“Rosé is a wine that should ideally be drunk within two or three years of being made; it is not for keeping, but memories of drinking rosé tend to last much longer. On a shady terrace; around an herb-scented barbecue; outside a café on market day; before lunch by the pool – it accompanies some of life’s most pleasant moments. Perhaps that should be marked on every bottle…” – Peter Mayle, Provence A-Z
I’m not talking about wine coolers or white zinfandel, I’m talking about delicious rosés: the cool, delicate, versatile wine that can hold up to basically everything you pair it with.
It is believed that some of the first wines in ancient times were rosés because they were quickly and easily made and did not require the more modern wine-making tools (i.e. large vats, sturdy presses, etc.). Rosé juice spends as little as a few hours to a couple of days on the skins to produce its light pink color.
From deep raspberry to the lighter rose petal, a rosé’s color indicates how long the grapes have been left to macerate in the juice and skins. A darker rosé spends more time on the skins, and will have a richer, more savory tannic taste. A lighter, more mineral forward rosé could have only spent a few hours macerating before it was pressed and moved into a separate bin to continue to ferment. Another, less common, way of achieving the color is the “saignée” (bleeding) process. Some juice is taken from a fermenting red wine vat in the beginning of the fermentation process. The juice taken will be turned into rosé, while the remaining vat of fermenting red grapes’ flavor will intensify.
Winemakers, especially in France, do not have specific bottle requirements, so the bottles’ labels and shapes can appeal to our lighter more whimsical sides. You may have also noticed that a lot of rosés are screw caps…don’t be discouraged! Screw caps do not indicate cheap wine, but more so encourage the consumer to easily open a bottle of rosé on a whim (without having to worry about where that corkscrew went!).
I am a firm believer that rosé can be enjoyed year round (hey, we drink white in the winter, no?), but for the traditionalists out there, now that the weather is warming up, maybe you would like to swap your deep reds for a nice, crisp, fruity rosé!
MacNeil, Karen. “France.” The Wine Bible. New York: Workman Pub., 2001. 266, 312. Print.
“Rosé Wines of Provence: Ten Fun Facts.” Marvellous Provence. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2016. <http://www.marvellous-provence.com/gastronomy/drink/wine/rose-wine-ten-fun-facts>
It’s that time of year again and Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away. Across the nation, those in charge of preparing the big feast have already begun planning their menus. The beauty of Thanksgiving is that it is a celebration of food and family, and what would a celebration be without a steady flow of wine?
Finding the perfect wine pairings for Thanksgiving dinner can be a challenge because there are so many choices out there. The variety on the Thanksgiving table can make choosing the right wines seem daunting, but the assortment of flavors is actually an advantage when it comes to selecting the wines. The key is to select versatile wines that harmonize with the abundant, flavorful side dishes.
Here are our suggestions for 5 great Thanksgiving wine pairings…
The wine that you choose for appetizers on Thanksgiving should have some bubbles! Champagne or sparkling wine makes an excellent pairing for hors d’oeuvres ranging from charcuterie and cheese plates, to soups and salads. Cheese almost always makes its way into the appetizers for a large party and the refreshing acidity and bubbles in sparkling wine cut through the richness of any assortment of cheeses, from Brie to Stilton. We’ve selected our exclusive Champagnes from Robert Desbrosse to pair with Thanksgiving. In fact, we will be serving these to our family and friends straight through to New Year’s!
