As a red wine drinker, I find that when I feel like something chilled on a warm day and turn to a Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, it seems as if there’s something missing. I’ve come to the conclusion that drinking pink is the only way to go.
The majority of rosé wines are made from a red grape varietal. A rosé is a wine that incorporates color from the grape skins, but not enough to qualify it as a red wine. Rosé wines can have a wide range of sweetness levels from bone-dry Provençal rosé to sweeter flavors and blushes. The shorter the contact time with the skins, the lighter the wine’s color will be. Extended time with juice and skins yields color variations from vibrant orange-y pink to a hot pink. Draining off some of the juice from a red wine during its very early stages of fermentation, then placing it in a fermenter and finishing the process is called saignée (“to bleed”) and it also nicely concentrates the original red wine. Sparkling rosés are traditionally made with a blend of red and white grapes.
The beauty of rosé wines is that they are made with almost any red grape. Hence, pick the grapes you enjoy most and find a bottle that is made from that grape. Some of the most popular types are Merlot, Pinot Noir and Cabernets. However, you can find rosé Tempranillo from Spain and Sangiovese from Italy (or from California).
Rosés are known for their strawberry and raspberry aromas and flavors, as well as their versatility for any occasion: brunch, picnics, appetizers, BBQs and dinner parties. They are served chilled, making them a great accompaniment to a variety of warm weather fare. Our favorite thing to do is to serve a rosé with appetizers, such as cheese and crackers or hummus and pita. Rosé tends to have a light body and delicate flavors, making it a great picnic wine with chicken, roast beef sandwiches and potato salad. Or, some of the best BBQs include ribs and grilled chicken accompanied with a cold glass of dry rosé.
Buyer’s 2014 Picks: Rosé
Our wine buyer, Mark, has selected some of his favorite wines for your next warm weather meal out in the backyard or at the table with your friends and family. Be sure to try the following excellent rosés from this year’s offerings:
- Charles de Fère Rosé (France): A blend of Cabernet Franc, Cot and Groslot varietals from the Loire Valley.
- Jean-Luc Colombo Rosé (France): Made from the Southern Rhone blend of Syrah and Mourvedre, rated 88 points by Wine Enthusiast Best Buys.
- Apaltagua Carmenere Rosé (Chile): Made from 100% Carmenere grapes.
- Louis Bernard Côtes de Provence Rosé (France): Côtes de Provence is a region known for rosé production. Blends include Cinsault, Mourvedre and Carignan grapes.
- Simonnet-Febvre Brut Rosé (France): This sparkling wine, called “Crémant,” is from the Loire Valley and is made with 100% Pinot Noir grapes.
Get all of your food staples at Mollie Stone’s Markets or order delivery to your door through Instacart.
Be sure to share your favorite summer recipes with us in the comments below! Don’t forget to share your photos with us by posting onto our Facebook page or using the hashtag #SayCheersWithMollies on Instagram or Twitter.
Have a great summer!