Any red grape can rise to rosé.
As explored last week, rosé is made by briefly holding juice on skins, or a percentage of juice is poured off red wine vessel early, or white wine is blended with red. Voilà! Rosé.
Most quality rosé wines are dry or off-dry. Many are lithesome and ethereal, others carry some weight. Almost all are wonderfully fruity, fresh, vibrant, young. Rosé is great with almost every food. Rosé also can be ingredient in summer cocktails.
Various red grapes deliver different strokes for different rosé folks:
• Grenache rosé: often shining ruby pink-red, notes of strawberry raspberry, orange blossom, brings zesty acidity.
• Cinsault: classic blending grape in rosé to add softness and aromatics.
• Tempranillo rosé: rising star in Rioja. Pale pink with watermelon, strawberry, cherry on the palate. Often grenache is blended to add fruity flavor.
• Zinfandel rosé (aka white zinfandel): most popular rosé in America. Even if serious wine drinkers (aka wine snobs) diss the drink, 85% of zin grapes crushed in U.S. go into this rosé/blush wine. Most white zin edges to sweeter end of off-dry, but it is not sweet wine. Flavors include cotton candy, strawberry, melon. Better stuff has moderately high acidity to provide balance. Serve ice cold. Works well with Thai food, or just sipping around the gab fest or mah-jongg table.
• Pinot noir rosé: flamboyantly fruity, diva of rosés, base of some of the best rosé Champagne. Delivers strawberry, raspberry, watermelon, bright acidity, depth. Goes great with goat cheese, and will work with just about everything else.
• McBride Sisters Truvée Rosé 2015: Superbly light, ethereal in the mouth; dry, deliciously delicate fruit; grenache grapes. $15
• Gruet Rosé: Pleasing New Mexico sparkling; fruity; strawberry, raspberry; easy on palate; fun-loving summer winner. $16
• Champagne Charles Heidsieck Rosé Réserve NV: Blend of pinot noir and chardonnay; brilliantly delicious, exceptionally clean, refined, dry; long finish. $78-80
Last round: I told my wife I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on a machine and fluids from a bottle. “If that happens, pull the plug,” I said. She unplugged the TV and threw out my wine. We are seeing a counselor to save our marriage.