Happy Independence Day!
I hope you all have something in the works for tonight! Get it? Works? Fireworks?
Photos courtesy of Madison Fender and Croteaux Vineyard
I am all about the misunderstood wallflowers of food and beverage. At one point they had their time to shine, and somehow some mean girl’s rumor destroyed their reputation. Or maybe they’re just a little weird, and we don’t give them a fair shot at proving their place in our lives. Now, I finally have a venue to stick up for them. My audience may be relatively small, but I am hoping that it starts a chain reaction that will help get them the attention they deserve. The first misunderstood wallflower that came to mind is Rosé.
Let’s start by lifting the mean girl rumor…
- Not all Rosés are sweet.
It is completely understandable that we associate rosé with sweetness. Pink things just seem like they would be sweet from a visual/psychological standpoint, and there was a weird time in the 80’s when sweet “blush” wine was a thing. If this is what you thought, should discard all these preconceived notions and maybe stop listening to the mean girl. She’s probably just jealous. There are a LOT of dry and off-dry rosés that will make you fall in love at first sip.
Some more things you should know…
- Rosé is made from red wine grapes. (Usually.)
Rosé is not made from pink grapes. But that is an adorable thing I keep hearing, and if anyone finds pink grapes please send them to me, post haste. Rosé is actually made from red wine grapes! The end result is pink because the juice of the grapes only sits in with the red skins for a few hours, as supposed to the usual weeks or months. The pigment of a grape only exists in its skins, and the juice and fruit inside is always white. Try peeling a red and green/white grape…samesies! Some rosés are made from blending red and white juice as well, but this method is a bit less common. Both methods yield great wines.
- Rosé is a versatile food partner.
Rosé can be a complex, refreshing, and balancing addition to a wide variety of food. My favorite things to enjoy with a dry rosé are seafood, cured ham products (proscuitto and the like), and even cheeses. Salty items really bring out the complexity in dry to off-dry rosé, so I LOVE ordering up a cold bottle of rosé when I am parked at the raw bar. Don’t get the impression that I can afford to do this often, but when I do…I don’t speak to anyone. It’s just me and my misunderstood friend getting down on some oysters.
- Sparkling rosé is an awesome alternative bubbly.
- How do I pick a good rosé?
As “cop-out-ish” of a response as this may seem, flip through a wine periodical for this one. They are the pros, after all. They will tell you the level of drynesss or lack thereof, list a few tasting notes and flavor profiles, and the retail price. The rating is not as important as the list of flavors, as wine taste is very, very personal. I would not recommend ordering your first rosé at a restaurant because you will pay a markup of upwards of 200%, so if you end up not liking it…it’s gonna sting a little. There are a lot of great rosés from the Provence region in France, and if you’re from New York or the Northeast I would highly recommend trying some rosés from the North Fork region.
Give rosé and chance tonight, be safe and have a happy fourth!