NV Robert Desbrosse Champagne Brut Rosé ($37 Per Bottle/ $444.00 Per 12-Bottle Case)
60% Pinot Noir & 40% Pinot Meunier
“…There is nothing shy about this Desbrosse Brut Rose, rich with a nose of bing cherries, strawberries and a flavor profile of white raspberries, hints of pink grapefruit, just a touch of sea salt and cherries again-Lovely!” –Harriet Hendler, The Wine Cellarage
2007 Robert Desbrosse Champagne Millesime Brut ($40 Per Bottle/ $480.00 Per 12-Bottle Case)
60% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay & 20% Pinot Meunier
“Feminine and crisp, almost racy while still being light on its feet with just the hint of pepper, fresh ginger and many, many delicate tiny bubbles. Your new go to Champagne that is perfect for cocktail parties, to serve with appetizers, cheering on your favorite football team with a pound or two of Kettle corn.” –Harriet Hendler, The Wine Cellarage
NV Robert Desbrosse Champagne Cuvee Prestige Brut ($45 Per Bottle/ $540.00 Per 12-Bottle Case)
“The richest of the three cuvees, with a blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir that gives the Cuvee Prestige a softly honeyed richness with just the slightest hint of creaminess while maintaining a balanced energy throughout the long and full bodied finish. Your new Go-To ‘Special Occasion’ Champagne!” –Harriet Hendler, The Wine Cellarage
I’ve always thought it was nice to feature a great domestic wine at Thanksgiving. Red Zinfandel is the first wine that comes to mind, especially since it has its own immigration story. When we talk about Zinfandel, we are talking robust, yet elegant red wine with flavors of dark cherries, currants and spice. Zinfandels pair well with a variety of foods and can be likened to the gravy for your Thanksgiving bird. The lush fruit character and versatility of Zinfandel makes the varietal a pleasing pairing for your turkey along with all the trimmings. This year, we’ve selected two California Zinfandels with distinctive flavor profiles that will make your feast sing…
2012 Joel Gott Zinfandel ($15 Per Bottle)
Easy drinking for the holiday season! The 2012 Zinfandel has aromas of oven roasted plum and blackberry jam with sweet spice notes. On the palate, the wine offers bright red fruit flavors complemented by a soft, round mouth feel and a long finish.
2011 Limerick Lane Zinfandel Russian River Valley ($32 Per Bottle)
Delicious aromas of briar patch berries are accented by hints of sweet spice and black pepper. On the palate, the wine is rich and full-bodied, yet maintains elegance and finesse.
3. Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir, with its cherry fruit flavors and characteristic earthy quality, is a delightful Thanksgiving wine. Harvest season ingredients such as butternut squash, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, roasted root vegetables and cranberries are all complimented by Pinot Noir. You can’t go wrong with a fruit-forward domestic Pinot from the West Coast, especially one from California. French Pinots from Burgundy are often more elegant and will highlight the nuances of root vegetable side dishes. Both of the Pinots below will work wonderfully on Thanksgiving …
2009 Wedell Pinot Noir ‘Wavertree’ San Luis Obispo ($15 Per Bottle)
“The explosive bouquet of strawberry, raspberry and black cherry only a hint at what a special wine the 2009 Wavertree San Luis Obispo County Pinot Noir is…it is readily enjoyable now and will mature beautifully for years to come.” –The Winery
2012 WHOA Farm Pinot Noir ‘Crane Vineyard’ Sonoma Coast ($55 Per Bottle)
Aromas of sweet black cherry fruit and spices greet the nose. On the palate, the wine has generous fruit and firm structure. The wine is silky on the mid-palate and harmonious through the finish. The proceeds of this wonderful Pinot from the Sonoma Coast will be used to support the charitable works of non-profit Work Horse Organic Agriculture (WHOA) Farm. WHOA produces 50,000 pounds of organic food each year and insures that this fresh produce reaches those most in need in the San Francisco area. Sip delicious wine while giving back this holiday season!
Aromatic white wines, such as Riesling, work especially well with Thanksgiving. Since Riesling can be made in a variety of styles, from bone dry to sweet, it is a brilliant choice for a range of foods and flavor profiles. A Riesling with refreshing acidity and a hint of sweetness, combined with exotic aromatics, is going to knock everyone’s socks off on Thanksgiving Day! The sweet elements of the meal (think sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce) will be complemented by the sweetness of the wine, while the naturally high acidity will refresh everyone’s palate as they enjoy the rich feast.
2013 Charles Smith Wines ‘Kung Fu Girl’ Riesling ($15 Per Bottle)
Enticing aromas of white peach, apricot and lime leaf waft from the glass. On the palate, there are complex flavors of Fuji apple, shiro plum and refreshing minerality. The wine has a very long, cool finish.
