by Rick Riozza
These are the days where my prayers are lovingly answered: Being in the company of 5 beautiful Rancho Mirage women enjoying a delicious meal and conducting a wine tasting of light-bodied wines from the Mediterranean that are produced by—well, women!
The new wine brand to hit our scene is known as Island Girls of Corsica. Yes! There are seven of them that work the vineyards and the winery at this beautiful island paradise south of France and west of Italy. Their coastal and hillside vineyards thrive in the cool temperatures, sunshine, sea mist, and pure water. And according to their Island Girls wine label, the girls are “thriving” there as well! I better find my passport quick!
Corsica, the rugged island with beautiful beaches, is sunnier and drier than anywhere in mainland France, and may now be the most exciting French wine region on the map—at least that’s what a bunch of winemaking gals believe. And who can fault that belief. Long known as the Island of Love, the Island of Beauty ( the seductive “L’Ile de Beauté” has long been the name Corsican wine has traveled under), and now, the island of energetic and apparently “thriving” women vignerons! Fun!
The Island Girls of Corsica are not shy in their quest to produce a “girly” wine where their sensibilities, tastes, and personalities are expressed in the flavor profile of their vino. And it’s just like a woman to want to hear how you’re feeling about this wine. The label on their wine bottle especially asks you to learn their names and more about them and their wine by visiting www.corsicanwines.com
So all right! At this dinner soirée we’ve got five gals tasting three Island Girls wines, a Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and a Moscato produced by seven island girls! Hosted by the most beautiful, Ms. Penny. She’s a kitchen-chef for sure as she prepared a delicious oven-baked Tamale Pie, refried-style pinto beans and Spanish rice. They were a perfect dish with which to match all three wines.
We all tried the Chardonnay first. Ms. Connie was first to describe the wine to be “light and easy to drink—you can sip on this all day.” Ms. Claudia chimed in that it was “a very light with both sweet and citrus tart flavors that continue to increase as the wine warms—and pineapple!” Ms. Irene said it was smooth and mellow for a Chard. “This is definitely a pool-side sipper.”
Ms. Alannah, who is French, immediately corrected me for pronouncing the island as “Corsica” as opposed to the French name “La Corse”. She said, “The Chardonnay is light and kinda sweet—not too sweet, dry—but not too dry. “Is anyone getting aromas of ‘sea mist’ or flavors of ‘minerality’? I proposed. The girls thought and then nodded with giddy smiles.
Connie, who generally doesn’t like red wine, fell in love with the Pinot Noir as it was “fruity and not dry at all. It’ll be a perfect wine to serve at my patio parties.” Penny didn’t get much flavor at first but the Pinot “came alive” with the jalapeno in the Pie and with the Spanish spiced-rice. And being a “super-taster”, Penny found the red to have very similar flavors to that of a, light, fruity Beaujolais. “Now that’s a good thing!”
When I asked for specifics on the fruit, black cherry was the call. And everyone preferred the Pinot a bit chilled. The girls all loved the screw caps and the ease of opening and capping the bottle at will.
Moscato is generally deemed an aperitif or a dessert wine but often works well with a spicy meal. Connie tasted “mellon” flavors; Irene, “peaches”; Allanah said the wine was “extra-ordinary”. Claudia, however got deep into the perfume-y bouquet: “It’s like a cross between Chanel #5, Ysatis, and White Diamonds—and I taste raisins.” “White raisins?” I suggested. “Yes—exactly.”
Everyone really enjoyed the gathering and wines and what all the women agreed upon was that the $7.99 bottle price was right up their alley, and, could be found right down the road over at Cost Plus World Market in La Quinta or Palm Springs. “Finally! A wine we all like and can grab locally.”
All be told, I’ve actually met one of the Island Girls! And she’s promised me a holiday interview, and, to keep us in the loop as to all the festivities surrounding her wines.
As always, Ladies First! Cheers!
Rick continues to host & entertain at wine tastings & events. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.