Rosé wines could be called the best new trend of this century, certainly the most refreshing. Yes, you guessed it, I love Rosé wines. Fifteen years ago, you were looked at strangely if you served your guests a Rosé. Ten years ago, you were considered cool and hip. Today of course Rosé wines are accepted and loved more than ever.
A Little Rosé History…
It is believed that Rosé was one of the first, if not the first, style of wine made dating back 2,500 years to the Greeks and Romans. It wasn’t really until “pale Clarets” starting appearing from Bordeaux that ‘Rosé’ style wines were even mentioned.
After World War II two Portuguese producers, Mateus and Lancers released sweet, slightly sparkling rosés to the European and American markets. They both went on to set sales records and inspired the “White Zinfandel” trend of the mid 70’s onwards.
The European markets drifted towards a drier style Rosé whilst the US Markets still cling to the sweeter “blush” style like White Zinfandel, although that trend is changing.
Probably due to the climate and the cuisine of Provence, the lighter, drier style of wine flourished. The rest of France, as well as the world soon caught on and Rosé began appearing from winemakers all over the world, made from dozens of different grape varietals.
Rosé is grown all over the world from more varietal’s
than people care to keep track of but it is fair to say when
it comes to Rosé, Provence is Queen!!
With one exception, all juice from grapes is ‘clear’ or more accurately a pale straw color. The red color in wine comes from skin contact from as the juice is left in contact with the skins and can last from a few hours to a few days in the case of Rosé, up to 28 days. The longer the skin contact the bigger, bolder and more tannic the wine is. The myth that Rosé wines are a blend of white and red wines is just that, a myth and is actually forbidden by law in France, except for Champagne.
As I said there are so many great Rosé and I literally have a few dozen favorites- If you missed our annual Rosé Tasting a few weeks ago, here are some of my favorites. None of the Roses below are your average Roses- all are delicious, mouth-watering, dry and worth sharing with friends.
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Esprit Gassier Cote de Provence 2018 $18.99
Soft and approachable with refreshing mouth-watering strawberries and watermelon with crisp refreshing acidity. Features limited edition ‘Day and Night’ graphics on the label. Delicious Provence offering.
Whispering Angel 2018. $25.99
This early favorite in the US market is still a favorite and long considered ‘the one to beat’. This blend of Grenache, Rolle, Cinsault, Syrah, and Mourvedre is a Côtes de Provence star with traditional red fruits dominating with a delightful peach note and a hint of citrus and rose petal rounding this out!
Reserva des Bertrands “Elegance’ Rosé 2018 – Cotes du Rhone. $19.99
Loads of juicy red fruits with subtle watermelon underpinning the whole experience. The name says it all- Elegance to the last sip! Some of the best Cote de Rhone Rose I’ve drunk!
Domaine de L’Espigouette Cote de Rhone 2018. $18.99
Red fruits and green leaf aromas entice you to enjoy delightful candied strawberries and cherries with a core of citrus. Impressive balance and acidity. This blend of G,S,M. is another great example of Cote de Rhone Rose. Absolute delight to drink.
Bertani ‘Bertarose’ 2018- Italian. $13.99
Wonderful mouthfeel- rich and creamy with excellent balance and acidity. Candied red fruits mixed with apricot, melon and orange peel add a hint of fruit sweetness to this most definitely dry Rose. Made from 75% Molinara and 25% Merlot sourced from the hills behind Lake Garda.
Ferrari Carano Rosé 2018 – Sonoma, California. $14.99
This is 100% Sangiovese sourced from three separate vineyards on the Sonoma Coast. I believe this is the third vintage of this Rose and 2018 near perfect conditions allowed for slightly longer hang time producing some rich ripe juice for Sarah Quider, the wine maker to work with. This crisp clean dry Rose is an absolute delight to drink and a sign of what’s to come in the future. Packed with strawberries, raspberries, watermelon and blood orange peel and balanced with acidity and elegance. A must try!
Mr Pink Rosé 2018 – Columbia Valley. $13.99
Named after the main character played by Steve Buscemi in the 1992 film ‘Reservoir Dogs’ directed by Quentin Tarantino. The Underground Wine Project is a side venture from two industry heavyweights Mark McNeilly and Trey Busch with profits going to help Seattle’s homeless. This blend of Sangiovese and Syrah this is a mouthwatering Rose that is definitely worth drinking. Loads of cherries, fresh cut watermelon with a hint of citrus and darker fruits on a long finish.
Cape Mentalle Rosé 2018 – Margaret River, Australia. $16.99
This blend of Grenache and Syrah delivers a crisp clean Rose with such elegance and finesse, one might check the bottle to confirm Cote du Rhone or Provence as point of origin. Nose is enticing but it’s the mouthfuls of strawberries and cream smothered in raspberries, cherries with just a hint of citrus and peach makes this a must try Rose.
Food Pairing Idea’s….
From the delicate Roses of Provence to richer Roses of Bandol to the bigger Rosés of Italy, Australia and California there are so many exceptional versions to try. Where to start is the real question and what to pair it with? Given how versatile Rosé is I’d be limiting your enjoyment to attempt to pair one dish to an array of Rosé styles. What I want is to encourage to work through some or all of this list this summer with our selection of Rosé this summer.
Anchovies (appetizers, canapes) — try a simple Anchovy Butter spread over crackers
Melon and Prosciutto / Salads, particularly Salade Nicoise / Olive appetizers / Hummus
Main Dishes, Side Dishes
Crab / Eggs / Pizza / Shrimp / Fried fish (particularly a sparkling Rosé) / Grilled fish /
Lobster / Tuna / Sandwiches and Wraps / Turkey / Quiche / Couscous / Salmon /
Hamburgers / Grilled sausages / Grilled chicken.
Vine & Table Wine Buyer