Ahh feeling pink today… signs of spring are beginning to blossom. My porch beckons me to sit in the sunshine and sip pink wine again. Many wineries are releasing their rose wines in time for the upcoming holiday so I was excited to sip, savor, and share what I found.
I love to don my teaching cap so allow me this indulgence in anticipation of a holiday designed for indulgences. Some people assume by the color that a pink wine will be soft or sweet. Perhaps this false premise is based on an outdated white zin trend. But rose wines are crisp refreshing wines like white wines made out of red grapes.
Most are designed to be served chilled like a white yet far more robust since they are dry (not sweet) and may contain some tannins from the grape skins. You see, all red wines get their color from time spent on grape skins. Most red wines spend months or weeks on the skins while rose wines only spend hours. But can be as robust and indulgent as a red wine and pair with equally rich foods.
Traditionally, rose wines were made out of grenache or pinot noir but can be made out of any red grape. I’ve had delightfully cherry and strawberry driven rose wines made out of barbera. A rose made out of syrah usually has a hint of that hallmark cranberry flavor. Some of the biggest and boldest are made out of tempranillo.
Adding to the crimson images the holiday evokes, saignee rose wines have an extra oomph. Saignee is the French term meaning “to bleed” and is also a method used by some rose producers to bleed off a portion of their red wine juice after some skin and seed contact to increase the proportion of skins to juice in the remaining liquid, making it more concentrated. Savvy winemakers use the byproduct of this method, the saignee, to produce a rose wine with character and depth.
Rose Wines To Try
All the wines this family makes are terrific. I don’t even know if they still have a rose. But I was just reminded by my friend Hooter that their rose was her first. It made her take a double take at this type of wine designed for warmer poolside or porchtop sipping. She still fondly remembers her first. Do you remember your first rose? If so, please post below.
Cloak and Dagger Wines just released a saignee style rose wine in time for the bloody holiday. Theirs had a slightly chewy texture with flavors of red raspberry and cherry.
Sea Shell Cellars is coming out with their newest vintage of this fabulously rich and complex wine and restaurants are anxious to get their cases delivered. This grenache rose has long been a great pairing for a feast because of its broad mouthfeel on the palate. I was invited to an exclusive tasting of their new vintage and was impressed by its bright red strawberry and cherry flavors on the mid palate with vanilla on the finish that will get longer after a few days in the bottle. Let me know if you’d like me to try a new vintage of your wine.
This rose was caveman approved! Big bold and bright. Well done with any steak.
This rose made from syrah grapes has broad flavors of strawberry and cherry. They offer a darker pink that has a slight frizzante mouthfeel.
The scent of this wine lured me in, making my mouth water. It felt soft and supple on the palate with tartness that reached the deep pockets of my cheeks. A slight floral fragrance could make it really nice with many cuisines like Thai noodles or curried chicken, yet it is big and bold enough for a robust steak dinner. Taste the potential of Monterey County.