More than just the happy accident some viticulturists may suggest, rosé wines can be extraordinarily complex and completely enjoyable. Perfect food pairings range from creamy seafood dishes to spicy grilled sausages to long-smoked baby back pork ribs generously slathered in a mouth-watering vinegar-based sauce; even Buffalo chicken wings with creamy Bleu Cheese dressing!
Ranging in color and clarity from the palest of pinks to an almost copper hue, there are a couple of methods out there to produce this very tasty vino.
Maceration is the traditional method for making both roses and reds; the crushed grapes are left to sit on their black, purple, or red skins for as little as one hour to as long as a week – the longer this maceration, the deeper the color and more flavorful the finished product. Red wine can be left to macerate for many months receiving frequent stirring to mix up the floating skins!
‘Bleeding’ (or as the French call it: the saignée method) drains off a portion of the un-fermented juice part way through maceration to intensify and concentrate the wine that is intended to produce a denser red wine. Historically, this bled-off stuff was simply dumped down the drain but now, it has come to produce a rose of particularly deep color and spicy undertones. Rose of Cabernet, Rose of Pinot Noir, and Rose of Mourvedre are three wines with dry, complex, and spicy personalities. Rose of Zinfandel should not be confused with White Zinfandel. The former is characterized by a plush mouth-feel, fig and plum flavors, and a silky finish. The latter is known for its simple sweet strawberry presentation and short, light finish.
Three regions in France are known for producing beautiful roses and we stock two of them: Côtes du Rhône and Provence. The third appellation, Tavel, is a product of the Loire Valley and is a completely delicious rose, we simply do not have the room to modify our shelves to accommodate the tall, conical-shaped bottles characteristic of these Tavels.