Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Don't Believe the Hype

There is an trend that happens this time of the year regarding wine that is starting to bug me. For some reason, restaurants and retailers start the rumor with their customers that Rose' "season" is over as soon as Labor Day passes us by.

Don't believe the hype!

I stand with my feet firmly planted in the camp that rose', when made correctly, is a wine that can be enjoyed year-round. Caveat number one is that I said "made correctly". I'm not talking about Beringer White Zinfandel here. Don't drink that plonk, it sucks. However a rose' from Southern France, Spain, Italy, or even some producers in California tastes just as good when the humidity in the Lou dips below 93%. Here are a few reasons why you should still be drinking rose':

1. It's made from red grapes. Gentlemen, this one is aimed directly at you. I don't know how many times I have heard guys say something to the effect of "My wife likes that pink stuff, but I only drink red." Well, do a little research Einstein- the pink stuff that your wife is drinking is likely made from the same grapes (often time the same batch) as the red wine that's in your glass.

2. It's refreshing. Trust me, I'm just as much of a fan as a big, bad, robust glass of Cabernet as the next guy. However, sometimes at the end of the work day I'm just plain thirsty. I want the flavors of red wine, but also want something nice, cool and delicious. Once again, Rose' fits the bill.

3. It pairs with a huge array of foods. Rose is the wine version of a classic blue suit for men- it just goes with almost everything. Chicken, salmon, tuna, fillet, pizza, burgers, mushrooms, by itself, etc, etc, etc- it just matches. Notice I said "almost". If you try to throw the asparagus or jalapeno harpoon into my argument, I'll just tell you to drink a beer.

4. It causes a stir. One of my favorite things to do with a large group tasting or dinner is to unleash a rose' onto them, right in the middle of the event. Inevitably, I will see lots of eyes rolling, and hear people muttering under their breath. What happens once they are forced to drink the wine is fun. All of the sudden, I walk around the room, and people start saying things like "I had no idea!", or "Wow, this is surprisingly good!". If you are out with a group of wine sophisticates, order a bottle of Spanish Rose in the middle of dinner. You will be a short-term hero, and will truly raise your street cred.

5. It's usually inexpensive- unlike the red wines that come out of the same tanks, rose' is very seldomly expensive. In fact you can almost always find a well made example for less than $15 or $20 retail.

Please join me in the fight against post-summer rose' naysayers. Buy a bottle, heck- buy a case and pop it open all winter. You will thank me later.

In the meantime, check out the 2009 Rose from Cortijo. It is a 50/50 blend of Garnacha and Tempranillo from Rioja. It's inexpensive (probably will cost around $11), has wonderful strawberry and earth notes, and will make you look cool.


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