result.

Villa Wolf, Morris Farms

Rose d’Acanthes 2012 (Rhone Valley, France)
50% Grenache, 30% Carignan, 20% Cinsault from the Gard region within Lauguedoc-Roussillion in southern France, this rosé is clean and crisp, fair and fragrant with an elegant floral character and a quenching structure bearing a bright and polished mouthful of pale, red fruit that makes for an engaging, refreshing and uplifting rosé of outstanding value.

Campuget, Costieres de Nimes Rose’ 2012 (Rhone Valley, France)
10 miles south of Nimes, in the southern Rhone Valley, Campuget tends vines averaging 25 years old planted to the alluvial “gress” of pebbly stones that mark the Costières de Nîmes and ensures even ripening. 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache makes for a bright glass of rose –this pale rose practically glows in its glass and expresses itself in charming crunchy red fruit.

Guigal Cotes du Rhone Rose’ 2011 (Rhone Valley, France)
60% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, 7% Syrah, and 3% Mourvèdre planted to the Cotes du Rhone. Drawn off the skins after a brief maceration and long temperature controlled fermentation, this rosé is clear, brilliant and fresh with an expressive nose of red fruits and citrus and a palate expressing raspberry and redcurrant making a well-balanced elegant wine overall that’s fruity, fine and round.

Domaine des Carteresses Tavel 2011 (Rhone Valley, France)
(50% Grenache + 15% Mourvedre + 13% Clairette + 12% Picpoul + 10% Syrah) + TAVEL TERROIR = an outstanding rosé from a land devoted to making serious full bodied rosé. Just across the River Rhone from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Tavel is an appellation wholly devoted to rosé and was the favorite of Phillip Le Bel, the Popes of Avignon (just south of Tavel), the 19th century novelist, Honoré de Balzac, the 20th century writer, Ernest Hemingway. Among the few rosés  that can age, Tavel is lovely in its youth so good luck keeping your hands off of it. A rich nose full of fruit (cherries and plums) opens onto a vinous palate that in terms of body and texture is more akin to the red end of the spectrum.

Vignerons de Saumur Vendomois “Cocagne” Rose’ 2012 (Loire Valley, France)
Northwest of Tours above Vouvray, Coteaux de Vendomois gives the central Loire this bracing mineral rosé that’s both fair and fresh. Made from 100% Pineau d’Aunis (also known as Chenin Noir), this was the favorite of Henry Plantagenet, is a lovely variety unique to the Loire and is charming for a minerality that persists through all its high toned fruit.

Vignerons de Saumur “Cabernet de Saumur” Rose’ 2012 (Loire Valley, France)
100% Cabernet Franc from the chalky tuffeau of Saumur of the Loire Valley, this remains a perennial favorite every vintage. At an appetizing 12.5% alcohol, this rosé is lovely for its creamy and juicy strawberry fruit, its tangy acids, its big mouthfeel, and its rich and balanced texture. The fruit is complete from the nose, across the palate and long onto its minty finish.

Chateau Tour de Mirambeau Rose’ 2012 (Bordeaux, France)
Our first year bringing in this rosé, this shows how Bordeaux can make an elegant rosé. 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot from vines planted in Bordeaux’ Entre Deux Mers (between the Dordogne [Dor-DOYN] in the north and the Garonne [GAH-rone] to the south), this yields a clean and crisp rosé of crunchy red fruit particularly red currants with a refreshing currant leaf note that lends an appetizing green note to the uplifting finish –offering a lot more snap than most other Bordeaux rosés. A quaffable little rosé to drink all summer long.

Rose tasting 2013

Alexis Bailly “Rose Noir” (Hiawatha Valley AVA)
A deeply colored off-dry rosé (noir means black) which fits perfectly between a white and red wine. Light and flavorful, bursting with cherry fruit, the grapes are Foch and deChaunac, two red grapes pulled off their skins quickly at harvest to minimize both the color and intensity. Delightful on its own, or match it with equally light and lovely foods. Serve chilled.

Saint Croix Vineyards Rose’ NV (Hiawatha Valley AVA)
The Frontenac Rosé has a lovely ruby color with pleasant cherry and berry aromas. Just the right wine for a hot summer day this is a local wine made for the local taste buds: a semi-dry rose (meaning a touch sweet) with a lovely ruby color and pleasant cherry and berry aromas -making a great wine for sipping with cheese and fruit, appetizers pork and ham.

Bianchi “New Age” Rose’ (Mendoza, Argentina)
This truly Argentine, semisweet, slightly sparkling rosé is made of 50% Malbec and 50% Merlot from the Bianchi vineyards in San Rafael, Mendoza. Fresh and floral it offers sweet scents of wild raspberries, a little kiss of sweetness and a pleasantly effervescent finish that is so nice served chilled as an aperitif or a light dessert wine.

Riondo Prosecco Rose (Veneto, Italy)
This delicious light pink colored sparkler displays fine bubbles loaded with aromas and flavors of sweet cherries and fresh picked strawberries. It is light to medium bodied, lively, fresh and explosively fruity. This is a great crowd pleaser made from the Raboso variety unique to the Veneto region

Il Follo Prosecco Rose’ (Veneto, Italy)
70% Glera (the variety formerly known as Prosecco which is now strictly speaking an appellation among the DOCG) & 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. Beautiful gemstone pink color. The nose is of strawberries and a little yeast. There’s bright yet sweet cherry hard candy on the palate that’s perfectly balanced by its acidity and fine mousse.

