Spring is in full swing, summer is near, thank goodness rosé wine is already here!
Please forgive my corny rhyme. I am just overcome with excitement over rosé! I have been a longtime supporter of rosé, and a staunch advocate that it is year round wine that pairs well with almost any type of food regardless of the season. Sadly, it seems many of you are not listening to me, choosing instead to embrace the beauty and versatility of rosé in the spring and summer. It seems the marketing efforts of the Vins de Provence focused on convincing the world that to enjoy a glass of rosé is to transport oneself to the South of France, and there is nothing wrong with that idea.
So to fully kick off rosé season on Rockin Red Blog I want to take you once again to one of my favorite wine regions… Virginia! Please tell me with as many articles as I have written about VA wines that you have tried at least one. To try VA wines is to instantly fall in love with VA wines. And what better time to embrace this glorious wine season than with a rosé!
I recently participated in #VAwinechat where I was introduced to six Virginia rosés. I am excited to share them with you because they each offer a unique expression of rosé as they are sourced from a variety of grapes. One thing I love about rosé is one size does not fit all. Just like any other wine, rosés are crafted from a wide variety of grapes, some blended, some single varietals, all reflecting the terroir and the winemaking techniques used to share a unique expression of wine in the glass.
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 (there are exceptions to this).
- 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.
So join me in tipping our hats to spring and welcoming summer with a crisp and refreshing glass of Virginia rosé.
2016 Early Mountain Rosé Virginia ($24): Crafted of 60% Merlot, 25% Syrah, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Malbec, with the Syrah being the “spiritual leader” in the glass; clear pale salmon in the glass; medium aromas of bright fresh picked strawberries, melon, and white stone fruit; light and lively on the palate with medium+ acidity in a light body with a refreshing finish. Click here to purchase from Early Mountain.
2016 Rosemont of Virginia Rosé ($17.95): Crafted of 100% Chamborcin; clear pale candied fuchsia in the glass, like a watermelon Jolly Rancher; delicate medium aromas of watermelon, strawberries dipped in sugar, candied violets, and citrus zest; racy acidity create a crisp and refreshing porch sipper that is ideal for spring/summer; light body, long tart lime zest finish. Click here to purchase from Rosemont.
2016 Breaux Vineyards Limited Edition Cellar Selection Nebbiolo Rosé Virginia ($26): Crafted of 100% Nebbiolo; clear pale salmon with pink hues; pronounced medium aromas reminiscent of an overflowing fruit basket containing tropical fruit, red berries, melons and citrus; silky texture on palate with medium acidity and loads of fruit flavors in a light body wine with a long, tart finish; super refreshing and easy sippin wine. Click here to purchase from Breaux.
2016 Breaux Vineyards Rosé Virginia ($24): Crafted from 38% Cabernet Franc, 25% Merlot,
21% Cab Sauvignon, 9% Malbec, and 7% Petit Verdot; clear pale salmon with orange hues; medium inviting aromas of strawberries, watermelon, tart cherries, orange blossoms, orange zest, and dried herbal notes; tart zest on the palate with a medium acidity create a refreshing wine that is a great pairing with burgers and bbq. Click here to purchase from Breaux.
2014 Hillsborough Vineyards Serefina Rosé Wine Virginia ($26): Crafted of 90% Petite Manseng and 10% Tannat; clear pale fuchsia with orange hues; pronounced aromas of darker fruit notes of black cherries, blueberries, and black raspberries, along with orange blossoms, tropical fruit, and sweet baking spice notes of anise, allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon; more weight on the palate than the others, richer in texture, medium acidity, slight candied fruit finish; great for sippin, better with food, stock up and save some bottles for Thanksgiving and Christmas; the exception to the rule of drinking young rosé. Click here to purchase from Hillsborough.
2015 Hillsborough Vineyards Serefina Rosé Wine Virginia ($26): Crafted of 90% Traminette and 10% Norton; clear medium fuchsia; pronounced unique aroma of candied red cherries, strawberries, and raspberries, along with candied violets, sweet baking spice, and soft notes of white stone fruit; this is a dry rosé but it is crafted from grape that is sweeter than many; therefore, it teases with a mock sweetness that is candied on the palate; however, it is balanced with medium+ acidity indicating it is really an acidic, balanced wine that tricks the nose into a sweet perception; light in body, rich in texture, very unique.
*Disclosure: I received these wines as media samples to participate in #VAwinechat; all thoughts and opinions are my own.
As much as I want to convince you rosé is a year round wine, there really is no better way to sip spring and welcome summer than rosé! And friends these Virginia Rosés deliver on every level!
My Song Selection: These rosé wines are as good as any you will find in California or France. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone to try some new producers. Ordering online is easy and quick.
Get your own bottle of Virginia rosé and let me know what song you pair with it.