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Ros wines sing of summer

Each year, as spring approaches, I say to myself, “this is the year that Americans will rediscover the beauty of rosé wines.” Those who supply us retailers do the same, I’m sure, as we are bombarded every year with a staggering array of rosé wines from all over the globe. The past two years our suppliers have “wised up” a bit, suggesting that we pre-order these wines before they bring them in. That is because each year, as we hope rosé wines will take off, they generally do not. The reasons are many but primary among them is the confusion over what rosé wines actually are. Thanks to a grotesquely warped, oxymoronic miscreant known as “white Zinfandel,” many Americans seem to think that Rosé wines are sweet. In fact, Rose wines can be aromatically intoxicating, dry, lovely, elegant and lively expressions of almost any red grape varietal. They can be remarkably food friendly, excellent patio sippers and a vibrant starter to any party. So, once again, here I am quixotically fighting windmills of misbegotten stereotypes to urge you to try, yes, pink wines. After all, how many of us cut our now purple stained teeth drinking Mateuse or Lancer’s Rosé in college? I plead guilty as charged. So, my rather reluctant friends, allow me to suggest to you three Rosé wines to delve into at your leisure, should you be so bold as to try.

2008 Monmousseau Rosé D’Anjou, France, $13.99

This wine is honed from an indigenous Loire Valley varietal called Grolleau, with a little Cabernet Franc blended in. The nose is very floral, showing violets mingling with melon and some lemon peel. The palate is elegant, soft at the middle and teases with strawberry and more melon. The finish is very crisp and mouthwatering, with a zingy acidity. This is a very sexy and refreshing wine. It should pair well with anything from salads with goats cheese to Asian foods.

2009 Casal Garcia Vinho Verde Rosé, Portugal, $9.99

Here’s a fun, zippy little Rosé that is perfect for a spring or summer brunch or lunch. I won’t bore you the names of the grapes. Suffice to say unless you’re Portuguese you will not have heard of them, let alone be able to pronounce them. This Rosé has just a hint of “spritziness” to it, giving it a lively nose and palate. It is gracefully possessed of supple red fruits, beautifully balanced acidity and that teasing hint of effervescence. Being a little lower in alcohol, it is perfect for brunch omelets, quiches, salads, delicate white fishes and soft cheeses.

Segura Viudas “Aria” sparkling Pinot Noir, Spain, $11.99

If this were French it would be Blanc De Noir and it would be two or three times the price. From its lovely salmon color to its nose of toast lightly dusted with raspberry jam and on to its frothy palate of delicate strawberries, this Rosé sparkler delivers far more than its modest price. It is made just like Champagne as well, so who needs a reason to drink it. Just pop in with someone special and enjoy it.

My quest being Quixotic or not, I do hope you find the time and inclination to try Rosé wines as we move from spring to summer. These wines simply sing of summer, from their fresh, lively noses to their clean, crisp and sexy palates.

‘nuff said, Joe Scutella 

Joe Scutella is general manager and buyer for Mallory Lane Wine & Spirits at 3070 Mallory Lane next to Sam’s Club.

Posted on: 4/21/2010


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