2008 Karlsmuhle Lorenzhofer Riesling Spatlese Trocken ($25 Per Bottle)
“I can think of no Mosel producer who’s better at lifting Mosel material to a higher level of ripe attributes, including a richer mouthfeel. Outstanding. The extraordinary house of Karlsmühle creates Mosel wines with uncommon extract and concentration. This one, a light yellow-straw to the eye, features an amazingly succulent nose of ripe fruit, an almost buttery tenderness on the palate…This is what German wine is all about.” –David Rosengarten
Rosé is one of my favorite wines to pair with Thanksgiving dinner. Not only is the wine’s color cheery and festive, the characteristic red berry flavors make it the ideal choice for Thanksgiving. Incredibly food friendly, Rosé combines the brisk acidity and refreshing quality of a white wine with the body and structure of a red wine, making it compatible with a range of dishes. Julia Child hit the mark when she said “Rosés can be served with anything.”
2013 Domaine Saint Aix Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence Rosé ($16 Per Bottle)
This refreshing rosé is a blend of four Southern Rhone grape varietals: Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah & Counoise. On the nose, aromas of strawberries, cherries and grapefruit abound. The palate is soft and elegant with a structure that is perfect for white meat, such as turkey! The fresh quality of this wine will stimulate everyone’s appetite and keep conversations lively.
2013 Chateau Miraval Cotes de Provence Rosé ($20 Per Bottle)
A blend of Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah and Rolle. Miraval’s 2013 release kept us cool all summer, but should be recognized as more than just a summer wine. Crafted by the Perrin Family (of Chateau Beaucastel), in partnership with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, this is a serious wine with great substance. Serving Brangelina wine on Thanksgiving is sure to please the most discerning palates while providing an interesting conversation starter. To borrow the words of wine reviewer Josh Raynolds (for Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar), “This suave wine has the power to work with rich foods and the energy to give pleasure by itself.” You can enjoy the 2013 Chateau Miraval from the first course to the last!
All of this warm weather, bright sun and our constant search for a cool or air conditioned space is a definite sign that summer is upon us! It’s the time to enjoy weekends at the beach, vacations abroad, or even some rooftop barbeques with family and friends. Whatever your summer plans may be, I am sure a refreshing summer wine would be a great companion to bring along, whether it be for a casual dinner with the family or for a momentous occasion such as a wedding.
Keeping your needs in mind, we have compiled a great list of summer wines spanning the traditional favorites like Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay, and adding several unique wines for you to consider including Chenin Blanc, Prosecco, Rosé Champagne, and Gewurztraminer. Here, at The Wine Cellarage, we are thrilled to share our newly composed summer wine list with you. These wines have been chosen for their excellent quality and great value. They are sure to keep you cool and refreshed all summer long!
Here’s a closer look at our summer wine list…
Summertime is here and it’s the perfect season to open up a bottle of refreshing berry-scented, floral rosé. Rosé is the ideal wine for summer barbecues and parties and is incredibly food-friendly. Perfect pairings include barbecue flavors, sausage, hamburgers, and just about anything on the grill – veggies, fish, shrimp, pork and so on. Also, fresh salads and side dishes are easily matched with just about any rosé. How could you possibly turn down a glass of beautifully pink, crispy chilled wine on a warm summer night?
The2011 Chateau Sainte Marguerite L’Esprit Rosé Côtes de Provence($16) from Côtes de Provence, the biggest appellation of the Provence wine region, is a beautiful blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah grape varieties. This rosé is deliciously fruity and balanced with crisp strawberry and raspberry flavors and attractive acidity. It serves very well as an aperitif but is structured enough to withstand various entrées as a companion.
The 2010 Domaine Saint Ser Côtes de Provence Saint Victoire Rosé Prestige ($16) is an elegant rosé, offering lovely aromas of wild red berries, hints of watermelon and lemon zest; a perfect pairing for traditional Provencal meals like Bouillabaisse. This wine definitely has the structure to stand up to substantial dishes. The Domaine Saint-Ser is located in the Saint Victoire sub-appellation of the Côtes de Provence and is home to a small number of elite producers.
