This rosé season, drink pink with made-in-DC wine

Drinking District-made wine, starting with rosé (WTOP's Rachel Nania )

WASHINGTON Rosé is a wine that’s best enjoyed year-round — after all, it pairs perfectly with summer pool parties, Thanksgiving dinner, even New Year’s hors d’oeuvres.

That said, there’s nothing more satisfying than uncorking a cold bottle of the pink drink in spring. It’s almost as if each sip is a reminder that warm evenings, beach vacations and neighborhood cookouts are on the horizon.

And this spring, you can drink the very first made-in-D.C. rosé when District Winery releases its inaugural wine — a 2017 dry rosé — on April 22.

Winemaker Connor McCormack has been working on the varietal since the urban winery opened its 17,000-square-foot space overlooking the Anacostia River in August 2017.

The old-vine Grenache grapes used to make the wine were sourced from California’s Central Valley and shipped to the Southeast D.C. winery, where they were pressed and aged for several months. (Rosé is the winery’s first release because it requires the least amount of time to age — about seven or eight months from vine to bottle, McCormack said.)

McCormack describes the rosé as dry, not sweet, but said it has “all the illusions of sweetness in the sense that there’s strawberry and brioche and these beautiful guava flavors that pop out.”

“It’s really bright, [with] clean acidity, so it’s refreshing and it’s crisp,” he said.

“It’s going to go down really well for the hot summer that’s to come.”

District Winery is celebrating its first made-in-house vino with a rosé release party, Sunday, April 22, after which the wine will be available in the winery’s tasting room by the glass, and for purchase by the bottle ($25) or case.

McCormack estimates he made enough rosé to get through the summer (about 1,000 cases), but doubts there will be much left after Labor Day.

“It’s meant to be drunk young and plentiful,” he said about the Southern France-inspired wine.

Keep your eyes peeled and taste buds primed for a few more District Winery releases later this season. McCormack is working on a sauvignon blanc, a muscat and a petit manseng with grapes sourced from Virginia. He said his big red wines still need a few years to age.


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