Summer = Rosé
Have you stocked up on Rosé for the summer? Have you had a traditional (dry) Rosé? If you thought Rosé was a sweet wine for beginners, please go find a bottle of real Rosé to sample. You’ll be hooked!
What is Rosé?
With white wines the juice is pressed off the grapes immediately as soon as the grapes are brought in (no skin contact). Red wines start with grape juice, skins, seeds and sometime stems in the fermenting tank all the way through the initial fermentation (long skin contact). Rosés are like Goldilocks, “just right”. Rosé wines are made with red wine grapes, and they receive their color from brief contact with the skins. Sometimes that contact is for just a few hours, but it can go up to many days. As you can imagine, this results in a wide variety of colors in the finished Rosé.
When you stick your nose into a glass of Rosé, you will immediately think: summertime and fresh. Floral, citrus, watermelon rind, even red candies may come to mind. Similarly, the flavor is very crisp, light and refreshing, but with plenty of flavor. Rosés are perfect on a hot, sunny day.
Rosés tend to be universally well liked by white and red wine drinkers. White wine drinkers can relate to the light, fresh flavors. Red wine drinkers usually find a bit more character to like if they usually avoid whites. The biggest problem we have at our house is actually getting friends to take their first taste!
None of the Rosés I purchased this year were over $22. You don’t need to spend more than $15, and you can get nice Rosé for $10 and under. Several of the bottles here are under $10. In the Twin Cities, ground zero for Rosé is definitely Solo Vino. Chuck Kanski, the owner of Solo Vino is our local Rosé evangelist, and he stocks over 100 different Rosés in his shop. No kidding, over 100.
If you’re cooking a big steak on the grill, or really rich burgers, then Rosé may not be your best choice (although not a bad one!). However, if you are grilling some steak, slicing it and featuring it in a dinner size salad, then Rosé will be perfect. Shrimp? Yes. Chicken? Yes. Chilled Asparagus soup? Absolutely. Almost any kind of salad or summer food will go perfectly with Rosé. I’ll be sharing a bunch of examples over the next few weeks.
Even if your local wine shop doesn’t carry a wide variety of Rosés, I’ll be they will have at least a few for you to try. Julie and I were visiting her parents in Arizona earlier this spring. No time for a special trip to a wine shop, we just stopped in grocery store. I was surprised that in such a warm place, they didn’t seem to have much in the way of Rosé. When I asked the clerk if they had any dry Rosés, she said she thought they had one. One! Luckily, it was this wonderful little number from France. We enjoyed it immensely. You will too.
Are you a Rosé drinker? Do you have any favorites? I’d love to hear what you’re drinking.