Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Enjoying Rose Wines

[From Ladies Who Launch Wine Tip]

Finally the nice weather is upon us (let’s hope it stays!) and what better on a sunny spring day than a glass of refreshing Rose wine. Rose had been plagued with a bad reputation for many years, wine lovers associating it with White Zinfandel and other such “blush wines” that were not up to snuff. The last few years, however, has seen a resurgence in quality Rose wine and it has been making its way to the wine fridges and restaurant tables of many a connoisseur.

The best — and really the only true — Roses are made using the Saignée method. This winemaking process involves bleeding off a portion of red wine after only a short period of contact with the grape skins which give red wines their color. Proper Rose wines are made this way and not, as one might assume, from blending red and white wines. The color of Rose wines range from a very light, almost peachy, pink, to a dark pink almost approaching a light red. The darker the rose, the fuller the body (although generally speaking they are all quite light) due to prolonged contact with the grape skins which also gives wines more body and character.

Arguably the best Rose wines are from France and Spain but Portugal, Canada, Australia and the USA also produce some good examples. Two Roses to try, a light and dark pink example, are as follows:

2006 Peyrassol Commanderie from Cotes De Provence, France. Made by a mother/son duo in Provence, this wine is pale in color and refreshing with bright strawberry fruit and crisp acidity. $15.

2005 Prieure Saint-Hippolyte Rose from the Coteaux du Languedoc, France. This dark pink sipper has good body, concentrated red fruit flavors and is not at all sweet. $14.

Give ‘em a sip and enjoy the weather. Cheers!

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