Confession time: At a recent tasting with our Global Wine Buyers, I tried to act enthusiastic when a chilled, dusky pink, slightly spritzy sipper was slid toward me. Fact is, my past so-so experiences with Rosés made me tentative. But I tried it, and…wow! I snuck another pour (a bit of a tasting no-no). We had more wines to taste, but I was lost to the charms of this Portuguese Vinho Verde Rosé from Orlana. It was medium-bodied, elegant and dry with wild strawberry and just-ripe raspberry notes and a happy hint of sweetness in the crisp finish. The wine world is writing a new chapter in the making of Rosé, and I want to read every word.Festively Serious
Somewhere between a Red and a White, today’s Rosés manage to pull off the trick of being more festive than both but also serious. They are typically made with red grapes by taking the juice, which starts clear to golden, and letting it come in contact with the dark grape skins until the desired flavors are attained. (This brief contact with the skins gives rose its pale pink color.) Many Rosés of the past abandoned “serious” and went straight for one-dimensional and sweet, using sweeter grapes and less meticulous vinting techniques (the advent of white zinfandels and blush wines didn’t help the situation). But now, winemakers are rediscovering the beauty at the intersection of complexity and approachability, using bold, big grapes like grenache, cabernet sauvignon, syrah and malbec to produce elegant chilled charmers. Innovación’s Malbec-Syrah Rosé, with its abundant berry flavors and surprising cinnamon and white pepper notes, is a great example. While France still claims the Rosé title with its wonders from Provence, you can also look to Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Chile and Australia for some delicious options.
Rosés can be served with anything. — Julia Child
Rosés love food from grilled fish and meats, pizzas and charcuterie plates to roast turkey, veggies, crab boils and picnics. Try a Salade Niçoise; its tender chunks of tuna elicit lovely earthy notes from a chilled Rosé. Note: Avoid pairing with rich cream sauces.
Rosés are back and better than ever, and the world really does look better through Rosé-poured glasses! Talk to our experts in the wine department; they love talking wine and are really excited about what’s happening with Rosés today.
Do you have a Rosé discovery you’d like to share? Tell us about it in the comments section below.