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Dining Out With Nick

By on April 10, 2015

Pink Wine Time

vino-rosadoWinter was pretty much a no-show this year and It seems as though spring (and most likely summer) have gotten the drop on us again here in Northern California. With the mercury pushing above 70 in February and March we are starting see the, albeit early, tell-tale signs of fun times ahead. Flowers are blooming and trees are finding their leaves, gardens are being planted, the vines are in early bud break and the rosé is being chilled.

For decades rosés were ill-represented by the infamous style of “white zin.” Millions of gallons, jugs and boxes have been poured into, and emptied from, stemmed glassware brimming with ice cubes. This was Rosé in America. Even to this day, outside of the great cities and wine producing regions of the country, it is still difficult to wipe the slate clean when it comes to pink wine. The stench of white zin, Aunt Mildred and Wet Lipstick Laden kisses on the cheek still lingers; tarnishing what should be a rock solid reputation for a style of wine that is, in my opinion, one of the most fun and enjoyable to drink.

Times are changing and rosés are now being taken more serious. Rosé is a winemaker’s wine, a fun wine, and there is not an occasion that I can think of where rose is not 100% appropriate.

Patio pool party? Check. Romantically wandering through vineyards? Check. Swanky sushi date? Check. Board game night? Check. Binge-watching Netflix? Check. The point is: no matter what you are up to a slightly chilled bottle of pink wine can really elevate any experience.

Here are some knowledge nuggets and pieces of advice as you venture into the rosé garden:

· Nowadays, most rosés are dry. They are pink so they look sweet and your brain will tell you that they are, but they are not. They are crisp and lean, usually unoaked and ready for anything from a heated match of bocce ball to a Chimichurri steak dinner.

· Stick with single varietal rosés. Blended rosés are often very full bodied and sometimes a little too “sweet.” Single varietals (pinot noir, syrah, grenache) tend to be more elegant and dry and very food-friendly.

· Look for rosé from a winemaker you know, trust and like. Most rosés are small-run, pet projects of the winery and winemaker and chances are that if you like their mainstream wines, you’ll probably like their rosés.

· Just as with any other wine; beware the “cheap rosé.” While the stigma of wine zin and iced down pink juice at a pool party still remains, rosé is actually a very serious wine and a great rosé can fetch $50-$100. Though if you stick in the $15-$40 range in the store or a restaurant, you should be able to select a great wine

Get ahead of the curve, leave chardonnay in the dust, pack and store the zins away for the summer and break out the rosé. Chances are if you insert these beauties into your summer, you have just a little more fun popping corks, twisting caps and sharing wine with friends.

subscript to Lavish Living Magazine

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