Archive for April, 2019

Rose Season is Back!

April 24, 2019

Sunny weather is slowly coming back to the Lower Mainland of BC, and that means its time to think about Rose again!

I went to a spring Rose release event today and tasted some great wines…but first, a bit of a Rose primer for those note familiar with the wine and its different styles.

First off, the wine – Rose is made from red grapes that the vintners leave the skins on for a while. The longer the skins stay on, the deeper the colour, and vice versa. That colour, by the way, can vary from just barely pink to almost red.

Style of Rose is even more important, and there are four basic styles – three dry and one sweet. First, the sweet, and only two words needed – white Zinfandel. Not good, like bubble gum…don’t go there.

Other three all have their merits. Popular today is the very fruity, sometimes off-dry version. Made in BC and California, it can be very refreshing – and dangerous, it goes down easy – on a hot summer day on the patio!

Classic Rose is bone dry, crisp…and cheap! In the south of France, it is drunk in the summer extremely cold, and is super refreshing. And cheap? Often in restaurants it is included in the meal! But that doesn’t mean it isn’t good…I love that style!

Last but not least, Roses that age. Not for everyone – both because of the style and the cost, which can be in the $30+++ range – it can still be very nice. Tavel from Tavel makes some great ones, as do producers in Bandol. But more like a red wine than a Rose – big body and finish, can age for years.

Now back to the tasting today…all “spec” wines, all dry, but a great mix of producers from different countries.

A new producer – and my favourite today – was Laurent Miquel from the south of France. They had three wines, ranging in price from $10.99 – $18.99, and all were pure, fresh, fruity and bone dry. Interestingly, the cheapest – Vendages Nocturnes Classic 2017 – was my favourite, even though it is a year old!

There were also a couple from Italy that I liked. ’07 Villa Marchesi Trevenzie ($11.49) and Rivera Rose Castel Del Monte DOC 2017 ($12.99) were both very good and great values – light pink, dry and great, crisp finish.

Finally, a couple of sparkling Roses to round out my favourite wines. A Cava from Spain was no surprise – NV Giro Ribot was deep pink, fresh and fruity with small bubbles – and a good deal for $18.49.

But a wine from the United Kingdom? Coates & Seely Hampshire Sparkling Brut is expensive at $51.99, but very similar in style to real Champagne.

If you see these wines, definitely check them out. And if not – go cheap and dry, and keep it cold!