Think Pink – Rosé Wines for Spring

This month’s wine focus in on all things rose, pink, and pretty, in honor of spring and that first blush of summer that we know is on its way.

These wines are regularly misunderstood as being sweet and cloying. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Rosé wines are a lighter version of existing varietals like Syrah, Shiraz, or Grenache, with the color differential occurring because the skins aren’t left on as long during the maceration process. Most rosés are dry to off-dry, and can be a refreshing option, especially as summer heat approaches.

Here are our first 3 recommendations, just in time for the holiday.

Les Deux Rives Corbières Rosé 2011 – Corbières, France

This wine is a blend of Cinsault, Syrah, and Grenache-a very easy to drink young wine. According to the winemaker, Les Deux Rives is from the best vineyards of the Val d’Orbieu, the most acclaimed wine company in the Languedoc region of France.  The name, Les Deux Rives, refers to the twin banks of the Canal du Midi built in 1600 by Louis XIV to help develop the economy of southern France.

Drinkability and palate

This rosé is a nice, bright, medium strawberry shade. The nose reminded us of a small bouquet of red and black berries-unexpected for a rosé (more for a red). Flavors were of blackberry, black currants, strawberry and raspberry. It opened nicely, and kept a full palate, with a final tart note on the end. This is a dry rosé, light, but not watered down, and could make for a nice opener to serve for a brunch or during appetizers for a summer dinner party.

Pairing

Seafood, creamy dishes, crab Chantilly, and lighter dishes will all pair nicely with this wine.

What’s in it

Finished Alcohol: 12.5%

Grape Varieties: Cinsault (15%), Syrah (35%) and Grenache (50 %)

What we thought

For the price, this was a great wine. Coming in at $10.99 on Wine.com, this wine is worth buying for a summer party or just to enjoy out on the porch for a sunset cocktail.

Valdo Nerello Mascalese Brut Rosé – Valdobbiadene, Italy

Made in the Prosecco D.O.C. production area, Valdo was started in 1926 by the Societa Anonima Vini Superiori & purchased by The Bolla Family in the 1940’s. This Spumante Rosé is from two Italian vines, the Sicilian black berry Nerello Mascalese, and Glera, the fruity grapes from the Veneto region. The addition of Nerello Mascalese is primarily for color, but you can detect hints of clay and limestone ever so slightly, which is typical of Nerello Mascalese.

Drinkability and palate

This rosé is a nice, bright, medium strawberry shade. The nose reminded us of a small bouquet of red and black berries-unexpected for a rosé (more for a red). Flavors were of blackberry, black currants, strawberry and raspberry. It opened nicely, and kept a full palate, with a final tart note on the end. This is a dry rosé, light, but not watered down, and could make for a nice opener to serve for a brunch or during appetizers for a summer dinner party.

Pairing

Once again, we’d recommend, creamy dishes, seafood, and lighter fare for this wine. Light citrus based desserts could be a good match, and the color of this wine lends itself perfectly to a bridal shower or wedding brunch.

We actually poured a bit of this sparkling wine into a shrimp risotto, and were very pleased with the result.

What’s in it

Grape Varieties: Nerello Mascalese, Glera

Finished Alcohol: 12%

What we thought

This wine is currently out of stock on Wine.com, but when it’s in, the under $14 price point makes it budget friendly and a great every day celebration wine.

Chateâu de Jau Vignobles Dauré, Le Jaja de Jau 2010- Languedoc, France

From the importer:  “The rebuilding of the vineyards at Château de Jau, overseen by winemaker Estelle Dauré, represents some of the most ambitious and exciting work undertaken in the Roussillon in the last twenty years.  Old vines were torn out, and stones turned up crushed, creating a new environment for these grapes to be cultivated in.”

“JAJA” is a slang for the region’s delicious full-flavored, everyday wines. It is the house selection in local bistros and restaurants in this area of France.

Drinkability and palate

This rosé is jammy, and rich in red berry fruit notes like raspberry and strawberry, with a hint of cherries and  currant. It has a nose of pepper with vanilla, and hints of pear on the end. It’s dry, crisp finish, and the screw cap makes it a nice easy addition to a picnic basket or trip to the beach. Chill well, and let this wine open a bit before you drink it. It will be worth the wait.

Pairing

We like this wine with a cold curried chicken salad, or chicken francese served with asparagus and hollandaise.

What’s in it

Grape Varieties:  100% Syrah

What we thought

This rosé drinks quite similar to a pinot noir, or a lighter red. It’s not heavy, but certainly has enough body to stand up to flavorful dishes and pairings. It’s a steal at less than $10 a bottle. (PS: this wine was featured on Martha Stewart’s radio show last year.)

If you can’t find these wines at your local or online retailer, print out this article and take it to your local wine shop. They’ll be sure to match your tastes up to what’s available.

Thanks again to Pasternak Wine Imports for allowing us to feature some of the most affordable roses on the market.

About Editor

Cassandra Rosen is the co-founder and Editor for Crave Local Media Network, an internationally recognized food, wine, and lifestyle blog. With a diverse career spanning from advisory for US and international hedge funds, followed by nearly a decade in design and architecture, Cassandra has put her expertise at understanding buyer purchasing patterns and strategic partnerships to work for highly successful startups, as well as Fortune 500 brands. Along with her husband, she is now co-founder and lead partner at FK Interactive, a wine and spirits brand consulting and product development agency, located in Winter Park, Florida. She specializes in consumer analytics and strategic partnerships, and believes in supporting startups, whenever possible.

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