Evidently, there is a “National Day” for everything. There is a National Coconut Cream Pie Day (May 8, in case you’re wondering). March is the month for National Fruit Compote Day. And there’s my children’s favorite: National Be Late For Something Day in September — like they need an excuse to celebrate that!
But my favorite ‘National Day’ happens to be this Saturday, June 12: National Drink Rosé Wine Day!
And not a moment too soon. After all, a typical summer in D.C. can be like living in the mouth of a dog; hot and humid.
So you want something cold and refreshing to help quench your thirst during your next barbecue outing or patio party. Beer can be too filling (and beer’s “National Day” isn’t until Sept. 28). So, what’s a thirsty, wine-loving wine lover to do?
That’s where Rosé wines come to the rescue. These wines can be crisp, refreshing and thankfully, not too expensive!
While some of the most notable Rosé wines come from several appellations in southern France, just about every region where grapes are grown are producing world-class Rosé wines these days.
Most die-hard Rosé wine fans tend to be loyal to brands produced in the charming wine region of Provence where the cooling influences of the Mediterranean Sea seem to bless the wines with flawless acidity.
But the landlocked Rhone Valley to the northwest also produces Rosé wines of notable appeal. And there are winemakers here in the U.S. that are making their pink mark with profoundly delicious Rosé wines offering consumers a slightly different style than their French cousins.
However, both styles are food-friendly and both have a place on the table.
Rosés are often made from any number of varietals. Common grapes include Pinot Noir, Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre. They get their pinkish hue by leaving the red grape skin in contact with the juice for a shorter period of time than traditional red wines.
A typical Rosé is crisp and refreshing. This is due mostly to the high acidity these wines possess. Another characteristic is the lively fruit that makes these wines so approachable while they are young, which is exactly when they should be consumed.
Between the bright red fruit and the high acidity, these wines are ideal for picnics and hammocks. They also pair well with cheese and charcuterie plates, grilled chicken and hot dogs, and can even stand up to spicier fare such as Indonesian and Thai cuisines.
But whatever you do, make sure you serve Rosé cold. These wines are meant for your ice bucket, not your cellar!
I recently sampled several Rosé wines and found them to be a delightful companion while lounging by the pool. My wife joined me on this tasting safari and was amused by their petal-pink color exclaiming, “They’re very pretty!” I suppose they are.
The 2014 Arrayan Rosé — or Rosado as it is known in Spain — hails from the famous Ribera del Duero wine region of Spain. It is a blend of Syrah and Merlot and exudes perfumed aromas of bright strawberry and kiwi on the nose.
In the mouth, juicy flavors of red raspberry, watermelon and strawberry sing on the lightly textured, medium-bodied profile perfect for a hot day. $15
Northwest of Languedoc is where you’ll find the Rhone Valley, home to the 2019 E. Guigal Rosé, a delightful wine! The charming bouquet of ripe strawberries and red raspberries begs you to gulp instead of sip this refreshing blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault.
But the flavors of strawberry, rhubarb and cranberry will invite you to sip instead of slurp so you can enjoy the crisp, clean, long finish. Try it with a plate of fresh fruit and soft cheese. $16
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. $20
Once upon a time, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were married at Chateau Miraval, a property they owned in the Provence region of France. While the marriage has ended, the romance with their wine, the 2019 Chateau Miraval Cotes de Provence Rosé, lives on.
It offers up plenty of strawberry and citrus-like aromas and flavors to go with a lightly textured, medium-bodied profile great for the summer heat. The high acidity and minerality keep the wine refreshing and bright — a perfect match with seafood and simple rotisserie chicken. I drink it on its own, too. Refrigerate before serving. $25
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