In the first of our summer wine series, Alana Musselman takes a deeper dive into rosé, and why we shouldn’t be so quick to judge those who drink it. Read on for the first in our four part series, and stay tuned for more great wine reads.
Sometimes I’m a skulker, the kind of shopper who excels at shopping for my private little budget-minded wine tastings by stealthily sliding so-called “lesser” wines in my cart under the produce. Far too often it’s a bottle of poor, oft-maligned rosé that ends up hidden under a bag of cilantro and my purse. What is it about this delicious and highly versatile wine that makes even a walking wine tasting guide like me feel apologetic for what should be a very delightful purchase? First, a short introduction. Meet:
- Rosé – Old as time. Technique can vary, but these pink and generally dry wines are made using black-skinned grapes. The juice stays in contact with the dark skins for a short time to infuse the wine with just enough color, body and flavor to produce the desired effect.
- White Zinfandel – Introduced in the 1970’s and made in much the same way as rosé but using only Zinfandel grapes. It tends to be blended for palatability and consistency, with complexity and nuance frequently lost in the mix.
- Blush – “Blush” is basically a marketing term some clever entrepreneur cooked up in the 1980’s to capitalize off White Zin’s popularity without having to actually use Zinfandel grapes – still looks and tastes pretty similar, though.
Too many mouthfuls of insipid blush wines have led some to look at anything between a red and a white with barely disguised horror, but it’s time to let bygones be bygones and realize the power of a luscious, floral and lightly fruity rosé. Ranging from dry and light to full-bodied and fruity, with sparkling incarnations available as well, rosé is ideal for summer sipping and works the buffet or picnic table like a pro, pairing with everything from a lightly dressed salad to paella to lamb, lobster, or a fruit and cheese plate.
Use the Quini wine tasting app to find great examples of rosé (some of my favorites come from Provençal, Rioja and Italy) then host a rosé wine tasting to introduce your friends to this delicious comeback kid.
Tell us – what “guilty pleasure” wine do you think deserves a better rep?