The Battle for Rosť
There is a common joke among wine lovers about Rosé wine: 1986 called, they want their wine back! When you say Rosé, wine lovers think of a jug of White Zinfandel. White Zin is a bit of a hero when it comes to its bolder big brother, Red Zinfandel.
In the early 1980s, Bob Trinchero of Sutter Home Family Vineyard aggressively marketed and increased the popularity of a new wine, “White Zin”. At the time, the old Zinfandel vines were at risk of being removed and replanted with more marketable varietals. The profits from White Zin allowed for those vines to remain producing to this day. Score one for the Pink!
I often say wines are like people, in the right environment they bloom. But you can’t take all your friends everywhere and expect the same result. We all know a big bold Cab, or a crisp, sauvignon blanc, and even that lovely, a touch of sweet, Rosé - the right place, the right time. At one point, White Zin represented 10% of all wine sold by volume, outperforming Red Zin by 6 to 1.
Some Skin in the Game
Red grapes make red wine and white grapes make white wine, so are there pink grapes? The answer is no. The juice of all grapes is clear, so contact with the grape skin is what gives wine its color. The process is called maceration. The juice and skins (red grape skins for Rosé) soak together, with the skins bleeding into the juice. They soak for a short time, two to three days. As soon as the pink color is achieved, the skins are removed and the juice is allowed to ferment, creating a delicious Rosé. It is probably the oldest type of wine since it is the easiest to make and requires only a short timeframe.
Rosé wines, ranging from dry to sweet, are available in most varietals that are enjoyed in Red Wines. They pair extremely well with barbeque and grilled items at a cookout. I often recommended Louis Laurent Rosé d’ Anjou from France for holiday dinners with ham or turkey. It is dry and fruity, yet has a lovely undertone of strawberry. Ancient-vine Mourvedre Rosé from Cline or the Lucas & Lewellen Rosé of Pinot Noir carry many of the characteristics of their older brothers.
Rosés are also affordable, with excellent options available for under $15.99. The Louis Laurent is only $12.99 and delivers the taste of a wine with a much higher price point.
As the warmer weather approaches, the same varietal that keeps you warm in the winter in front of the fireplace, has a younger sibling that is great served chilled in front of a campfire.
Colleen Wing has a degree in Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts. She is the owner of and baker for Cake Following, a specialty cake and dessert business. Colleen and her family live in Rocky River.