Drinking “out of the box” – Bonny Doon Vin Gris De Cigare


Many of us shop for wine in groceries, membership/big box stores and online.

Those usual spots carry the usual suspects, i.e., the most popular varietals such as

Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, etc. 


You know the lineup.


But with a little efffort, you can discover non-mainstream wines

in the mainstream mass-market shopping locations.   


These unconventional wines are typically produced by winemakers

who like to explore and experiment.   


They prioritize creativity over profit. 


Growing what are normally considered “obscure” grapes,

they produce what some would regard as “quirky” wines.


“Quirky” can go both ways. 

These wines can be interesting…a pleasant change of pace…

or less than impressive. 


In other words, “meh”.



Basic RGB


It’s Wine Thursday!, our weekly look at a good wine

that sells at a good price and is easy to find at retail and online.   


You’ll have to do a little digging to find this week’s featured wine…

especially at the grocery or supermarket…but it’s widely available online. 

And given the price and the quality, it’s worth seeking out.



Where it’s from 

Located on California’s Central Coast in the Santa Cruz area,

Bonny Doon Vineyard has been on a 40-year “spirited adventure

to make naturally soulful, distinctive and original wine.”   

Staying true to their mission, Bonny Doon has produced an extensive portfolio

of unique reds, whites and rosés using out-of-the-ordinary grapes.  


What it is  

First, about that name:  Vin Gris de Cigare. 

What does it mean?   Great question.  

“Vin Gris” translated is “grey wine”. 

 The label calls out “pink wine”. 

“Cigare” is not something you smoke.  It’s French for “UFO”. 

But that’s Bonny Doon…always eccentric, whimsical and fun.


That’s an apt description of this wine.  It’s a fun take on rosé.


Bonny Doon uses a combination of shall we say, peculiar grapes…

vermentino, grenache blanc and clairette blanche…to create a savory treat. 

In the fashion of the best Provencal styles of rosé,

aromas of strawberries and watermelon lead the way

with citrus and melon flavors in the background.

The body is medium.  The acidity and minerality work in balance. 

The finish is slightly tart.   

This is a refreshing light wine that’s ideal for summer’s warm weather.


Where to buy it  

Keeping track of this wine over time, it’s a bit odd. 

It will be on the shelf one day.  Then the next day, it’s gone. 

Not sure why.  Hopefully, it will be there for you.  Fingers crossed. 

We do know you can find it at Total Wine for $14.99.