Is It Rosé Season Yet? The long and short answer is; yes! Essentially it is okay to drink any wine during any season. That said, I prefer to drink my wine seasonally. I prefer to eat and drink seasonally but I live in New England and we have definite seasons. Regardless, this is the time to order your Rosé wine.
Rosé wine made a resurgence several years ago and is no longer your grandmother’s sweet pink wine. It can run from bone-dry Provençal rosé to sweet White Zinfandels and blushes. Rosé wines are made from a wide variety of grapes and can be found all around the globe. I prefer a dry rosé, usually made with a blend of consisting of at least Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, and Mourvedre or perhaps Cab Franc grapes. This gives a nice dry rosé with enough fruit to pair easily with the foods of Spring and Summer. The fruit notes in this rosé will lean towards the strawberry and peach, the color is usually a pale to medium pink. This blend is usually found in a rosé coming from France. I found an exceptional rosé using this blend (sans the Cab Franc, using a Rolle grape instead) several years ago, right before the rosé boom. Unfortunately the wine I found became very, very popular and is now becoming a bit too expensive for my rosé budget. I’m talking about the ever famous “Whispering Angel” Thus said, I’m on the hunt for a replacement. This type of hunting can be extremely fun.
Rosé comes in styles ranging from sparkling to very dry to sweet. The color does not determine the style, it comes from the maceration of the grape. Just like red wine, the clear grape juice is soaked with the grape skins, but for a shorter length of time thus imparting the lighter, rosier color. It has the depth of red wine character, but more delicate in taste and body. Some people will say a chilled rosé is the red wine drinker’s wine of the summer. I think with the dryer versions coming onto the market, many rosé emulate a pinot gris or even a white bordeaux.
Other rosé wines, those coming from Spain (Rosado) and Italy (Rosato) have a bit more body and color. The newer Rosados, like most of the newer Spanish wines, are becoming very good and are on my radar. They are not as well known and do not sell out as quickly, making them easier to procure. Unfortunately, most rosé wines are not made for storing in the cellar for years on end so what is purchased this year should be consumed within the next two years. So, even though you should stock up on what you like – you’ll need to restock next year – which is why it’s time to order your Rosé!
Because we like our rosé wine on the dry side and we generally drink it from April to September, we usually pair it with Spring and Summer seasonal foods; grilled fish, chicken, pasta, veggies. All fruits, especially red fruits, and most cheeses go exceptionally well with the dry rosé wines. We usually sit on the deck with some honeyed goat cheese and a wine jelly. We’re fortunate to live near the Potlicker Kitchen, maker of jellies made with Vermont Beer and Wine. If you don’t have any of the Potlicker Kitchen Jellies, you can substitute with a whole fruit (little to no sugar added) jelly. Put the goat cheese on a plate and put a couple of spoonfuls of the jelly alongside the cheese. Spread the two on a light cracker or bread. This will bring out the best of your rosé wine.
If you prefer a medium bodied rosé wine, such as those from the warmer climates of Spain and Italy, you should enjoy lamb, paella or barbecue with these wines.
A full bodied Cabernet based rosé will go well with spicy food and Thai food.
I would save the sweeter rosé wines for after dinner or perhaps a brunch or as an Apéritif.
Serve all rosé wines chilled, about at 45-55 °F or 7-13 °C.
Embrace the promise of Spring and the warmer weather, order your rosé wine now and be prepared for that first hint of the longer days and the fresh breeze off the flower garden. I’m looking at Bodegas Muga Rioja Rosé, from Spain to start the season with and perhaps will try the Casal Garcia Vinho Verde Rosé, NV, from Portugal to move into the warmer summer months. The Vinho Verde will keep this wine crisp. Which rosé will you be ordering?