Summer is here! Perhaps not the solstice but the weather in North Texas is certainly gearing up for summer. With the passing of Memorial Day comes the first celebration of a wine day for summer: National Rosé Day is Saturday! In some ways it bothers me that this day is a segway into summer because I believe Rosé is the most versatile of all wines and is perfect for year round enjoyment. How many times have you searched and searched for the “perfect” wine for Thanksgiving only to end up with no less than 3 wines on your table? Rosé solves that problem! It is perfect for all holiday meals. However, National Rosé Day is close at hand so it is time to celebrate this wonderfully versatile wine!
Rosé can be crafted from many different grapes including: Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Mourvèdre, Tempranillo, Sangiovese, and many more. It can also be crafted into different styles from bold and savory to light and fruit forward. Provence is known for its beautifully pale, fruit forward Rosé. I enjoyed many Merlot Rosés during my week at En Primeur in Bordeaux. The diversity of grapes used to craft Rosé is what makes is such a versatile, food friendly wine.
I do love Rosé with summer foods and it is a great wine to beat the summer Texas heat! I pair Rosés with burgers and hot dogs on the grill, summer salads, poultry, seafood, shellfish, pork tenderloin, barbeque, pools, lakes, beaches, good books, the list goes on and on. So stock up on an assortment of Rosés to celebrate National Rosé Day this coming Saturday and enjoy them the rest of the year!
Here are a few essential tips from Adam Chase, Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Certified Educator based in San Francisco, for best enjoying Rosé wines:
- Serve all rosés chilled at about 7-12°C or 45-55°F – the lighter the rosé color, the more chilled – two hours in the refrigerator should be enough time to get it to the best temperature.
- Don’t over chill or you will chill out most of the flavor. If your glass fogs up so much that you can’t see the wine in it, then it is over-chilled. Let it rest (if you can resist) at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
- Drink most rosés within a year of their vintage. They are made to be expressive of fresh fruit and generally are not suited to age.
- If you are drinking sparkling keep it extra chilled at around 40-45 °F and make sure you have a towel to hold the cork as you twist the bottle – remember these wines are literally ready to pop and you want to make sure the cork isn’t a projectile that could hurt someone.
Here are a few assorted Rosés to wet your palate. Some of these were sent to me as samples, others I purchased.
Terra Corsa Vin De Corse Rosé 2015: This wine was crafted from 85% Niellucciu, 15% Grenache from vineyards dating back to antiquity on the east coast of Corsica Island; they chose to blend indigenous with international grapes for a full palate pleasing experience; it poured a soft salmon in the glass; delicate aromas of white peaches, orange blossoms, crushed carnations and lemon zest wrapped in fresh cut herbs; the delicate aromas follow through with tart flavors and more herbal notes, it is unique wine with a balanced structure that will pair very well with light summer cuisine. Available at Whole Foods.
Chateau Saint Pierre 2015 Rosé Cotes de Provence: This wine was crafted of 60% Cinsault and 40% Grenache; a quintessential Provencal Rosé with a deliciate salmon color and aromas of fresh picked summer strawberries, fresh peaches and a touch of soft floral notes; refreshing and delicious as all Provence Rosés, it is crisp on the palate with a beautifully round structure and crisp acidity, elegantly delivers on Provence terroir in a wine that is refreshingly perfect for summer. Available at Whole Foods.
Hacienda de Arinzano Rosé 2015: This wine was crafted of 100% Tempranillo from hand-picked grapes from the foothills of the Occidental Pyrenees in North-East Spain between Rioja and Bordeaux; it poured an elegant fuchsia in the glass, in fact it looks like a slice of watermelon; on the nose it offered aromas of fresh strawberries, watermelon, citrus zest and floral notes; on the palate it was crisp and refreshing with round acidity that coasted the mouth with a long, zesty finish. SRP $19.99, check your favorite local wine retailer and online for this wine
Bieler Pere et Fils 2015 Rosé Bandol Reserve: This wine was crafted of 40% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cinsault, 3% Rolle, according to Bierler Pere et Fils the 2015 vintage is the Best Rosé they have made in 5 years; this is the first I have had this wine but I will say it was outstanding; poured a deeper salmon with pink hues; on the nose it was a beautiful blend of fruit notes (summer red berries, peaches and citrus zest), herbal notes (Herbs de Provence), and soft floral notes of rose and gardenia petals; on the palate it was lively with a rich and round structure, crisp mouth-coating acidity and a lingering dry finish; a perfect wine for year round cuisine, including summer! Available at Whole Foods.
Galil Mountain 2014 Rosé: This wine was crafted of 74% Sangiovese, 23% Pinot Noir, and 3% Grenache from grapes grown in Upper Gaillee, furthermore, it is 100% Kosher as well as Kosher for Passover so keep this wine in mind for 2017; it poured a deep fuchsia in the glass and offered flavors of bright cherries and strawberries, orange zest, white peaches, soft spice notes, and grassy herbal notes; its vibrant color and aroma followed through on the palate with a soft yet textural mouth feel, it had mouth coating acidity that left a dry, lingering finish that was very pleasing; this wine tastes as delicious as the pictures of its home are beautiful; seek this wine out, you will really enjoy adding it to your Rosé repertoire; $12 check your favorite local wine retailer and online.
Twisted Cedar Lodi 2015 Sangiovese Rosé: We have been across the globe on our Rosé journey; now we end in the US with one of my favorite wine regions: Lodi; this wine was crafted of 100% Sangiovese; it poured a penetrating fuchsia in the glass and delivered aromas of red cherries, strawberries and melon with orange zest; on the palate it was smooth with layers of flavor and a crisp mouth-feel, the vibrancy in its color came through on the palate with a great structure and a long, mouth-coating finish.
We have explored a world of Rosés. Though some of the flavors and aromas on the wines are similar each wine tasted completely unique and original. What a fun way to travel the globe! I encourage you to seek out each of these Rosés this summer and stock up because you will need Rosé in your cellar till the 2016s are released! Happy Summer Rosé sipping!
My Song Selection: Summer is here! Kick off your summer fun with some Rosé!
Get your own bottles of Rosé for the summer (and rest of the year) and let me know what song you pair with them. Cheers!