A Rosé By Any Other Name is Still
Spring is around the corner and daylight
savings has arrived which means that a bottle of chilled rosé on a warm, sunny evening sounds awfully good to me.
Usually in March, the new vintages of rosé
from France, Spain (rosado), Italy (rosato), and rest of the world start to arrive and hit the shelves and restaurant wine
lists. Provence in southern France along the Mediterranean is probably the most famous wine region for rosés in the world but the fact is that anywhere red grapes are grown
and wine made, it’s likely they produce a rosé
wine as well.
There are basically two ways to make
rosé. Macerate the grapes with the skins
on and leave them in the vat for a few hours up to a few days. Then filter out the juice and make the wine. The longer the
skins are left, the darker the wine. Saignée
is another method used which is the bleeding off of red wine juice early in the process results in a rosé that often is darker in color.
Usually lighter in alcohol, generally around 12-13%, rosés are easy to drink and go with almost all foods. Yes, even big
flavored summer favorites like BBQ. Dry, clean, good fruit but far from sweet, these are great everyday wines to enjoy not
just for the spring and summer but all year long.
don’t age well so look for the newest vintage, 2017 currently. There is a notable exception which is Tavel. All they
make in Tavel are rosés and they are amazing. Usually very dark in color but full of amazing aromas and red fruit flavors.
Tavel rosé is actually better the second year so keep an eye out for the 2016’s.
Provençal rosé from southern France (the ancestral home of rosé) produces typically
pale pink or salmon colored wines that while dry, offer flavors like strawberries and raspberries along with citrus notes.
Chateau Rouet Reservée Rosé is a great example of the wine from Provence. It can usually be found at all the stores listed
below. You should be able to find a good selection in the $15 price range.
Bandol rosé from the region just west of Provence, makes some of the best, and most expensive rosés ($45+) in the
world. These wines don’t arrive here until early May as is the tradition.
Most rosés are made from a blend of grapes. Most typically Grenache, Cinsault, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Sangiovese, Mourvèdre,
and Carignan among others. The fact is any red wine grape can be made into a rosé. As a rule of thumb, rosés from Europe tend
to be dryer and those of the new world less dry. But not always. Ask at you local wine shop and I’m sure they’ll
be glad to assist you.
And, lest I forget,
sparkling rosés are always in season. You know what I always say, if in doubt, drink bubbles!
All of the stores I’ve mentioned in the previous columns offer wide selection
fo rosés from all over the world. Bristol Farms Markets, The Wine Country in Signal Hill, The Wine House in West LA, Silverlake
Wine in Silverlake and DTLA and Everson Royce in Pasadena and their newest store, Highland Park Wine in, you guessed it, Highland
Park. Check out the Roman style pizza up front at Triple Beam Pizza (which goes really well with rosé, too) created by Nancy
Silverton , Matt Molina and the Silverlake Wine group.
celebrate the longer days and take advantage of the opportunities to try some great pink wines this year. Could be the best
summer of wine ever.