Flowers blooming against a backdrop of emerging greenery are getting closer by the day, for April Showers bring May Flowers. This season has become synonymous with rejuvenation and a rebirth of sorts; which inherently realigns our perspective as we head walking towards the sun filled promise of Summer. With the wind at your back, grab your glass and keep a corkscrew in tow because this can be one of the most exciting times for food and wine; provided you can handle it.
It was not long ago the American wine consumer would look at a glass of pink wine and flashback to younger days of swashing large quantities of White Zinfandel. The 80’s were good for many things, White Zinfandel was not one of them. However, over the past decade America has become a hot-bed for the old world classic known as Dry Rosé Wine. So, what exactly is this type of wine and where does it fit in your wine rack? Neither Red nor White, these wines hold court just between the two on the color spectrum. To varying degrees, these are Pink colored wines that have been vinified to be dry; not sweet. For all intents and purposes, the majority of Rosé wine is made when red wine grapes are crushed and let to set in the juice they yield for a limited period of time. If otherwise left for weeks, the color pigments in the grape skins would make a red wine, yet after just a few hours you have Rosé. This adds another layer to the mystique of Rosé; just a few hours results in a light pink and in a full day, you have a much deeper hue. In this algorithm, add in the myriad of red wine varieties AND the number of quality growing regions and you can quickly deduce the possibilities are endless!
Part of Rosé’s allure has been the otherwise unavailable spectrum of aromas, flavors and textures offered. Rosé combines flavors of red fruits, black fruits, citrus, tropical fruits, stone, earth, and sometimes even tannin. All elements that can be found in either Red or White wine, but hardly ever both, fueling the demand from curious wine drinkers and thinkers. This burgeoning category fills the gap of vinous and culinary debate, such as what to have with fish, BBQ or spicy cuisine. A good bottle of Rosé dons a cape with a regal ‘R’ in super-hero style, offering enough acidity and stuffing to handle an array of foods. Ice cold or with a slight chill, the right Rosé can make those Spring salads come alive, even handling your favorite dose of grilled protein atop. Thinking of something slow cooked and simmered, how about a rack of ribs and a spicier style that has enough fruit, spice and snap to beat back the rich sauce.
Dry Rosés are the essential accouterments for the culinary inquisitive and those inclined to explore new adventures in wine. This new season will see a change of flavors on your plate, so why not your glass?