Wine of the Week: Rosé wines for summer sippin’

I can’t believe that it’s already the middle of August and I haven’t talked about Rosé!

After all, it’s a tad warm out there, and one of my all-time favorite styles of wines for summer sippin’ is Rosé. I actually drink Rosé wines all year long. I just use the excuse of warmer weather to enjoy them more often without having to explain myself.

Rosé is not a specific varietal, but is a style of wine that generally ranges in color from soft pink to light purple, depending on which grapes are used and the winemaking technique employed.

Traditional red wines get their colors from lengthy contact between the juice and the red grape skins. Most Rosé wines are made using the Saignée — literally “bleeding” — method, where the juices are bled away from the skins soon after the grapes are crushed, leaving behind a pale-to-dark pinkish hue.

In addition, many different types of grapes are used to produce Rosé. The most popular are made from Rhone varieties including Grenache, Mourvedre and Syrah. Other grape-growing regions make wonderful Rosé wines from Pinot Noir, Sangiovese and Malbec.

Rosés are usually produced with little or no oak, so the wines characteristically run to the bright red fruit side of the flavor spectrum. The abundant acidity provides a crisp and refreshing finish.

Best of all, Rosé wines are versatile and easy on the wallet. Served well chilled, they make a great companion for the hammock on their own, or they can keep up with grilled seafood or chicken as well as roasted pork. If you want to add a festive flair to your glass, try a sparkling version.

Looking for a wine to shout “Hola!” on the tongue? Try the 2019 Casado Morales Rioja Rose from the Rioja region of Spain. This Rosé is made from 100% Tempranillo. It exudes aromas of strawberry and rhubarb on the nose and flavors of strawberries, peaches and cherries in the mouth. The finish is crisp and dry, so it will pair well with grilled or roasted chicken. It’s a lot of wine for only $10.

For a traditional Rosé experience, pick up a bottle of 2018 Chateau de Lancyre Rosé, from the Coteaux du Languedoc appellation of France. The pretty salmon-pink color belies its pedigree of Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault, but produces a full-bodied wine dominated by flavors of red berries, lychee, and tropical fruit. The wonderful minerality and bright acidity act as a refreshing counterbalance, leaving a tangy sensation after each sip. $20

Many Rosé lovers consider the 2019 Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Rosé from the Central Coast of California one of the finest domestic Rosés. This outstanding wine is made from three traditional red Rhône varietals: Grenache, Mourvèdre and Counoise. It is bright and fresh with dried cherry, nectarine and watermelon all supported with crisp, balanced acidity that provides a racy finish. $20

If you’re looking for a Rosé wine with some local roots, look no further than the Boxwood Winery in Middleburg, Virginia. Their 2019 Boxwood Winery Rosé is a delicious wine made from a blend of estate grown Cabernet Franc, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and sauvignon blanc. Made in a traditional style, it offers bright flavors of strawberry, red cherry and ripe peach that coat the tongue. Its generous mouthfeel and crisp acidity make it a winner with grilled salmon. $22

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