Ever notice how trendiness is kind of a merry-go-round you can jump on at any point of the loop. It doesn't even have to be a conscious jumping-on. You can just saunter into the bar, er, wine shop, and order a rose just for the heck of it, just to say to yourself you tried it. It doesn't matter that your friends are all into roses. The time was just right for you. The wine industry is ideal for just this sort of ad hoc endeavor.
Make no mistake though, the trend du jour is clearly rose wine. To say they are hot is to risk understating things. And roses aren't just the perfunctory pink wine category anymore either. Within that category wine lovers are discerning wine styles that click with them just as they have found with reds and whites. It's interesting to see the process unfold, to say the least.
So, ground zero in the trendy rose loop has to be Provence. That fresh, aromatic, light-bodied, pale pink wine really sums it up for a lot of us rose lovers. Why go any further down the road when this stop is so satisfying? Well, because there are darker roses which use some oak, there are less dry roses that cuddle up in that way, and there are the spritzy-to-bubbly ones that seem to be more of a tonic than a sedative. And I'm just skimming the surface!
Akakies is a Greek Rose (maybe the best in the store) that counterintuitively sources its fruit from hillside vineyards! Testamento is Argentine Rose of Pinot Noir. It's the find of the year at this store and exemplary of that grape type's potential in the category. If you grab a Portuguese pink don't be surprised to get some fine bubbliness (seafood, ya know) and if you get a darker Spanish rose you may discern some oakiness. And if you buy Bordeaux rose, expect the Cabernet/Merlot structure emblematic of that blend.
Is there a clear cut style winner? Yes! Everyone around the world is trying to duplicate that refreshing Provencal style. But roses are so much fun across the board, who's going to doubt the outliers!
This Thursday June 29th at 5pm Brian Espanol leads us in a tasting of Austalia's Two Hands Angel Share Shiraz, Napa's Markham Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon and Rutherford Hill Merlot, and the Wairau River New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Please join us