07/21/09 – finding the perfect summer rosé

By Jesse on July 26, 2009

There were a number of delicious bottles at last week’s southern Rhone meeting, but the rosé category came in a little thin with only a single entry. In fact, the Winos haven’t had much rosé at all over the past couple months, despite the fact that we’re right smack in the middle of the warmest part of the year. Many serious drinkers think there’s no better bottle of vinous refreshment for the dog days than a bottle of something pink. Perhaps you’ll feel similarly if you come join us on Tuesday.

By now you’ll hopefully have discovered that rosé is much more than the White Zinfandel that your aunt likes to serve at her barbecues. They comes from all over the world, and they’re made with many different grape types, but the vast majority of decent rosés share one common characteristic: they’re made from red grapes, the juice of which has been drained off quickly so that the skins didn’t have time to impart more than a slight bit of pigmentation, resulting in a pink hue (as opposed to a full dark red one).

Rosé is perfect for the summer because it walks the line between the light, refreshing character of a white wine and the flavorful juiciness of a red. In addition, it’s often extremely versitile in the food-pairing realm, making it the perfect beach, barbecue, or poolside wine. Here are some rosé possibilities for your purchasing preparedness:

france.JPGIf you want to go French, the Rhône Valley makes a number of great rosés, as does Provence to the south. The rosés of Bandol are considered some of the best in the world. Ask your friendly wine merchant if he can direct you to a French rosé similar to a Bandol (but hopefully slightly less expensive).

In Spain, Tempranillo and Grenache are used in making rosé, just as they are in the red wines of Rioja. South Africa produces some rosé Pinotage… buy if you dare. And if you want to go all-American, perhaps you can eschew the White Zin and opt for something a bit more unique, like a Syrah or Pinot rosé.

Finally, don’t forget that a lot of sparkling wines are rosés. Feel free to bring a pink Champagne or something inspired by that classic style. Bubbles are always fun.

We’ll be meeting at Allison’s house in Hermosa Beach. The RSVP system functions like this: if you want in, you click on this link and tell me so (don’t forget your full name, e-mail address, and a cute message conveying to me your intentions). If you’re denied entry due to a meeting exceeding capacity, don’t worry — you’ll be at the top of the list the next week.

Once you’ve gotten your confirmation e-mail, go out and find yourself a bottle of something pink and delicious (or bring a $10 donation, if you prefer). See you Tuesday night—