Whenever I go to St. Petersburg, my cousin-in-law tries to take me to some wino spots so I can relish in delicious wines for all of you to read about. This time around, we went to Lolita’s Wine Market, a quaint little restaurant with dazzling Edison bulb light features and a nice wine selection. As soon as we walked in, we were greeted by a hostess and a moderate wait. Luckily, we were able to step outside with a bottle of Hogwash Rosé 2016.
Hogwash Rosé started when winemaker Tuck Beckstoffer was invited to a co-host a charity fundraiser featuring Southern barbeque with Chef Linton Hopkins. The two co-hosts were responsible for the dinner menu and Tuck thought it would be fun to create a wine especially for the event. Coincidentally, Tuck had been experimenting with making Rosé from a special Grenache vineyard in the Central Coast of California. So many people at the event raved about the wine that Tuck started making small quantities of the wine for distribution to the public.
The wine is salmon pink in color. There are berries and florals on the nose with strawberries, citrus, and peach on the palate with a sweeter aftertaste. It’s light and bright—perfect for a hot summer day. You can get it at Total Wine for $15.99, so it’s a great value. I paired it with conversation on rocking chairs. 3.5/5.
When our table was ready, we switched gears and grabbed a bottle of Saint Andre de Figuière Valérie Signature Blanc 2016. I was intrigued when I saw the bottle, but was sold when I asked the opinion of a waitresses and she said it was “a beautiful wine.” It’s from La Londe, a sub-appellation of the Côtes-de-Provence AOP which is where I usually grab Rosé from.
Figuière is located in La Londe-les-Maures between Marseille and Nice with vineyards that lie just a few hundred meters from the Mediterranean Sea. There is a five-degree difference in temperature from the vineyard to those of the interior, which is said to be the reason for the freshness found in the wines found in the region. Alain Combard purchased the property in 1992 after discovering its cool coastal climate and unique schist soils. Over 25 years, the Combard Family grew Figuière to its current size of 210 acres. Additionally, Figuière purchases grapes from contracted growers to produce their Côtes-de-Provence Signature series. The Signature series is produced from a blend of estate grown grapes and purchased fruit.
Valérie White is part of the “Signature” series, named after Alain Combard’s three children. Valérie is Alain’s youngest daughter. It is made from a blend of 60% Ugni Blanc, 25% Rolle, and 15% Sémillon, vinified entirely in stainless-steel tanks.
This wine was such an easy-drinking treat. It is light yellow in color with an aroma of lemon and grass. It is fresh, light, and bright with notes of minerals, white fruit, and herbs. It has a nice balance of acidity and crispness. We paired it with a nice charcuterie plate, which included some AMAZING mushroom pâté and cheese stuffed pepper poppers. I found it online for about $20. I don’t know if it was the food or the company, but I really enjoyed it and would definitely seek it out in the store. 4/5.
If you’re ever in St. Petersburg and have a hankering for some great, affordable wine and delicious homemade noms, make sure to hit up Lolita’s Wine Market.