A Rose by Any Other Name…

As the worst heat wave Boston has seen in a long time finally subsides, I can’t help but wonder-what were people drinking?  Other than water, did Bostonians still imbibe?  As the thermometer crept up, I craved rosés.  Every bottle that was pink screamed out…DRINK ME!  I’m refreshing!!!  As someone who has never turned her back on Bacchus, I listened, opened and enjoyed every sip.

Rosés are probably the most misunderstood wine in America.  Men and women alike seem to think pink automatically means sweet.  Thanks to the White Zinfandel craze of the 70s and 80s, we have been tainted.  Men, of course, think a wine that is pink is an assault on their masculinity…so not true fellas!  A dry, crisp pink rosé can be your best friend on a hot day.

Of course, not all rosés are made alike.  Like any wine, they reflect the terroir that they are grown on.   There are three different countries as of late that I have tasted the rosé and smiled with delight: France, Spain and the United States.

Embrace the “joie de vivre” and pick yourself up a bottled of sun-blushed rosés from Provence.  Made from the red grapes Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and occasionally a little Cabernet Sauvignon, Provencal rosés are pale in color, fun to drink and refreshing.  They are soft and delicate with crisp ripe fruit flavors and in particular the strawberry notes we have come to expect from rose.  I can highly recommend the mas de la dame we have here at Bauer.  At a great price, this wine is a true summer pleaser for all.

Aside from Provence, the Rhone valley produces arguable some of the best rosés in the world.  Mainly produced in the Tavel region, where rosé is exclusively made, these wines are serious, ambitious and vibrant in color.  Made from a Rhone red blend, they are full-bodied, bone dry with a bright acidity that makes them especially food friendly.  A wine that says they are from the sub-region Bandol are worth every penny.

Although not your typical rosé region, I do need to make special mention of my favorite rosé from the Loire Valley.  From the sub-region, Chinon, comes a delicious rosé made from Cabernet Franc.  It’s fuller bodied, fruit-forward and spectacular with grilled spicy shrimp kabobs.

Aside from France, you can find fuller wines from Spain that are especially food friendly.  Normally a blend of Garnacha, Monastrell and a smidge of Syrah that gives your palate something to cheer about with being ever-so slightly sweet, lower alcohol and bright acidity.  Meant to be drunk young, you will have aromas of strawberry with fresh cherry and currant flavors.  A perfect example is Senoiro de Sarria 2010 Rosado from Navarra.  And at $9.99 a bottle….you can’t pass up the opportunity to enjoy this gem.

Sometimes referred to as blush wine, please don’t call my next category the dreaded White Zinfandel.  Washington State is producing rosés that cannot be compared to the sticky, sweet pink wines the US produced in the 70s and 80s.  Nowadays, rosé from the West Coast leans towards  bright tropical fruits, citrus and Mexican orange blossom on the palate with great acidity and lively finish.  Winderlea Vineyards in the Willamette Valley in Oregon is producing wines from the oldest and most highly regarded sites in Oregon.  Made from Pinot Noir this is a fun summer wine with some serious pedigree.

So now that we are sliding quickly into August…Think Pink for the rest of the summer and Enjoy!

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