Hello all. I hope you are all having a great summer. As we are heading into the hottest month for most of us I thought I would tackle a wine that is a bit of a tricky wine for many people. Today we are going to going to talk about the pink stuff!
For most of us the mention of Rose’, blush or pink wine takes us directly back to a bottle of wine, from a couple producers, that were sweet, soft and low alcohol. White Zinfandel! This wine for many of us was what I like to call our “gateway wine.” A wine that lead us into the wine world an onto great adventures of discovery throughout the world of wine as we discovered other juice as our pallets developed and changed. The reason that this wine help us on the road is fairly simple and is referred to as the Coca Cola Pallet meaning that here in the U.S. we understand sweet drinks such as sodas, juice drinks, sweet tea, etc. and struggle to wrap our heads around drinks that make our mouth feel dry or acid that makes us salivate. These wines were a blessing to many and a curse to others. Not to mention how many times I have had a guy from Texas tell me “I am not drinking that pink stuff”.
For many of us we either fell in love with the roses and never ventured passed their sweet, easy drinking nature or were swore off all Rose wine as being lumped into that category. The fact that they are not always the easiest food pairing wines also left us moving away from Rose’. Truth is that there are some amazing rose wines from around the world that vary in sweetness levels from bone-dry, with great balance that are not only great sippers but ideal food paring wines, to the sweet wines we all know so well. The can be still wines, semi-sparkling or sparking. Also, it can be made from a wide variety of grapes.
Lets talk about how Rose’ wines are made to begin with. Rose’ wines are made from red or black grapes. For the most part the darker in color the Rose’ the more skin contact the juice had with the skins. The contact is usually anywhere from a few hours to three days. (There are other methods, such as Saignee, but we will not get into those at this time) These wines are typically served chilled at the same temps you would serve white wines.
Some of my favorite regions for Rose’ wines from around the world come from the following regions.
In France I love the Rose’ from Provence, the Loire Valley, Tavel, Beaujolais and Bordeaux. I would say that a great starting point for French Rose’ is Provence. I find these wines approachable and dry with great acidity and are fantastic food pairing wines. Think of salads with fruit, shellfish, goat cheeses but also look at it with charcuterie.
In Spain, where the wines are known as Rosado, the regions I enjoy include Navarra, Rioja, Txakoli and Cigales. For me the wines from Txakoli.are a nice intro to the wines of Spain. These wines taste of light strawberry and candied fruit and are an ideal sipper on a hot day.
Finally I will end with a great rose from the USA. We have great Rose’ made in California, and Oregon just to mention a few. I am going to talk about one out of Sonoma that I find to be amazing. The Rose’ wine from Sanglier Cellars is my favorite rose for this year. I can sip it on a hot day and I can pair it with everything from raw asparagus, goat cheese, shellfish and I have had it will grilled pork and chicken with a bit of spice.
So next time you find yourself looking for a great wine that will go with food and quench you thirst on a hot day don’t forget about the Rose’ wines that are out there.