In the world of wine, the arrival of spring means the arrival of a fresh vintage of rosés. From all over France, Italy, Spain, the US, and just about every other wine-producing nation the various shades of pink come rolling in just in time to pair with your favorite warm-weather treats. But these aren’t the sweet mass-produced corner-store wines you may be familiar with. Instead, these are drier-style wines from the world’s greatest wine-producing regions and artisanal winemakers.
While the classical regions of Europe supply many fantastic rosés, the world’s newer winemaking regions are doing their best to join the party. While South Africa has a long history of wine, but the Mulderbosch Rosé from the Coastal Region may be new to many consumers. One thing that makes this one unique is that it is made from 100% cabernet sauvignon grapes, yielding a fuller bodied wine. Grapes are harvested on the early side to preserve acidity levels. Flavors are of strawberry and grapefruit with a touch of minerality. The wine is a great partner for grilled salmon or tuna. At $12.99, it represents fantastic value.
The history of wine in Lebanon goes back even further, for several thousand years. But thoroughly modern in style, Ixsir Altitudes rosé ($13.99) is reminiscent of the rosés of Provence. A blend of syrah and caladoc (a cross of grenache and malbec), the wine is full of fresh floral aromas. With bright berry flavors, the wine pairs nicely with lighter cheeses, salads, and BBQ pork.
A New World region that is producing world-class rosé is Oregon. Justifiably famous for its red pinot noirs, some of this juice goes into production of rosé wines. Elk Cove Vineyards ($16.99) makes a delicious example. 2014 was a stellar vintage in Oregon, one of those rare years when quality and quantity were both excellent. With a beautiful dusky color, the wine is bursting with tangerine, cherries, and spice. Try this one with poached salmon, roasted chicken, or sushi.
Whether firing up the grill or reaching for something refreshing before dinner, rosé wines provide a tasty warm weather treat. Be sure and ask for some on your next visit!