The 2011 Bieler Pere et Fils Sabine Rosé Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence ($14) is the perfect summertime sipper with aromas of raspberry, watermelon and undertones of Provençal herbs. Charles Bieler has been crafting his charming Provençal rosé for the last 7 years. This particular rosé is named after his daughter, Sabine, who was born the same year as the wine’s first vintage, and honors his father, Philippe, who introduced both Charles and his sister to the wine business.
Sauvignon Blanc wines are perfect coolers for hot summer weather. Their aroma, ranging from herbal greens to citrus fruits, often sporting refreshing acidity, makes them an attractive pick for a summer drink. Sauvignon Blanc is usually at its prime within a few years of its release while it still showcases its fruitful and fresh youth. This native French varietal is the main constituent of white Bordeaux wines and is widely planted in the Loire Valley, most notably in the regions of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé.
The Seresin estate in New Zealand produces wines from organic and biodynamic vineyards where the fruit is hand-picked and sorted. This 2009 Seresin Reserve Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough ($45) embraces typical traits of Marlborough, with herbal and floral flavors and underlying minerality. The fruit flavors, especially gooseberry, and complexity give way to a drawn out finish of juicy citrus.
We have another New Zealand wine for you! 2010 Craggy Range Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc Te Muna Road Vineyard Martinborough ($19) is great to drink now, with herbal and lime aromas and a hint of vanilla. The concentrated fruit flavors balance out with the citrus-like acidity. This drinks well as an aperitif or with lighter and fresh foods such as salads.
While we love New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, we’ll always have a taste for those from the Loire Valley. Pascal Jolivet is one of the Loire’s youngest estates producing exceptional Sauvignon Blancs. Established in 1987, Domaine Pascal Jolivet is devoted to natural winemaking and sustainable techniques. Based inSancerre, the estate owns over 70 acres of the best vineyards in the appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé. The 2009 Pascal Jolivet Sauvignon Blanc Attitude($17) offers floral and citrus aromas, bright acidity and minerality on the palate. This delightful wine drinks like a Sancerre at half the price.
This 2010 Gerard et Pierre Morin Sancerre Vieilles Vignes ($22) is a great Sancerre which I recently had the privilege of tasting. It offers aromas of citrus fruit zest and freshly cut grass, both scents reminiscent of summer days. The wine tastes ripe, tight, and crisp with good minerality.
Chardonnay is the chameleon of the grape varietals, thriving in a range of climates and crafted in a variety of styles. Relatively neutral in character, Chardonnay is easily influenced by its environment and the winemaker’s techniques. For these reasons, it is one of the most popular and widely planted white wine grapes in the world. Native to France’s Burgundy, Chardonnay is the only grape variety permissible in Chablis and one of three grapes varieties used in Champagne. Outside of France, Chardonnay has flourished in the New World wine regions, growing happily in California, Chile, South Africa, Australia and beyond.
Chablis is always a refreshing choice for summertime and perfect for pairing with lighter dishes, especially seafoods. The 2009 Domaine William Fevre Chablis Montee de Tonnerre ($38) is representative of elegance and finesse with notes of fruit blossom and the great combination of smokiness and minerality on the palate, which leads to a powerful finish. This premier cru is terroir-driven and expressive, as most Domaine Fevre wines aim to be.
This 2006 Maison Deux Montille Soeur et Frère Saint-Aubin sur Gamay ($32) is a premier cru from St Aubin in the Burgundy region. The estate is run by two siblings with vineyards located mostly in the Côte de Beaune region in 20 appellations. This particular Chardonnay offers lemony stone flavors that are round and focused with aromas of pear, minerals, and white flower.
This 2009 Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Meursault Genevrieres ($79) is great for any seafood dish especially with a butter or sorrel sauce. Coming from Domaine Bouchard, the estate is one of the most renowned in Burgundy and has a reputation for producing exceptional wines. This particular Chardonnay is silky with citrus and floral flavors and a very smooth finish. This wine is great to drink today or to let age for the medium-term.
Now let’s head over to the new world with New Zealand’s 2008 Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay Auckland ($32) offering sweeter exotic fruit aromas such as passion fruit and mango, with hints of toasted hazelnuts. This Chardonnay is crisp and tight with concentrated flavors and can be enjoyed now or until 2016. The estate is run successfully by the three Brajkovich brothers, and managed by their mother Melba, who is not only the head of the household, but head of the winery as well.
Another Chardonnay that we’ve fallen for this year is from a fantastic South African producer with a rich history, Glenelly Wine Estate. Located in Stellenbosch, the estate’s heritage goes back to the 17th century. May-Eliane de Lencquesaing purchased the property in 2003, after running the famed Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande for 30 years prior. May de Lencquesaing is renowned for the wines of her Pauillac Grand Cru Classé Chateau and has upheld the same level of excellence at Glenelly.The 2010 Glenelly Chardonnay The Glass Collection Stellenbosch ($14) showcases the exceptional quality and value coming from this estate.
Unique Summer Wines
If you love Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley as much as we do, François Chidaine’s Vouvrays are not to be missed. Crafted in a range of styles from bone dry to sweet, Chidaine’s Vouvrays share an ethereal, elegant quality and great complexity. This summer we’re sipping Chidaine’s dry style – the 2009 Francois Chidaine Vouvray Clos Baudoin ($25). If you’re looking for a more sweet-styled Chenin Blanc, we suggest the 2003 Domaine Huet Vouvray Cuvee Constance 500 ml ($89) which showcases dried fruit aromas and flavors with a refreshing touch of acidity in the lengthy finish. This is a sweet wine that can be enjoyed now until 2030.
Breggo Cellars’ extraordinary white wines from unique varietals (Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer and Riesling) places this Northern Californian producer on our summertime favorites list. The 2009 Breggo Cellars Gewurztraminer Anderson Valley($25) is exotic and enticing with opulent aromas of orange zest, lychee, honeysuckle and rose. Elegant and refreshing on the palate, bright tropical flavors mingle with zippy acidity and a long, lovely finish.
Now how about a combination of two of our favorite style summer wines, rosé and sparkling, for a rosé champagne! NV Varnier-Fanniere Champagne Brut Rosé Grand Cru ($58) is great served as an aperitif to accompany prosciutto or smoked salmon hors d’oeuvres, with berry or chocolate-based desserts, or even meat dishes. This energetic champagne offers great citrus and red fruit flavors, finishing off with a spiced ending. Definitely crisp and refreshing!
Another sparkler that is undoubtedly very enjoyable is our beloved Prosecco. Both the NV Lamberti Prosecco Extra Dry ($16) and the NV Mionetto Prosecco Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG ($18) are great accompaniments for salads, seafood or simply as aperitifs. Chill one of these Proseccos down and enjoy the bubbly!
Rosé lovers! I’m sure you will agree that the best way to beat the summer heat in NYC is to uncork a bottle of well-chilled rosé. If you haven’t tried the Chateau Sainte Marguerite’s L’Esprit Rosé from Cotes de Provence, you’ll want to add it to your immediate to-do list! Uncork the Chateau Sainte Marguerite L’Esprit Rosé ($16) and you will be transported from the concrete jungle to a chic café on the French Riviera.
Comprised of Grenache, Cinsault & Syrah, this rosé is crisp, fruity and refreshing. Aromas and flavors of raspberry and strawberry are supported by the wines impeccable structure and balance. On the palate, the full fruit and silken texture sail through the finish. This rosé is elegant as an aperitif, yet has the structure necessary for pairing with heartier Provençal dishes such as bouillabaisse. The L’Esprit Rose paired perfectly with the Pappardelle frutti di mare “Mediterraneo” recipe from The Wine Lover’s Cookbook: Great Recipes for the Perfect Glass of Wine by Sid Goldstein.