Chiarli Brut de Noir Rose’ (Emilia-Romagna, Italy)
Gently pressed from Grasparossa and Pinot Noir, this brilliant rose from Emilia Romagna spends six months in cuve close to yield a delightful glass of sparkling rose. A gentle mousse bearing a gentle rose with the soft spoken charm of leesy strawberries, faint mint and cider apples opens onto a creamy textured bubbly that is perfectly balanced with the acidity of fresh fruit and a dry snap that I could drink all day long. One ought to spend many a weekend brunching over this wine -when throughout the mid morning meal you simply pop into more of the same sparkler until your lifestyle seems defined by leisure. An absolute delight of a dry, sparkling rose that pours over the palate and washes away the tarnish of the world, Chiarli makes effervescent wine both interesting and playful. 12% alcohol by volume.


Baumard Cremant “Carte Corail” NV (Loire Valley, France)
100% Cabernet Franc. This is was a surprise addition to our offering of Baumard wines, one day it just appeared in the inventory. One of our favorite sparkling wines is the Cremant Brut from Baumard, cremant meaning lightly effervescent. So on their last visit to the winery its no surprise that the rose struck a harmonic cord with our staff. Really pretty in the glass, its equally attractive in the mouth. Suggestive of strawberry and rhubarb pie with melting vanilla ice cream. A total charmer! -Larry Colbeck

Baron de Seillac Rose’ NV (Provence, France)
This rose is a great follow through to Baron de Seillac’s Blanc de Blancs’ 1-2 punch proving Laurent Breban makes top notch sparkling wine. 100% Grenache lends a fresh, floral fragrance and a dry palate replete with white cherries, a faint mandarin acidity, and a fine mousse. At 11.5% alcohol, this wine is a dreamy option as a ready aperitif, a delightful bruncheon wine, or a terrific vin de soif! Buy it by the case and keep one in the ice box at all times. Baron de Seillac is a shining example that shows sparkling wine should be a daily affair -adding joy and panache to each and every day.

Jansz Brut Rose’ NV (Tasmania, Australia)
Northeastern Tasmania’s cool climate and Pinot Noir combine to great effect.  In the Tamar Valley of the Pipers River region the basaltic soil slowly ripens the fruit and with the moderating effect of the Bass Strait nearby, they preserve the acidity in this sparkling rose. With its secondary fermentation in bottle, this combines rose petals with turkish delight, that strawberry fruit from the Pinot Noir and a creamy texture that provides balance and length to its refreshing finish. Jansz was Tasmania’s first sparkling wine to be made according to the traditional méthod champenoise which they like to call the Méthode Tasmanoise.

Argyle Brut Rose’ 2009 (Oregon)
48% Pinot Noir, 42% Pinot Meunier, 10% Chardonnay from Knudsen Vineyards in the Dundee Hills AVA of Willamette Valley. From its pale salmon-pink depths, rise aromas of rose petals, spring’s first strawberries, cherry blossoms, and just a hint of hay in a sun-drenched summer field. This Rosé shows a complex and elegant palate of red berries with underpinnings of licorice, guava, and filo pastry, all supported by a wonderfully slaty acidity and a delicate, yet persistent mousse.

Haton Rose’ NV (Champagne, France)
A fourth generation Champagne house of premier quality and astounding value, Haton is now run by Jean-Noël and his son Sébastien out of the family property in the Marne Valley.  Comprised of 30% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Meunier, 25% Pinot Noir, and the addition of reserve wines to round it out, Haton’s Rosé is made from the family holdings in Damery within the Marne.   The colour is a pink with salmon pink shades, enhancing the white and creamy head. The fruitiness of the nose is mostly based on red berry aromas conveyed on a full-bodied that finishes soft.

Hebrart Rose’ NV (Champagne, France)
erhaps Terry Thiese descibes this Marne rose best “As always this is an intellectual lady-librarian with, shall we say, an ooh-la-la taste in undergarments, and perhaps a fetching tattoo hidden beneath them. You think it’s “correct,” it starts to vamp, you think it’s “sexy,” it starts to admonish you with its elegance and command. 46% CH, 45% PN and 9% Mareuil still PN (from ’06); the blend is 70% ’07, 30% ’06. 12/09 disgorgement. This is an extroverted rendition of this always-delicious Rosé. It’s almost giddy, silky, with crisp diction, yet baby, what ripe berries are in this basket.” Oh and perhaps it’s good to know this Farmer Fizz scored 91 WA, 92 Tanzer, and 90 Burghound.

Muga at rose tasting 2013

Wil Bailey on how he selects Rosé

Wil Bailey, portfolio manager for The Wine Company, has the kind of job that elicits laughter and jealousy at parties: he travels the world and tastes wine. What he will be the first to tell you, however, is this is far from an easy job. Especially with the way The Wine Company does it.

Most wholesalers get into a groove with key suppliers and importers. The old “wine as commodity” formula is simple: keep the same wines, year after year, pumping through the pipeline and grow the business. We do it differently.

By investing in sending Wil to Europe every year, we get to make a fresh selection of our European selections as well as choosing each rosé wine to bring in.

Check out this video of Wil explaining his process: