Join Alison Kent of the Home Kitchen and Barb Wild of Good Wine Gal as they explore the world of Rosé Wines throughout the Month of May over this 5-week Series!
Welcome to Rosé All May!
This is a 5-week journey that I decided to share with all of YOU curious wine enthusiasts!!. I’m not a huge fan of White Wines – perhaps I just haven’t found the right one (Blanche Toute Août?!), so Rosé has quickly become my summertime go-to. BUT I find I can be disappointed opening a nicely chilled bottle if it’s too watery (no distinguishable flavors), or too sweet. I decided it was time to approach this SCIENTIFICALLY-ish by taste-testing as many Rosés as I could handle in May, preparing me with a fantastic short list for summer sipping that will surely never disappoint!
My knowledge of wine in general is pretty limited, and I use ‘regular people’ words to describe my experience. This isn’t necessarily going to give someone knowledge to discern their own preferences, so I invited Barb Wild of Good Wine Gal to lend a professional palate, ear and tone to my May Rosé journey. She was quite happy to ‘sip in’ with a Sommelier’s palate.
Rosé (Rosato (Italian), Rosado (Spanish)) does not come from pink grapes, which is too bad. Can you imagine how ADORABLE pink grapes would be?! It would blow the collective Instagrams mind. In fact, ALL grapes’ juice is clear’ish. Color comes from the skins of grapes and is proportional to the contact with the grape skins for a period of time. Rosés are no different although the majority of Rosés see short sessions of skin contact.
GOOD WINE GAL
When Alison invited me to taste and write with her, I was excited. When have I ever said no to wine tasting? It’s great to meet you and thank you for joining us on our five week adventure. Here are a couple of things that you might want to know about Rosé.
Did you know?
Rosé is considered the oldest wine in France. It is a “vin de soif” – a “wine to quench thirst” and traditionally served as an aperitif. Jacques Pepin said he started sipping Rosé when he was six years old. To that end, not all Rosés are created equally. Quality Rosé has to do with the way it is made. To learn more about Rose at Vins de Provence.
ROSÉ WINE MAKING
Limited skin contact, which is mentioned above, refers to juice that is left with skins for a short period of time resulting in a light onion-skin color. The longer the wine remains on the skins, the deeper the color and the tannin.
The second method is direct pressing in which the red berries are pressed and the skins are removed once the color has reached the desired hue
The third method is called Saignée simply means to bleed. It refers to the pressing of grapes with the letting of juice that is lightly colored. This is usually the case when making red wine and the winemaker would like to concentrate the juice of the red – so he lets off lightly colored juice which becomes Rosé.
The fourth method is the blending of red and white grapes. When speaking of quality Rosés from Spain or France generally direct pressing, limited skin contact or saignee is preferred.
Super boring right? If anything stays with you, I hope it’s the idea that all Rosés are not created equally and that is why we need to taste and evaluate.
For a vin de soif, the key grape varieties are: Cinsault, Grenache and this is the most common style of Rosé from Provence and the south of France. Today there are some very serious winemakers producing Rosé from these grapes but also adding Syrah, Mourvedre, Tibouren, Rolle and creating bigger, more powerful styles that are pricey, collectible and in some instances age-worthy. It’a a Rosé Révolution!
Cinsault – thick skinned red grape from south of France considered one of the oldest, usually has perfume notes of red fruits, with a body similar to pinot noir and acidity for freshness
Grenache – red skinned grape from south of France (famous in the Rhone Valley for Chateauneuf du Pape wines) that have lighter color, berry flavours usually bringing alcohol to the blend
Syrah – a black skinned grape noted for its deeply colored skins, black berry and pepper spice flavours and aromas. In Aussie this is Shiraz. It likes the heat in the south of France but can also produce elegant medium bodied age worthy wines in the Northern Rhone.
Mourvedre – a black skinned grape noted for its density and power so usually added to bring complexity to the blend.
BARB’S FUN FACTS
Mateus Rosé was the first international rose success story and is still available in our market’s for $9.99 a bottle. Definitely off dry.
Remember White Zinfandel or the 90s? That was a sweet ‘blush’ wine made by Sutter Home which put this style of wine on the map in North America was in fact a sweet mistake. Beringer White Zinfandel is available at the BC Liquor Stores for $8.99.
WHAT WE’RE TASTING
I’m learning that I love a ‘dry rosé, but with flavor’, whereas Barb loves all styles of rosé and says it depends on what she’s eating or which patio she is sitting on. She offers up that balance of acidity, fruit and alcohol is the key.. You might love sweeter wines!
There will definitely be something to consider here for everyone. Apparently wines with 1% (10g/L) or less of residual sugars would be considered ‘dry’, so I’m looking to see if finding my preferred sugars level helps me to choose a better wine for me while out and about. I’m also looking to nail down a few favorites to stock up for summer patio dinners, and to be able to make better decisions when in Restaurants.
For this week, we’re tasting:
Lorgeril L’Orangerie Rosé 2019; $16.99 CAD; Pays d’Oc, France; 12.5% ALC; Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, Merlot Grapes
Laurent Miguel Vendanges Nocturnes Rosé 2019; $19.99 CAD; Sud de France, France; 12.5% ALC; Cinsault, Syrah Grapes
Perins et Fils Miraval Rosé 2020; $28.99 CAD; Côtes de Provence, France; 13% ALC; Cinsault, Syrah, Grenache & Folle Grapes
This week’s wine choices were based on the Cinsault grape!
We tasted Lorgeril L’Orangeraie, Laurent Miguel Vendages Nocturnes and Perins et Fils Miraval Roses, all from across Southern France. I have to admit, my first impressions of these three changed from a tasting to a dinner situation (Thai Curried Crab), but here were our takes.
A> I honestly couldn’t quite distinguish a lot of scent or flavor from this wine, and didn’t have an opportunity to try it with food. I didn’t find much of the pleasant acidity I was looking for.
B> Dry light body with a soft salmon hue in the glass. The aromas and flavours are delicate, some red berry fruits and citrus juice notes, mineral. There is bright acidity that leads to a zesty short finish. For $16.99 this is good value for a patio, simple cheese and crackers and lighter fare.
A > A very fresh, light aroma from the first glass. Dry, clean flavor with no real distinct ‘notes’. Would need to be a sipping wine, go with VERY mild food, or be enjoyed as a palate cleanser with salty meats and cheese. The further I dive into this one, the more I enjoy it though.
B> Dry light body, beautiful delicate hue of salmon, along with delicate non specific aromas and flavours although I pick up a little tart unripe cherry. Nice acidity and good balance with a short finish. For $19.99 it’s good value for this easy sipper. Suits an afternoon patio or aperitif before dinner. It will go nicely with crackers and simple, mild cheeses.
Miraval (Brangelina Wine)
A> Smells dry, yet flavorful out of the bottle – which is gorgeous, btw! Quite sweet on the tongue for my liking, with some acidity lingering at the end of the sip. BUT with our Thai Curried Crab?! It sang. By the end of a glass (yes, I tasted by the actual glass – don’t judge me), it really grew on me in connection with food.
B> Dry med body, bright salmon pink hue in the glass with aromas and flavours of red fruit (green strawberry, red currants, crunchy cranberry) hints of roses, orange melon, along with green dried herbs. There is a distinct tartness on the finish that reminds me of lime pithe. This rose has a round silky mouthfeel. This is a fairly complex rose. At $28.99 it has more flavour, texture than the previous two styles and could stand up to a meatier fish, fowl and stronger cheese pairing.
YOU MIGHT ALSO WANT TO CHECK OUT THESE OTHER SUGGESTIONS!
We asked a few friends from here in Vancouver and around the Globe what their favorite Rosé is as well >
Do YOU have a favorite Rosé?
Let us know in the comments!
INSTAGRAM TV LIVE with GOOD WINE GAL
Want to know more about wine tasting and finding ‘Good Wine’? Check out these Instagram TV LIVE’s I did with Good Wine Gal Barb Wild!
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