With much rejoicing, I celebrate the fact that dry rosés have enough market share to remain on the shelves well past the hot summer months. These wines have gone from curiosity to fad in the past couple of years, but I think they still occupy an odd spot in the old food+wine thinking. While these are the perfect beverages of summer, let's not forget their ability to pair with a wide range of food and to appeal to a wide range of palates and experience levels.
First up is the 2006 A to Z Oregon Rosé. $12, 13% abv, and a label set primarily in Zapfino. Made from 100% Sangiovese harvested in Southern Oregon. It's pretty rich and full bodied for a rosé, and is a little off-dry. Aromas and flavors of strawberry and watermelon, and it's got a bit of that Jolly Rancher approach to both. I paired it with leftover mushroom lasagne and a little salad... Comfort food on a rainy afternoon.
Now let's turn our attention to Spain with the 2007 Condesa de Leganza Rosado. $12, 12.5% abv. Pure Tempranillo from the La Mancha region. Nose of light raspberry and apples. Bright, refreshing flavor with a sangria tang to it. Dry but fruity, with a tannic edge on the finish. On the color front, is it just me or are many rosés getting darker?
For some reason I've been on a linguistics kick recently, so get ready for some more amateur analysis. While Alaskan native tribes don't really have dozens of words for snow, some languages are better at describing nuances than others. Greek is far better than English when it comes to love, which would make life far less complicated for our nation's teenagers. In a similar vein, the French have an impressive vocabulary to describe rosés. Here's a partial list, and I'll note that doing research in a language you don't fully speak is sort of like walking with concrete blocks tied to your feet, so my apologies for any errors in translation, and I welcome any native-speaking French rosé fans to correct this list, which is in alphabetical as opposed to chromatic order:
- blanc taché - stained white
- clairet - pale
- faible - weak
- gris - gray
- jaune orangé - yellow-orange
- oeil-de-perdrix - eye of the partridge (Très poétique, non?)
- orange - orange
- pelure d'oignon - onion skin
- rosé franc - free or frank pink
- rosé jaune - yellow-pink
- rosé orange - orange-pink
- rosé vif - sharp pink
- rosé violet - purple-pink
- roux - russet-red
- tuile - tile (like a Spanish tile roof)