This is it!! We've waited all winter for this moment when the pink wines hit CT shores! Okay maybe we're being a little too ambitious, but it for many the sight of the first Rose wines on retail shelves is the first sign that spring has sprung. To some of us the arrival of Rose wine means opening the pool, cleaning off the grill, get the deck ready for days and nights of relaxing outside with a chilled glass of pink and noshing on your favorite seasonal dishes. As with each beginning of Rose season we like to through caution out to all of the mass marketed Rose that swamp the scene to get in on the cash grab. A lot of those wines are just that, a cash grab. With the popularity of Rose wine growing more each year and masses of people becoming more receptive of drinking pink through education and tastings to truly understand what this wine is all about is key. We hear the horror stories of people trying Rose at a restaurant for the first time and it's something too sweet. Probably a favor the restaurant did the sales person, but probably not the best representation of the category.
Rose wine (in a nut shell):
is made from red grapes, press the grapes+clear juice+skin contact= pink wine yadda yadda.
is made in every wine producing region of the world, not just France although France is famous for their Rose wine.
can be drunk after Labor Day
is not sweet...well not intentionally. There are degrees of dryness and fruit. Watch the term "sweet".
Yes, we like to drink it young, BUT there are exceptions to this. Do not be fooled by the marketing machine that we should all be drinking the 2017 vintage of Rose. Yes that is the current vintage being shipped to market, but many of the 2016's that are drinking so much better right now.
Ask questions where ever you are as to what style the Rose wine is, where it comes from, what grapes are used, etc to really dial it down to the best possible wine suited to your palate.
Highlights from our most recent class as we celebrated the beginning of the 2018 Rose Season included:
VRAC Rose from Provence France was your bone dry, ocean air, tart cranberry example of Rose that we come to associate with the category.
Loving this wine!
Bodegas Garzon Pinot Noir Rose from Uruguay was a surprise for most who have never had a wine from Uruguay, let alone a Rose wine from Uruguay. Light and dry with floral and fruit notes, still not sweet.
And then we tried this 2016 Rose from the Langhe region in Piedmont Italy made from the Nebbiolo grape. Montaribaldi makes phenomenal wine in Barolo and Barbaresco which are key regions for Nebbiolo. That being said (there's no guarantee here but given the pedigree there's a high probability for greatness) the wine held up beautifully. There's some tannin left in this wine, nothing mouth ripping and nothing where you'll need a steak to compliment it, but just a nibble to let you know that it's there. Good cherry and plum skins. This was a good example of a Rose wine done right that can be better with some time. Rose from Bandol and Sancerre are other good examples that can be better the following season.
My advice is to ask before you buy. Hopefully the owner(s) have sampled each Rose prior to stocking it on their shelves or pouring it at their restaurant. We've made it a conscious effort to try every Rose before we buy this year. We've even held off on certain producers based on previous years success until we've tried them. Call it quality control, call it skepticism, but we've been fooled before. There's no room to drink bad Rose.
Next Rose class is April 21st! Sign up by clicking on the picture below.