To quote (sort of) Tennyson’s “Locksley Hall,” “In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of…”
No, not that sweet, slightly sickly stuff swilled at “Fifty Shades of Grey” book parties. What I’m talking about is that beautifully dry, salmon-colored wine that pairs so well with almost any kind of food.
Rosé wine is, in fact, one of the oldest types of wine, with a history that dates back to before the Middle Ages. It is made by pressing red-skinned grapes and leaving the juice in contact with the skins (that’s called macerating) for only a short period of time, usually one to three days. The longer the contact the more intense the color. Sometimes only a single night of skin contact will do the trick – kind of like a lot of my college dates.
Say, did you know that you can make white wine from red grapes? All grape juice is white – it’s the skins that make red wine red. Pinot Grigio, for example, that wonderful white wine from Italy that we all love in the summer is actually a reddish/grayish grape – grigio means gray in Italian. How do you like them bananas? Sorry, I digress, not to mention mix up my fruits.
Rosé wine should never be made by blending red wine with white – a method that’s actually illegal in France. Rosés can still have some residual sweetness, but if you’ve never tried a dry rosé now’s the time. The 2014’s have just arrived and the crisp acidity and exotic flavors of these well-made rosés are the perfect complement to garlicky sauces, seafood, pastas, salads, conversation and just about anything else, with or without skin contact.
A curious thing about rosés is that visually most people prefer the darker hues, but in blind tastings testers have found that most wine drinkers preferred the taste of the paler wines. Why not try that test yourself?
Bin 94 Wines currently has four fabulous 2014 rosés in stock:
PARALLÈLE 45 – This is a Côtes du Rhône blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah with hints of strawberry and peach flavors. The crisp, lingering finish makes it just right for seafood, salads, fruits and cheeses.
HONORO VERA – From Spain, this rosé made from Monastrell (aka Mourvèdre) has flavors of strawberry, cherry and fresh-cut watermelon with just a hint of dried herbs. Try this with fish off the grill. Yum.
BARNARD GRIFFIN – This gorgeous magenta rosé from Washington State is made from 100% Sangiovese (that’s the grape used to make Chianti). It’s a luscious array of strawberry, cranberry and melon accompanied by a bright acidity. Perfect for pasta and grilled meats.
HECHT & BANNIER – This pale salmon rosé is the quintessential Provençal rosé, bone-dry with tropical notes of pineapple, mango and peach to go with the red berry flavors. This blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah is the summer wine.
Come in and pick up a bottle (or two) of these wonderful wines. It will forever alter the way you look at pink wine!
Talk to you next week.