Rosé – Still Misunderstood and Looking for Love?
This Wednesday, August 14th, is the Wine Blogging Wednesday event, where all wine bloggers get the chance to share their thoughts and experiences related to the designated theme. The theme of this upcoming Wine Blogging Wednesday event, or WBW for short, is Rosé – here are the details of the announcement. This is what this blog post is all about.
How often do you drink Rosé? Do you think Rosé is fully understood and appreciated by the consumers en mass? I’m afraid that many wine drinkers still have a notion that Rosé is either sweet, or strictly seasonal, or mostly inferior, or all of the above. I remember being in France about 7 years ago, in November, and ordering a bottle of Tavel in a restaurant. My French colleague gave me a look, and then said sternly “just keep in mind, you are ordering a summer wine” – of course he has an excuse as a Burgundy buff, but still – even in France, people often see Rosé as seasonal wine, not as a wine you can drink all the year around. In the US, yo would rarely find Rosé on the main shelves – they are usually setup on a side, ready to be replaced by the holiday wines, and slowly moving to the “closeout bins” as summer comes to an end.
Many people judge Rosé by the color, which reminds them of White Zinfandel, and think it is a sweet wine. I have seen many people come to taste the wines at the store and refuse the glass of Rosé simply saying “no, thank you, I don’t drink sweet wines”. It really takes time to convince them that the wine they are refusing is actually perfectly dry, refreshing and food friendly – and not only during summer, but all year around.
Having presented this pinkish “doom and gloom” to you, I actually have to admit (happily) that over the past 3-4 years, the situation is changing to the better. Even as a seasonal wine, there is really an abundance of Rosé offered in the wine stores. More and more wineries and winemakers now include Rosé as part of their standard offering, year in, year out. This happens in France, this happens in Georgia, this happens in California, Greece, Italy, Spain, New York and many other places.
The great thing about Rosé is that they are some of the easiest wines to drink – and some of the food-friendliest. Rosé typically has a flavor profile of a light red wine, with strawberries, cranberries and onion peel being some of the main characteristics – it also lacks the punch of tannins as skin, seeds and stems contact is minimized during the winemaking. At the same time, Rosé typically has savory complexity coupled with acidity which is usually a bit less than the acidity of a dry white wine. Overall, it is easy to drink and food friendly – what else do you need from wine? Of course I’m not advocating that the whole world should start drinking only Rosé at this point – but Rosé definitely has its own permanent (not seasonal!) place on the shelves of the wine stores and in your wine cellars.
Let me now give you two great examples of Rosé wines.
2012 Williams Selyem Vin Gris of Pinot Noir Russian River Valley (12.9% ABV) – bright concentrated pink color, reminiscent of cranberry juice. Strawberries and cranberries on the nose, same on the palate, lots of strawberries and cranberries, very dry, perfect acidity, very balanced overall and very easy to drink. Drinkability: 8-
2011 Antica Terra Erratica Willamette Valley Oregon (13.1% ABV) – another 100% Pinot Noir Rosé. What a treat! Perfectly bright strawberry red in color, nice nose of raspberries and cherries. First the wine opened into a light Pinot Noir, showing some smokiness and earthiness, then evolved into into bright strawberry and onion peel wine, classic Rosé, and then it was gone… Drinkability: 9-
There you have it, my friends. Open a bottle of your favorite Rosé, pour a glass and enjoy – however remember – sometimes Rosé is too easy to drink… Oops, did we just finished this bottle? Cheers!
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