The Days of Wine and Rosés Or Those Hazy, Lazy, Crazy Days of Rosés
Okay, I’ll admit it sounded better at 11 pm last night after a couple of glasses of Rosé. Now that the trees are beginning to leaf, and people are working on their yards, it’s time for the full blown warm weather wines: more specifically, the Rosés. Keep and open mind, and don’t turn away from these wines. You’ll never know what you’re missing. If you’re my age, you had a choice of either Mateus or Lancer’s, and opted for the beer. But, having been in Provence, and had REAL roses I changed my mind. Don’t mistake Rosés for White Zins, or Blushes, Rosés are different animals indeed. They are light and dry, with hints of fruit from wild strawberry to pickled watermelon rind and currants. The colors run the gamut from Cerasulo (cherry red) to light salmon or melon.
There are three ways a winemaker can make a Rosé. Since all grape juice is white, they let the juice and skins sit together until they get to the right color, this is the style preferred in Provence. The second way (just cheating a little) is to blend in a red wine with a base of white, (these are usually sweeter and have Muscat or another sweet wine as a base). The third method is called “Saignee”, (French for bleeding). It originated in Bordeaux and is where a wine maker will let the juice sit with the skins for a while, then “bleed” or pump out some of the juice and cold ferment it. This serves two purposes: it increases the concentration and flavors of the original wine, and, it makes a second wine to sell. Rosés have a long history. The Clarets the British fell in love with, were “pale” by comparison to today’s wine.
Pair these wines with; grilled fish or chicken salads. Grilled quail works very well. The best lunch I had in Europe was a simple tomato, shallot and Fontina cheese salad with a balsamic vinaigrette and a Provencal Rosé. Here are some examples for you to try.
CLINE MOURVEDRE ROSÉ $9.99 (US)
CHATEAU ROUTAS ROSÉ $10.99 (France)
BIELER PER ET FILS SABINE ROSÉ $10.99 (France)
LAS ROCAS ROSÉ $11.69 (Spain)
CRIOS ROSÉ OF MALBEC $12.69 (Argentina)
Go Ahead…Try It, You’ll Like It!