Monday, June 23, 2008

It's Time to Take Rosé Seriously

Rosé wines are the black sheep of the wine world, the relatives that no upstanding grape wants to talk about, and it’s all because of White Zinfandel. White Zin was pumped out of Napa and other parts of California in boxes, barrels, jugs, and regular old wine bottles in the 1970s and 1980s in such massive quantities that it became ubiquitous at suburban progressive dinners, barbecues, and (sad to say) formal events. It gave rosés a very bad name.

It’s time to get over it.

Today’s rosé wines are not at all like the White Zinfandel of the past. They are great wines, and they deserve to be taken seriously.

All over the globe winemakers are putting aside their qualms and taking quality red grapes (like Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Tempranillo, and even Pinot Noir) and vinifying them with minimal skin contact to end up with a wine that combines crispness, roundness, and bright fruit.

The latest rosé that I've had that is worth serious consideration for your dining table is the very good QPR 2006 Jeriko Estates Rosé.($12.99, WineQ). This was a round and full wine, with aromas of juicy strawberries and clean, crisp wet stone. While some rosés can have a strong note of watermelon candy or Jolly Ranchers, this one did not have any melon in the aromas or flavors. Instead, your tongue tingled with the flavor of those tiny strawberries you are sometimes lucky enough to find growing wild. Made with 100% organic Syrah and Grenache grapes, this wine has 14.1% alc/vol, so it is not a wimpy or small wine by any stretch of the imagination.

Rosés go with all kind of summer foods--including hot dogs and our chosen rosé pairing, buffalo chicken wings. They deserve a place on your summer table, chilled but not ice cold, or you won't be able to appreciate their full and flavorful personalities. Today's rosés are definitely not your mother's White Zinfandel, so if you haven't tried a rosé lately, it's time.


Matt said...

I agree that Rose deserves a second glance. I tried to find Jeriko near me, but haven't been successful. I did however enjoy some Mulderbosch Cabernet Rose and did a write up of my experience

I am going to *HAVE* to steal your idea of buffalo chicken wings to pair with. I mentioned that to Robin and she was immediately intrigued with the pairing. I wonder how it would go with some spicy chinese food, like Orange Beef/Chicken or General Tso's Chicken. Will have to test and find out!


Dr. Debs said...

Matt, the Jeriko are very small production wines. However, I'm jealous of the Mulderbosch rose find, which we can't find out here for love nor money. The wings and rose pairing is fantastic. The General Tso might have too much orange. The wine that I've had that went best with that (though they are tough to find!) was a dry muscat blanc. But it has to be DRY (that's the tough part).

Chris Hyde said...

I totally agree with you. I love Rose' wines and hope more people will open their minds and hearts to this style of wine. Mulderbosch is a great wine!