Thanks to Central Market’s Passport France and Rise No. 1’s new “Summer of Rosé” program, the pretty pink wine is the talk of the town. According to several employees at Central Market, a record number of customers bought cases of Rosé during Passport France. (I think the Preston Royal store is putting them on sale soon.) Hedda Dowd, of Rise No. 1, is a big fan of Rosé. She has compiled a unique list of 12 Rosés which she will offer by the bottle, glass, or flight. “They are all French,” Dowd said. “Except for one. My sister, Dominique, and her husband make a Grenache Rosé at their vineyard in California. We have the last ten cases.” Her brother-in-law is Boz Scaggs, a Dallas boy who attended St. Mark’s. The vineyard is Scaggs Vineyards. Dowd says the only other restaurant serving this Rosé is Chez Panisse.
These Rosés are not the sweet stuff your mother used to swill, they are dry and when served with a slight chill they are refreshing and food-friendly. Live a little. The next time you lazily utter Chardonnay, change your mind and say Rosé.
Jump for everything you ever wanted to know about Rosé and the beautiful list created by Rise No. 1.
(And yes, I know some Rosés are made with Pinot Noir grapes.)
is French for pink and of course refers to the color of the wine. Rosé wines are
wines that are produced mostly with methods used to make white wines but with red grapes.
Almost all grapes produce juice that is clear when they are crushed so the red (or rosé!) color of
the wine comes from pigments in the crushed grape skins. Rosé is a quintessential food wine and
while great in the summer, is truly enjoyable 12 months out of the year.
THE ROSÉ COLOR SPECTRUM
To say that all rosé wines are pink is a bit of an over simplification of the matter. In the Provence
region of France where most great rosé comes from, there is an official system of grading the color
of rosé wines. Rosé wines are classified as one of the following colors: Cantaloupe, Peach,
Groseille, Grapefruit, Mango and Mandarin. As you might guess, the color spectrum for rosé
wines ranges from light pink to dark pink to a pinkish-orange hue. Who knew?
THE SWEETNESS MYTH
Here in the States, we are most familiar with White Zinfandel in the pink/rosé wine category.
White Zinfandel is produced in an extremely sweet style and there are literally millions of cases
consumed here every year. The reality is that most rosé wines that are produced outside the
U.S. of A. are not sweet. In fact, they are bone dry. To call them dry is not to suggest that they
don’t have lots of nice fruit; they definitely do. In terms of sweetness however, they are dry in the
sense that all the sugar that was present in the grapes was fermented into alcohol.
Although we tend to take pink wines somewhat for granted (or not think about them at all!), there
are several different methods that can be used in the production of lovely pink wines. High
quality still (non-bubbly) rosés are almost always made via the
is an optional step in the process of producing a red wine from red grapes,
the byproduct of which is slightly tinted grape juice. Saignée is French for ‘bleed’, meaning that as
a batch of crushed red grapes is beginning to ferment, some of the juice is ‘bled’ off out of the
tank when the skins are just beginning to release color to the wine. This method was originally
used to intensify the remaining batch of red wine but wineries soon found that there was a
pleasant and refreshing surprise waiting for them once this slightly tinted wine had finished
method is essentially an exact replication of the white wine production steps but
executed on red grapes. The grapes are fed into a press in which gentle pressure is applied to
them, releasing their juice. The juice is collected below while the skins remain trapped in the
press. This short period of skin contact results in wines that are more delicate and generally
lighter in color.
Lower end rosés are often made by the blending method which introduces some red wine to a
batch of white wine in order to make it pink. It’s good to note that this method is considered
completely acceptable for sparkling rosé production
nº1901 Rene Bouvier, Anthocyane, Marsannay, FRA
Pinot Noir- Saignée Method
nº1902 Château Lamargue, Les Grandes Cabanes, Costièrs de Nimes, FRA
Syrah and Grenache – Saignée Method
nº1903 Château Saint-Pierre de Mejans, Luberon, FRA
Cinsault and Grenache – Direct Press Method
nº245 Domaine La Rouillére, Cuvée Grand Réserve, Côtes de Provence, FRA 2011
Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah- Direct Press Method
nº1904 Domaine du Bagnol, Cassis, FRA
Grenache, Mouvedre and Cinsault – Direct Press Method
nº1905 Château Valcombe, Epicure, Ventoux, FRA
Grenache, Cinsault and Carignan – Direct Press Method
nº1906 Mas de la Dame, Rosé du Mas, Les Baux de Provence, FRA
Grenache, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon – Saignée Method
nº1907 Commanderie de Peyrassol, Côtes de Provence, FRA
Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah – Direct Press Method
nº1908 Château Eperonniere, Loire Valley, FRA
Cabernet Franc – Direct Press Method
nº1909 Scaggs Vineyards, Grenache Rosé, Napa Valley, CA
.Grenache – Direct Press Method