Varietal of the Month: French Rosé

Rosé all day seems to be the way, especially in the South of France – the largest region specializing in rosé wine. In this area of France, rosé is thought of as a lunchtime wine. Winemakers have kept this in mind when making rosé and ensuring the wine pairs well with many types of food, thus giving the wine a range of colors, textures and flavors.

The degree of color has to do with the amount of time the flesh of the grapes is in contact with the skins after crushing. Most red wine grapes have a dark skin, but a pale interior. It is the contact with the skin after crushing that gives red wine its deep color. With rosé, the grape flesh has only limited contact with the skins after crushing. This can range from mere minutes to hours, whatever the winemaker deems necessary. This interaction determines the depth of color and also flavor.

Although differences are noticeable, most French rosé have some common characteristics and tend to be refreshing on the palate, crisp, bright and dry.

Dry rosé should not to be confused with white zinfandel or blush wine. Although pink in color, these wines have a very different flavor and are very sweet. They typically contain nearly seven times more residual sugar than a dry French rosé.

Wine of the Month: Notorious Pink

Aroma: Ripe Peaches, Plums, Lavender, Pear, Orange, Honey, Floral, Herbal
Palate: Melons, Raspberries, Sweet Cherry, Pear, Peach; Crisp, Good Acidity, Well Balanced
Finish: Stewed Apples, Hint of Spice, Good minerality, Gentle and Length Finish

From the Domaine la Colombette vineyards in the South of France, this pale pink wine exudes floral orange blossom aromas. Made from 100% Grenache grapes, they use mature grapes to balance the flavors of ripe grapes. It gives the wine a wonderful acidity and soft minerality.

Food Pairings:
Salads, seafood, shellfish, light pasta sauces, chilled soup, pizza.

Watermelon Gazpacho
4 cups watermelon cubes
2 large tomatoes, peeled and seeded
1 Fresno pepper, cored and seeded
1 cup cranberry juice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled and seeded
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice

In a blender combine all ingredients. Puree completely. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic and refrigerate at least three hours, allowing mixture to chill completely and flavors to combine. After refrigerating, strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Pour strained mixture into shot glasses or small serving bowls. Can be prepared one day in advance.

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