The trees are green and flowers are popping up out of the ground. It’s the season to entertain outside on the deck, feel the warm sun on your cheeks and uncork a bottle of rosé. Fruity and chill, festive and refreshing, rosé is a wine for any occasion but especially for get-togethers this time of year. As a matter of fact, there’s never been a better time to drink pink.
If you haven’t jumped on the rosé bandwagon it could be because there are some misconceptions about rosé. The biggest is the myth that rosé is a sweet wine and though it sometimes can be, it mostly is not. Rosé lovers look for wines with fresh acidity (so that they go well with food) and fruity aromas and flavors without the extra sugar that some producers added back in the 70’s. Ask the wine expert at your local Heinen’s for suggestions but it’s a general rule that old world rosés (Europe) are drier or less sweet than new world (US, Australia, South America) wines. Some of the most famous rosé is grown and produced in the south of France in Provence. These wines are almost always dry and pair beautifully with the foods produced in the region such as olives, tomatoes, goat cheese, ham, nuts and fruits. Try it at your next barbecue. There’s such a broad spectrum of density and weight to rosés that you can find one to pair with just about anything from grilled fish to barbecued ribs.
Another myth is that rosé is a blend of red and white wine which is not the case. To make rosé, red grapes are lightly crushed and left for anywhere from a few hours to a few days with the skin which colors the juice and imparts that signature blush color. The longer the skins contact with the juice, the deeper the color. So you will find rosé in many shades of pink, salmon and even a rusty shade.
Rosé is made all over the world and with many different types of grape. Most are made from a blend of grapes such as Grenache, Sangiovese, Syrah, Mourvedre and Pinot Noir. The biggest producers of rosé are France, Spain, Italy and the United States but there are also fine producers from South America and Australia. As rosé becomes more popular (and it is growing rapidly) we can expect that rosé will be produced in even more regions worldwide.
Yet another reason to drink rosé is that it tastes best when fresh so there is no shame in drinking last year’s label. Rosé doesn’t age well and should be drunk within a few years of being bottled. So what are you waiting for? Drink up.
The last but not least attribute of rosé is the price. Unlike Cabernet and Pinot Noir whose bottle prices can climb into the stratosphere, rosé is a wine for the little guy with most bottles available for under $20. Since vintners don’t have to age it, rosé doesn’t cost as much to make as other wines and that price break is passed down to the consumer. Lucky us.
Perhaps the best time to open a bottle of rosé is in the late afternoon when work is done and a long lazy evening is ahead of you. Perched outside with a little cheese and crackers, that’s when I really have a crush for blush. Or on a Wednesday night because the weekend is close and I’ve sautéed a few chicken breasts and tossed a salad to go with. Opportunities to savor rosé abound. Make this spring and summer the time to discover yours.
Summer is right around the corner and we’ve got a wide selection of premium rosés that are perfect for your every entertaining need. Swing by the wine department at your local Heinen’s to check out our full selection.
Need help deciding? Want to learn more about rosé? Just ask our knowledgeable Wine Consultants and they’ll gladly help in making the perfect selection.