Chef's Corner

Wine Musings: Rosé Wines of Summer

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There was a time in the wine trade when Rosé was “a dirty word.” Why? Because French Rosés were poor in quality, infrequently made, even more infrequently exported to America and out of fashion by consumers. It was a classic: which came first, the chicken or the egg enigma. Were Rosés poor because no one drank them? Or did no one drink them because they were so poor?

This conundrum notwithstanding - gradually there has been a turnaround. Today, Rosés are definitely in vogue and of delightful and often of very great, quality!  Plus, with popularity and audience came variety. With an abundance of Rosés now available not only from Provence, but from all over France, Europe, the Americas and the world, this summer treat is definitely here to stay. (A great selection of summer Rosés is now available on line at morrellwine.com.)

Two of my personal favorites are a fragrant Marsannay (Pinot Noir) Rosé from Domaine Collotte in Burgundy at $18.95 which I plan to serve with each of my next servings of dcuisine Lobster and Corn Chowder, Butternut Squash Bisque and Spicy Thai Chicken with Coconut and Lemongrass. Two other dcuisine entrees that are well complemented by Rosés are our Seafood Cioppino and Yucatan Chicken.

Spanning the color range from pale to deep red rosé, dry but fruity is today’s most popular flavor profile for Rosés, with French Provencal Rosés still leading the way. However, Pinot Noir, Malbec, Merlot, Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Tempranillo varietals, among many others, all lend their aromatic scents and delicious flavor profiles to the possibility of superb Rosé production. As all Rosés are best consumed young, they provide excellent cash flow in what otherwise is a very capital intense wine industry. As most all Rosés are reasonably priced, from as little as $8.99, to the top-of the-line at $49.95, the Rosés of summer await you.

Postscript:  French Champagne as well as sparkling wines from Northern California and Burgundy are also made as Rosés, almost always from the Pinot Noir varietal.

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