Rosé Über Alles

June 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

My Portland Press Herald wine column this week is on rosé. Does anyone at this point need to be told how great rosé is? Not all of it, of course (just like reg’lar red and white wine, goshdarnit), but man can you get some delicious wine at $15 and under. In my usual way, I got a little carried away as I wrote, and so I wrote too long, and some chunks of the article got edited out. For you masochists, the excised portions are below. Read that, then link to the article and get busy! I mean, that lawn ain’t gonna mow itself…and afterwards, that fridge ain’t gonna open itself and that glass ain’t gonna fill itself. But all that’s a cruel joke unless you buy several bottles and keep ’em chilled!

(By the way, sorry about the formatting problems in the article. Seems the newspaper’s online sector can’t handle foreign-language accent marks and so when they’re in there it gums up the works.)

With the sun finally out and plenty of spring cleaning and maintenance tasks to be taken on (after which a refreshing beverage is called for), it’s time for rosé. There are an extraordinarily high number of rosés available now – many of them very, very good – and this column is in no way comprehensive. There are so many good rosés out there that I haven’t tasted, and even some of the very good ones I have tasted are not mentioned below. (Additionally, my list betrays a European bias that’s not entirely fair, as more New World winemakers embrace the rosé genre.) That’s how bountiful the scene is right now: enough different delicious rosés that you could explore from now until September and never grow bored.

I’m not going to spend more than this measly paragraph “arguing the case” for rosé. If you still think of this category as “blush” wines made in a supersweet, unbalanced White Zin style; if you’re such a Big Guy that it’s only Big Reds for you: catch up with us, buddy! I’ve converted many people to rosé just by having them close their eyes before I hand them a glass. Rosé is made from red-wine grapes where the crushed fruit stays in contact with its skins for less than 18 hours. Whatever hang-ups you have concerning “girly” colors or fresh red fruits, get over them.

They’re not just for summer, either. It’s a cliché to note how perfectly rosés work with Thanksgiving and other harvest-time fare, but these wines are for any time you want something very vibrant and exciting to drink. The lighter styles do thrive in warm months, though: casual, cobbled meals are just the thing for most pink wines, as are grilled vegetables and white meats, crab salad or lobster rolls, tomatoes, salads with beans or greens, and fresh cheeses like mozzarella or feta. Deeper styles are great with burgers or pasta alla Bolognese: Food with blood and/or tomatoes goes great with dark rosés.

Again, here’s the link.

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