A Valentine Rose Pronounced Like Jose

Posted: Feb 14, 2017

Rosé Pronounced Like José

There was a time when if you said "Rosé", thoughts of sweet, fruity, one dimensional wines came to mind. We all remember Portugal's Mateus and the slightly spritzy Lancer's. They even came in distinctive bottles to make them all that more recognizable. Then came White Zinfandel. Of course white zinfandel is not white and the zinfandel grape is really black, but what the heck, "White Zinfandel" just rolled off the tongues of American consumers brought up on Coca Cola and Heinz Ketchup. Pink, sweet and cold, it became the quaff of millions, and from my perspective "so what, at least it was a start", "they weren't drinking iced tea anymore," "you have to start somewhere!" and so, millions of wine drinkers were born.

Today the Rosé sold in most serious wine shops is an entirely different animal. Dry, or with just a hint of sweetness, these wines offer character, refreshment, and the ability to pair with a wide variety of dishes. They also make great aperitifs. When your outside grilling that T-Bone on a scorching summer day, what would you rather be sipping, that big Cabernet Sauvignon that you plan to serve with the steak, or a cold, crisp, dry Rosé, stimulating your appetite in anticipation of what's yet to come? When you sit down to enjoy that steak, of course enjoy that Cabernet, but until then a dry Rosé fit's the bill perfectly.

Rosé is also very fashionable. When I'm at the restaurant working the tables and I'm serving a bottle of Rosé, I like to mention to my guests that they're drinking what thousands on the Côte d'Azure are also enjoying at that same moment. One fond memory is having a 1/2 bottle of Bandol Rosé in Cassis, on the terrace of a restaurant overlooking the Mediterranean. It was my starter wine, enjoyed with a plate of friture, small fried fish, eaten like french fries, dipped in garlicky aioli. Wow!

Almost all Rosé is meant to be consumed young. Freshness is part of it's charm. While tasting at Chateau Margui in Provence, I asked owner Philippe Guillanton how long he thought his Rosé could be drunk? "Until the next vintage comes out" was his reply. Enough said! Rosé is released in the spring following it's harvest. That's the vintage you want. You might see older Roses on sale occasionally, but would you buy old bread just because it's 1/2 the price? The same with Rosé. Drink it young. Drink it fresh.

Rosé is also a great wine for red wine drinkers. Because it's made from red grapes, it offers some of the red grape's characteristics, but in a lighter, less tannic style. This also makes for a wide range of pairing options. Most things grilled; fish, vegetables and even meat, are great matches for Rosé. Rosé also works well with salty or lightly smoked foods like salmon, brandade and tapenade. I also love it with cheese, and the fruitier styles work great with spicy foods like Mexican or Thai.

Many red wine producing vineyards make a Rosé. The great zinfandel producer Biale, in the Napa Valley, makes a very good one. Even so I'm partial to the French. I enjoy the dry, elegant style, laced with subtle nuance that is so often found in Provence.

Each spring I anxiously await the new Rosé releases. Each new vintage brings a fresh, new, wine sipping experience, and I look forward to enjoying these wines throughout the summer months.

Anton's Picks,

$Mas de Gourgonnier, France
$$ Chateau Margui, France
$$ Robert Biale, Napa Valley
$$$ Domaine Bunan Bandol Rose, France

Source: Please Contact Anton Maletich Here

Source: Source: Linda M. Barrett Productions

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