Rosé all day

Just pick the one that fits your palate

While I enjoy many varieties of wine, rosé is far and away my favorite. It’s a tough sell, though, because for many it conjures memories of overtly sweet fridge boxed wine or those big jugs of pink wine sold by the gallons in the ’70s and ’80s. Technically white zinfandel is a rosé, but it’s very sweet and, I should add, still very popular. Sutter Home White Zin is probably most people’s gateway wine! But the rosé I want you to try is dry and fresh and absolutely mouthwatering. When poured into a glass, it’s simply gorgeous: the pinkish-coral hue, the immediate slight chill of condensation on the glass. It’s sexy.

There are many styles of rosé, and there is surely one to fit your palate. Rosé is made from red grapes (any varietal will do) and has so many different flavor profiles and also quite a range of color. You can find them from just barely pink to coral to lush strawberry. Some rosés are bright, crisp and clean, such as a Sangiovese rosé. Others, from the Syrah grape, have more of a red wine profile – a deeper structure and bigger body. Rosé wine is made when the red grape skins are left in the tank with the wine for only a day or two, then the skins are discarded for the rest of fermentation. The winemaker decides when to remove the skins, which impart the color.

My favorite rosés come from all over. A to Z is a Sangiovese rosé from Oregon that tastes like strawberries. I like Château de Campuget rosé; it’s a pale blush in color and tastes fantastically like raspberries and black currants. It’s a blend of Syrah and Grenache from the Southern France region of Languedoc. St. Supery, from Napa, makes a delightful rosé that bursts with flavors of watermelon and strawberries and raspberries. Another great rosé from Provence is called Miraval. Aromas of dried citrus, white pepper and pomegranate dominate – oh yeah, it’s owned by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, so there’s the star factor, too. The greatest thing about rosé is the price. You can find a great bottle for $10-$15 and a stellar bottle for $20.

You can also make cocktails with rosé. Or sangria. I made a sangria a few years ago using Charles Smith rosé: one bottle of wine, 4 ounces of brandy, 3 ounces simple syrup and one cup mixed chunks of seeded oranges, lemons and limes. Combine everything into a pitcher and chill four to eight hours.

Head bartender Patti Nix of The Golden has created a cocktail using rosé wine called the Emily Rose. She even brought in roses from her garden.

Emily Rose: 2 ounces of New Amsterdam vodka, ½ ounce Combier Rose liqueur, ½ ounce fresh lemon juice, ¼ ounce simple syrup, 1½ ounces of rosé. Shake and serve up; garnish with rose petals. Cheers! 

First appeared in August 2016 issue of Fort Wayne Magazine.

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