I ain’t talkin’ about the Rosé served in a caraf at Beefsteak Charlie’s or the stuff you filled from a spigot in college that said Rosé or Blush. Those wines certainly have their place, and have always sold well, regardless of the headache they give you in the morning.
We’re heading in a totally different direction here. We’re not in high school or college anymore, we have real jobs and relationships that last longer than a full keg at a fraternity party, so put down that funnel filled with beer from an eight-dollar 30 pack and get ready to be enlightened about the world of wine…without all the stuffiness and pretension that can prevail at times in this business.
The Rosé I’m talking about is now produced around the world from many different varietals and can go from a light pink to an almost purple color. The depth of color all depends on how long the must (grape skins, seeds and stems) stays in contact with the grape juice—typically it’s two or three days.
An area of the world I love for Rosé is Provence, France with its beautiful landscape. The typical grapes used to make Rosé are grenache, cinsaut and a local red grape called tibouren.
Don’t focus too much on the weird grape names. We’re ultimately interested in the end result. The grapes, soil and dry hot Mediterranean climate that ends at the shores of the famed French Riviera offer up a Rosé with snappy fruit and a dry palate cleansing finish.
Rosé lends itself to being a natural companion to summertime foods and outdoor barbecues, where plates are overflowing with a variety of flavors.
I love Rosé with a grilled burger with garlic aioli (see recipe below) slathered all over—it’s an outrageous mouth-filling artery-clogging good time. All washed down with a nice Rosé.
Sure you might get laughed at by your friends…but it will be well worth it. Try Rosé with any mix of the healthy Mediterranean style dishes and recipes that you may have. Or better yet whip out a bottle of Rosé the next time you’re having cheese and crackers. Rosé goes great with Asiago, Brie, Camembert, Manchego, Fontina, and the king of all cheese Parmesiano Regiano.
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large egg
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 turns freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
Combine the garlic, egg, lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender and puree. Add the oil in a slow stream and continue to process until the mixture has formed a thick emulsion. Then add a couple of dashes of your favorite hot sauce.
Great Rose Sangria
2 (750- ml) bottles your favorite rose wine
1 (750-ml) bottle sparkling water or club soda
3/4 to 1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 cup diced strawberries
1 cup diced nectarines or peaches
2 navel oranges, juiced
1 lemon, juiced
In a large 1-gallon pitcher, combine all ingredients and stir well to combine and dissolve the sugar. Refrigerate until ready to serve. John Noakes is the owner of Off the Vine, a wine shop that recently opened in Norwalk at 1 Spring Hill Ave.