Most wine enthusiasts dismiss rose wines with a shrug and say “they are for picnics”.
They are for sure, but they also go very well with al fresco lunches on hot days, and even with fine meals if chosen with due care.
Rose wines have been around since time immemorial; they are light red leaning to blush (an English term to describe light pink) and refreshing if made expertly.
In southern France, Provence is famous for its rose wines, but Cotes du Rhone, Languedoc, Loire, and now even Bordeaux produce respectable roses.
Fine rose wines are made using red grapes (Grenache, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, zinfandel, syrah, pinot noir, malbec, and mourvedre aka monastrell with a short maceration period.
Some wineries blend white and red wines to achieve the rose colour. In France this practice is against the law. Blended rose wines offer little enjoyment and are dull in taste.
Then there is pelure d’oignon (onion skin) wines usually made from pinot gris aka pinot grigio and grauburgunder. Pelure d’oignon roses are very light and can be appealing with appropriate foods providing they possess an adequate acidity.
Blush wines are very pale roses produces by a very short fermentation period. The first blush wine was made by the then winemaker of Sutter Home Winery in Napa Valley. At the time zinfandel grapes were inexpensive, abundant, and the market was more apt to liking off dry very pale but fruity wines. Blush zinfandel was a big success and generated untold amount of profits to the winery.
Then there is rose de saigne, which is extracted from a still red wine must in an attempt to concentrate the colour and taste of the red wine, and obtain a flavourful rose.
Sparkling rose wines are also quite popular. There is rose champagne, which is now very popular, and made by blending white and red wines. In Champagne the law allows blending of red and white wines for rose.
Practically all countries that produce sparkling wine also produce rose sparkling wines.
They go with light dishes i.e pan-fried or poached seafood, pizzas, pastas, risottos, paella, ratatouille, and medium cheeses.
Ideally sparkling rose wines should be served at 8 – 10 C, and flute shaped glasses.
The Vintages division of the L C B O offers at least a few rose wines every release. During summer months the number of rose offerings increase.
On May 11 Vintages will release 10 rose wines of which the following are highly recommended:
Rose 2012 Chateau Bellevue La Foret, Fronton, France
0219840 $ 13.95
Rose De Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Mulderbosch South Africa
0999821 $ 12.95
Bardolino Chiaretto 2012, Zenato, Veneto, Italy
|Writer – Hrayr Berberoglu – E-mail – Read his books?
Professor B offers seminars to companies and interested parties on any category of wine, chocolates, chocolates and wine, olive oils, vinegars and dressings, at a reasonable cost.