Think, Drink, & Link PINK!

April 14, 2012

lenclose_sincerite_roseIt’s that time of year again, when our minds and appetites turn to outdoor dining and picnics, as well as quenching the thirsts that come with warm weather.  While we tend to like rosé almost any time of the year, as is evidenced by the fact that there is none left in our cellar at the moment, save a single bottle of Muscadine from Florida.  That means it is time to restock for fair weather festivities, and lucky for us, there is a good supply of quality pink juice coming into the Green Mountains.

Last year, our annual rosé party ended just after midnight with gentle raindrops that would eventually gather into the Irene flood the next morning then swept away so much of our neighborhood, and the rest of summer with it.  Undaunted, we plan to have multiple rosé parties this year, and celebrate all that we still have.  Our good friend Amelia, at the Woodstock Farmer’s Market hung out a letter to we patrons, on the prominent seasonal display of rosé, and I wanted to share it with you, and with the writer’s permission, of course.

Please put more rosé on your shopping list, because the pink tide is rising as more wine lovers catch on, and when it is gone…it’s gone.  We’ll share some links below in the comments, to some labels that we like, and we would also be interested to know what makes you blush as well.


Why I Love Rosé

Mistakes were made in the ‘80s. There was bad hair, there were shoulder pads, and “blush” wine made its first appearance, right alongside “wine coolers”. No doubt this was a brilliant marketing move: make wine taste like soda to broaden its appeal, especially to women and new (often underage) drinkers. However, the effect on the way real rosé is perceived was disastrous. Suddenly, this delicious, noble, venerable beverage was cheapened by its association with that sweet, pink mass-market counterpart. You could no longer Drink Pink and be a “real” wine-lover.

I was as guilty as the next gal. I remember having a bottle of Sutter Home White Zinfandel in my fridge in college, and appreciating its friendly, fruity flavor. It was years before I tried my first French rosé, so it was good enough for me.

Then I learned about European wines, winemaking history, grapes, the way all foods come from a place, and how that place tastes relative to other places. I learned that the wine of a region will always go with the foods of that region, because they share the same soil and the same management and influences. I learned that red wines from the Rhone often taste like the herbs and fruits that grow there; that Australian Shiraz is brilliant with lamb; that the gorgeously floral whites of Germany and Alsace compliment the rich sausage dishes from the same region.

What about Rosé?

First of all, it’s vital to understand that the term “rosé” refers to a color of wine, not a grape, or style of winemaking, or particular group of common flavors. Rosé can be made from pretty much any red wine or wines by removing the grape skins shortly after pressing. The color will vary based on the variety of grapes used and how long the juice remains in contact with the skins. As the tannin in wine resides mostly in the skin and seeds of grapes, often rosés are less tannic than their red counterparts, therefore softer in the mouth and shorter-lived.

Rosés are usually found in warmer climate zones, making the red wines grown there into refreshing hot weather drinks (they are usually drunk chilled). The south of France, Italy, Spain and Portugal are all great places to try rosés as they have been made there for centuries. However, you can find rosés pretty much anywhere red grapes are grown.

The color of these wines may be anywhere from the palest salmon or petal pink to deepest magenta. They may be vinified sweet or dry, sparkling or still, delicate or bold. Often they will taste like a red wine that’s been chilled (close your eyes, take a sip, and see!). In general they are wonderful summer wines as they make a great aperitif and go well with all kinds of warm weather dishes (again, their place of origin will guide you to the ideal pairing). Rosés from Provence, Portugal and Spain often match with seafood; those made in Austria pair with fresh water fish, veal and rich pasta dishes.

I think of rosés as a joy to drink. I love everything about them—their lovely color, their ripe fruit flavors, their bright acidity, their refreshing coolness. Personally I enjoy them year-round, maybe because they remind me of warm summer evenings, even in the middle of winter when Provencal sunsets seem as far away as the moon.

-Amelia, Wine Buyer
Woodstock Farmers Market

Comments (2)


  1. todd says:

    Just a few tasty and affordable suggestions off the top of the head:

    Bodega Tikalo Albaliza Rosado La Mancha

    Cuvee de Peña Rosé VdP des Côtes Catalanes

    Ca’ntele Negroamaro Rosato Salento

    Château de Lancyre Rosé Pic Saint-Loup

    Anton Bauer Pinot Noir Rosé

    Charles & Charles Rose

    Need to go shopping and may add some more.
    Rosé RULES!


  2. todd says:

    Dedalus Wine Shop in Burlington is announcing the first wave arrival of this season’s rosé and taking pre-orders on the limited quantities:
    I can vouch for the quality of the Domaine du Salvard Cheverny!

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