Situated on the French Riviera in the Cotes de Provence, Chateau Sainte Marguerite is one of the rare cru Classé from Provence, spreading over 180 acres. A careful selection of vine varieties, conscientious cultivation methods and favorable climatic conditions make for a perfect terroir.
Summer is just around the corner, but with this exceptionally warm Spring weather, I’m in the mood for Rosé now! Bedell Cellars, a sustainable family-owned estate vineyard and winery on the North Fork of Long Island, has made two great vintages of their Taste Rosé. Bedell Cellars has a 30 year legacy of winemaking on the North Fork, which is impressive for a young Northeastern U.S. appellation.
Bedell’s winemaker, Rich Olsen-Harbich, has been around since the estate’s beginning and is the man responsible for authoring the North Fork of Long Island appellation into existence back in 1986. Olsen-Harbich crafts the estate’s wines via a holistic natural winemaking program, relying entirely on indigenous yeasts. He stands alone among Eastern North American winemakers in his exclusive use of indigenous yeasts.
I tasted the 2011 Bedell Cellars Taste Rosé for the first time last week and was instantly charmed. I am thrilled to add a high quality, locally produced rosé to my list of go-to summertime quaffs!
Tasting Note: Beautiful coral pink color. Aromas of wild strawberry, tropical fruit, white peach are accented by delicate citrus blossom and herb notes. Bright and crisp on the palate with red berry flavors and zippy acidity. Delightful, refreshing finish.
The Taste Rosé made a wonderful companion for a simple dinner of Tortellini with Asparagus, Peas, Goat Cheese and Mint (recipe from Fine Cooking).
There is no better way to welcome the warm weather and the summer ahead than by opening the season’s first bottle of crisp, refreshing berry-scented rosé. As Memorial Day approaches, thoughts of lazy summer afternoons, balmy evenings and plenty of well-chilled rosé are filling my head. I couldn’t be more excited that rosé season is finally here!
Defending Rosé’s Reputation
This charming pink-hued wine has had to overcome a somewhat sullied reputation. Sadly, its resemblance to cringe-worthy “White Zinfandel” has caused many to disregard this delicious, elegant wine. A side note on White Zin – This rosé imposter became popular in California and the U.S. during the 1970s and 80s, at a time when white wine was more fashionable than red. Producers like Sutter Home capitalized on the fad, crafting pale colored wines from red grapes. Sutter Home’s first batch of semi-sweet White Zin was actually a fermentation gone-awry where the yeast died out before consuming all of the sugar. Enough about White Zin though, we’re talking about rosé!
Colors & Styles
Coming in a range of colors, from the very palest of pinks to darker ruby-purple toned shades, rosé is one of the most aesthetically pleasing wines to behold. Some have hints of orange, while others display vibrant tones of iridescent magenta.
Rosé is made from just about every red grape you can think of, but the most common are the varietals of France’s Southern Rhône Valley – Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Cinsaut and Mourvedre. Rosés made in the south of France are most often dry and can range from delicate, pale pink, lighter styles to more full, robust, darker pigmented examples, depending on the combination of grapes used as well as the winemaking process. One of the Southern Rhône’s most notable rosé appellations is Tavel, producing dry wines that are fuller bodied and well-structured. Within the Loire Valley, the Anjou region is well known for Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grolleau based rosés, which are produced with varying levels of sweetness.
The pink wines of Spain are called rosado and are usually made from the Garnacha grape (the Spanish equivalent of France’s Grenache). Spanish rosados are usually made in a darker, fuller-bodied and more robust style than their Provencal counterparts. In Italy, rosé translates to rosato, and are there made with an array of Italian grape varietals, depending on the region, such as Nebbiolo in Piedmont, Sangiovese in Tuscany and Negro Amaro in Southern Italy. The majority of Italian rosatos are darker colored and more full-bodied. California has followed the example of Southern France, making some delightful rosés from the Southern Rhône varietals, among others. Pink wines are made in every wine producing region of the world, so there are many to explore and enjoy!
