Beer and wine. Only in this melting pot of America can we mash traditions so freely. My wife even fermented beer in a Pinot Gris barrel and won with it (read here). Lucky for us, Heater Allen (one of our favorite Oregon breweries) and Cameron Winery (an icon of winery restraint in the Willamette Valley) decided to pair up for something interesting.
Ok, so Oregon had a monstrous harvest in 2016. With a glut of Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc, Cameron Winery collaborated with Heater Allen to create Spritz Rosé: a beer-capped, 355ml-bottled of pink wine with fizz at only 9% alcohol.
The APPEARANCE looks a pale rose pink with mixed-sized rapid bubbles.
AROMAS smell of medium intense rose water, melon, grapefruit juice, and a whiff of funk, wax, and salt.
The PALATE feels dry, steely, and zippy. Alcohol hovers at a low, 9% abv. The body is lean and light. High acidity and streaming fizz makes our mouths water.
FLAVORS taste clean, tight, and mildly of lemon pith, melon, and steel that lead into salt, yeasty, and wax musk that hang for a medium length.
This is strange. It hardly tastes like your average Pinot Noir rosé, heck even blanc de noir tastes different. I would not claim it a resounding success. But as an experimental collaboration by brewer and winery, I would say it checks enough boxes: sessionable, refreshing, light-food-friendly, decently complex to merit it a very good (4 of 5). Buying a 355ml bottle at $7.99 might seem like a stretch. But past the cost, the wine is delightful fun. Think Vinho Verde, Picpoul de Pinet, and any other petilent but dry sparkler and you will enjoy Cameron’s Spritz.