Rose Wine After Labor Day?

Not every pink wine is White Zin, so why all the fuss??

I don't know why the color of a wine would make anyone feel like less of a wine drinker. I mean, it's just a color. Inregards to pink wine, maybe it's the mysticism associated with being a fruity sweet wine like White Zin as opposed to something more serious.  So, with summer comes the consumption of the pink stuff otherwise known as Rose. I drink this style of wine all year round when the mood or food is right. For whatever reason why Rose wine is associated with summer is beyond me. I mean it's not like wearing white after Labor Day. Next holiday you make a glazed ham, try a Rose from Spain made from the Monastrel grape. Ahhh, match made in heaven. 

 Simply put Rose wine is made by letting the grape "juice" (for lack of scientific terms) come into contact with the dark grape skins for a short time just to allow some color. Think of it as dropping a white egg into a cup of water dyed with PAZ Easter Egg dye. Sometimes you put just enough coloring you get baby blue pastel and other times you go a little heavy handed and you get navy blue.

Some of the best Rose comes from the southern region of France called Provence. There, the wines are typically a blend of several different grapes such as Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Carignane, Cinsult and others. The end result is a wine that, in most cases, is clean crisp with good acidity, light to medium body and tropical fruit to citrus on the nose. I'm starting to see more Rose from Provence blending in Cabernet Sauvignon for body, this year imparticularly.

Bringing the party back home...the big three wine producing states do their versions of Rose wine. Although, as of late I've been drinking rose from lesser known wine producing regions on the States such as Arizona and Long Island, NY.

Of all the places, who would've thunk that they can make wine in AZ? One vineyard in particular, Arizona Stronghold, makes a wonderful Rose called Dayden. It's a huge blend of many grapes with a touch of red Zinfandel. A little darker in color than your typical Rose but tons of flavor and nose. It tastes more like biting into the last piece of rose colored flesh on a watermelon right before you hit the white meat on the rind. Good stuff, but I'll spare you the details for another post.

Coming back to the east coast take a gander at what Long Island wine producers from Wolffer Vineyards and Bedell are doing with Rose. Both are more Provence France in style and flavor. Beautiful, elegant, clean, crisp and dry. They both smell more like Sauvignon Blanc than anything else. Again, more on wine from wacky places for another post. Seek these wines out and try them while they're in area stores.

Again with any wine, taste around and find out what tickles your taste buds the best. Try the wines on their own and with food. You'll be surprised at how much better a wine tastes when it has something else to play off of.  Rose wines are bestter sutied for light fare, but again experiment!  I'm known to eat a nice cut of meat with a chilled glass of Rose.  Like I said before, there are no taboos.  It's what you like.  Salmon works well, pasta salad or lighter pasta dishes will do the trick also.  Mix it up!

A couple of weeks ago, we hosted a private home wine tasting with around 20 people. We sampled Rose winese from France, Spain, Italy, Argetina and South Africa.  By the end of the evening we had changed everyone's mind as to how they felt about the silly pink looking wine.  If you can get people out of their comfort zone and let them taste what the wine is all about then their palate can do all the explaining. 

Fire up that grill this weekend for one last HOORAH to the summer of 2012.  Pour a Rose wine with confidence as we look forward to the autumn weather ahead and wearing white on Tuesday!  Cheers!

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