I am not going to deny it. I am a shameless lover of Rosé. There is no one perfect wine. However, there are wines that pair with a wider variety of foods than other wines. Sparkling wines for one. Riesling also works. And then there is Rosé. The “wine of summer.” Well I say no! Rosé is not the wine of summer; rose is a season-less wine that pairs with a wider variety of cuisines than I can count! Pause for a moment, grab a glass of Rosé, and keep on reading!
In July I participated in another one of Protocol #Winestudio’s awesome sessions. They are so fun and informative, they are Tuesday night Twitter institution! What is #Winestudio?
PROTOCOL wine studio presents an online twitter-based educational program where we engage our brains and palates! Its part instruction and tasting, with discussions on producers, varieties, tourism, terroir, regional culture, food matching and what all this means to us as imbibers.
July’s #Winestudio session featured Rosés from Sonoma. Each of the three roses I tasted were completely different from the others which is another reason why Rosé is such a versatile wine.
There are three methods used to craft Rosé:
- Maceration: red wine grapes (with the skin) are left to macerate (rest) as long as the winemaker likes (usually 2-20 hours); after this maceration the wine (juice only) is transferred into different tanks to complete the fermentation and wine making process; this is the most common form of crafting Rosé
- Saignée: during the process of making red wine some of the juice of the red wine grapes is “bled” off (or drained) and transferred to another vat to be crafted into rose; this allows the winemaker to produce a Rosé wine while also increasing the concentration or intensity of the red wine
- Blending: a touch of red wine (at the winemaker’s discretion) is added to a vat of white wine; this small percentage of red wine added (up to 5%) “stains” the white wine juice; though this is uncommon in still Rosés it happens with more frequency in sparkling wine regions such as Champagne.
Wines of Provence illustrates acceptable colors of Rosé:
Passaggio 2015 Merlot Rosé Sonoma: This 100% Merlot Rosé was made from grapes sourced from a single vineyard in Sonoma County and crafted with the maceration method; it poured a soft yet vibrant pink in the glass; an inviting bouquet of fresh picked summer berries including strawberries, along with melon, and orange zest cascade from the glass; on the palate it is crisp, light and zesty with added flavors of lime zest and a round acidity that offers a long, pleasing finish; it is a perfect wine for the summer heat but don’t forget to enjoy this wine year round with a large variety of cuisines and great friends; 13.2% ABV
Pedroncelli Winery 2015 Dry Rosé of Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley: This 100% Zinfandel Rosé was crafted from vines ranging from 45 – 60 years old; it utilized two of the Rosé methods; 60% of this wine was crafted using the maceration method, the other 40% was crafted with the saignée method, finally the two methods were combined into a wine that poured a striking deep fuchsia into the glass with a hint of effervescence; on the nose it offers notes of cherry Jolly Rancher (which if you know me I love in a Rosé), along with citrus notes and a touch of minerality; super juicy on the palate with round mouth-watering acidity that coats the palate and finishes long with a tease of tannins; this is a fun wine to drink and will pair with everything from bbq to ahi tuna salad; 13.9% ABV.
Angels and Cowboys 2015 Rosé Sonoma County: This wine was a blend created from Grenache Rouge, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Grenache Blanc using the maceration method in the spirit of Provençal Rosés; using the Provence color scale I would say this wine falls in color between Melon and Mangue; it opens with a wonderful vibrant nose of grapefruit, orange watermelon, soft white floral notes, savory herbal notes, and minerality; on the palate it is fresh, vibrant and energetic, delicate in some ways yet not a wilting flower; a soft palate makes it refreshing and its crisp acidity guarantees a mouthwatering finish that will pair beautifully with a wide variety of cuisine;12.8%ABV.
I highly encourage you to add each of these high quality Rosés to your portfolio and enjoy them immediately. But don’t stop there. These wines will take you through the entire calendar so don’t be afraid to serve Rosé any and all time of year with just about any food you are enjoying that season. These three wines are too good to shelf for three quarters of the year. And don’t delay. These three wines will be gone soon so get your direct from each winery today.
My Song Selection: Each of these three wines were excellent, wines you want to drink and share with friends. They are wines that make you smile and perhaps even have a party!
Get your own bottle of Passaggio, Pedroncelli, and Angels and Cowboys Rosé and let me know what song you pair with them. Cheers!