Lately I’ve been working part time in a wine shop to beef up my vino knowledge, and I’ve been exposed to more fabulous wines than I can possibly recount. One thing that’s surprised me while working here is how much I like rosé wine (pronounced rose-aye). In case you’re not in the know, rosés are neither white or red wines, but rather range from a deep pink to a blushing apricot color. They’re generally served chilled, and on a hot day, there’s nothing more refreshing than a cold glass of rosé while sitting in the sun.
Wisegeek describes rosé as the following:
Rose wine, often referred to as “blush” wine or written rosé, are are not truly red, but have enough of a reddish tinge to make them assuredly not white. The actual color varies depending on the grapes involved, and often may seem to be more orange than pink or purple. Rosé wines may be produced in a number of different ways, depending on the desired results. Most rosé wines are the result of crushing red grapes early on so that they are not able to impart their color – or much tannin – to the final wine. These wines are in most respects white in character and flavor, with only the tinge of red and some subtle taste differences belying the difference.
In the past rosés have been cloyingly sweet, which caused a lot of people to group them into the “cheap table vino” category. In reality, contemporary rosés have lovely dry personalities that willingly go head to head with even your crispest vino verdé. Modern European and California vintages will have you not only enjoying their bite, but begging for another nibble.
To celebrate the humble rosé wine – which seems to have a bad rap as crappy wine, an idea that can’t be further from the truth – I’d like to share with you a few varieties that I’ve really enjoyed this week.
2009 Le Saint André de Figuiere Rosé – ~$14
A fresh, peppery wine with just a touch of fruit. I swear that you’ll feel a refreshing Mediterranean breeze wash over your body with every sip.
This beauty combines 25% each Cabernet, Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault, so you know there’s no saccharine dulcé-ness in this bad boy.
2009 Frog’s Leap La Grenouille Rouganté Pink – ~$15
Frogs Leap, an iconic Napa Valley vineyard, brings us yet another fabulous installment in their Pink series. Tart and dry, this organic favorite actually tastes pink – mouthwatering red-fruit flavors follow up an already drool-worthy crispness. And wait, did they say Valdiguie grapes? Why yes, yes they did.
2009 Clos Saron Tickled Pink – ~$20
This organic, biodynamic 100% Syrah rosé is grown in the Sierra Foothills of California, and you can taste that signature Cali crispness in every sip. This lively variety is especially dry, leaving you with a refreshing tartness and a bit of puckery acidity. A touch of fizz and a healthy dose of fresh strawberry rounds out the overall experience. I’ll take a case or ten, please.