Rosé Wine Pairings
Rosé is incredibly food friendly. Here the brisk acidity and refreshing quality of a white wine come together with the body and structure of a red wine, making it compatible with a range of dishes. To quote Julia Child, “Rosés can be served with anything.” Far too often, this versatile wine gets pigeon-holed as an aperitif or salad course wine, when in actuality, it pairs marvelously with more substantial main course dishes, like grilled pork, roasted chicken and stewed fish. Some sublime rosé pairings that are not to be missed include cured meats, fish that has been fried, grilled or stewed, grilled pork and grilled shrimp.
The food and wine pairing possibilities don’t stop here though…this remarkable wine works well with barbecue flavors, sausage, hamburgers, Mexican food, egg dishes and pâté. Rosés that have a touch of residual sugar are perfect for spicy cuisines, like Szechuan and Thai food. And of course, just about any salad gets along well with this cool, crisp rosy wine! Salad Niçoise is the classic pairing in this category and one of my personal favorites for hot summer weather.
How It’s Made
Rosé usually starts its vinification journey as if it were going to be made into red wine. There are effectively three methods used for making rosé wine. The most widely used method, and the way that rosés have traditionally been produced in Europe, is by shortening the amount of time the grape skins and juice stay in contact after the grapes are crushed. During this maceration period, the skins are left to sit on the juice for one to three days, imparting some of their color. Once just enough color has been extracted, the pale juice is then drained or run off the skins and fermented the same way that white wine is almost always fermented, in stainless steel tanks.
The second method, most often used for Grenache grapes, is called saignée. Here the grapes are destalked and lightly crushed, then allowed to sit on their skins for eight to 12 hours. The pale colored juice is then run off from the skins and continues on to fermentation.
In the third method, red grapes are pressed and the juice is immediately run off the skins for fermentation, so there is no maceration period. This is the process used for making the wine that is called vin gris (literally ‘grey wine’) in France.
In the EU, it is illegal to make quality rosé by blending red and white wine together. The only exception here is in Champagne, where blending is sanctioned. Rosé Champagne is made by blending white wine from Chardonnay with red wine from Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier.
Rosés to Try Now
If you’re looking for the perfect summertime quaff, the 2010 Bieler Pere et Fils Sabine Rosé Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence is wonderful, showing aromas and flavors of raspberry, cherry and wild strawberry, along with racy minerality and bright acidity. You’ll want to drink this rosé every chance you get this summer.
The 2010 Domaine Saint Ser Cotes de Provence Saint Victoire Rosé Prestige is an elegant summer wine, offering delightful aromas of wild red berries, hints of watermelon and lemon zest. This is a great wine with salmon dishes, and ideal for traditional Provencal meals such as Bouillabaisse.
The 2010 Prieure de Montezargues Tavel Rosé is an exceptional wine from the Southern Rhône’s Tavel appellation. This rosé has enticing style and finesse, showcasing raspberry and strawberry notes, along with subtle peach aromas. On the palate, red berry flavors mingle with Provencal herbs and spices, resounding in the full-body, freshness and length of this gorgeous wine.
From the renowned Guigal estate, the 2010 E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone Rosé is a blend of native Rhone varietals – 50% Grenache, 40% Cinsault, 5% Mourvèdre and 5% Syrah. On the nose, fresh, expressive aromas of raspberry, redcurrant and citrus leap from the glass. On the palate, this wine offers pure flavors, ripe fruit, great balance and plenty of finesse.
Finally, traveling to Italy, the 2010 Antichi Vigneti di Cantalupo Il Mimo Nebbiolo Rosato is a fabulous, food friendly Northern Italian rosato made from the Nebbiolo grape. This delightful rosé is very true to Nebbiolo’s character, offering red fruit, handfuls of raspberries and red currants, along with beautiful floral notes. The 2009 Il Mimo is lovely, crisp and refreshing with plenty of backbone, firm tannins and a mineral-laden finish. This is an excellent wine for food pairing and will complement everything from fish to heartier meat dishes.
To browse all of our delicious rosés and to stock up on this excellent summer wine, CLICK HERE.