By the third week of this month it officially will be summer—the days of sunny shine and rosés.
Rosé wine is good any time of the year, but sales demonstrate most people pair it with summer.
Even though it may be the oldest wine style in the world, there was a time not long ago when rosé was passé, sissy stuff made with juice that did not make the cut for winery’s serious efforts.
Not today. Many makers now take pride in making quality pink pours.
There are three ways to make rosé:
• Maceration method: red wine grapes rest on red skins for short period of time, just long enough to attain pinkness. All wine juice is clear when pressed. If contact with red grape skins is short, you get rosé. This method often is used in Provençe, Tavel, and Languedoc-Roussillon regions of France.
• Saignée or “bled” method: a portion of juice used to make red wine is bled off and that juice—often only about 10 percent of the press—and is finished as rosé. This method helps produce more intense wines. It is popular in Napa and Sonoma.
• Blending method: a small amount of red wine—about five percent—is added to white wine to achieve color. While somewhat rare for still rosé, it often is used in making sparkling rosé.
There is a misconception rosé wines are sweet, or at least off-dry, and light in alcohol, complexity, and structure. Part of the reputation may come from the most popular rosé in the U.S.—white zinfandel—but many rosé wines are serious and seriously good. In coming weeks we visit different styles of rosé and banish more misconceptions.
• Ruffino Rosé Sparkling Wine NV: strawberry, red berries; traditional prosecco grape (glera) with dash of pinot noir to achieve color. $15
• Saved Wines Magic Maker Rosé 2014: Ultra dry, layers of flavors, delicious fruitiness. $16
• Fattoria Sardi Giustiniani Toscana Rosé 2015: Melon, strawberry; dry with loads of fruitiness, medium body, superb mouthfeel; sangiovese, merlot, ciliegiolo blend. $19
• Hacienda de Arízano Rosé 2015: Peach, pink grapefruit, cherry; voluptuous, silky, 100 percent tempranillo, top Spanish rosé maker. $19
Last round: Everybody should believe in something. I believe I will have a glass of rosé.