Another Rosé to the Rescue
By Wes Marshall,
6:51AM, Sat. Jul. 14, 2018
Hallelujah! Rosé has finally caught up with its red and white brethren and is now considered something to drink year round instead of just the summer.
Plus, writers no longer feel compelled to state, “This is not white Zinfandel!” Thank goodness, because, White Zinfandel is a marketing strategy, not a wine. Its sugar and color mask a need to get the grapes off the vines as early as possible, and the flavor profiles help Coke drinkers make the change from soda to wine.
I think it is best to depend on winemakers who really love to make Rosé every year. Many winemakers get forced into the Rosé game by harvesting poorly colored red grapes. Here’s a conversation heard all over the new world.
Winemaker: “What do we do now? Our red grapes have no color.” Marketing Manager: “Oh, don’t worry. We’ll just make a Rosé and sell it in the tasting room.”
Those people are less likely to make a great Rosé than someone who is driven by the concept of dry, cold pink wine as an ideal matchup for foods. That’s one of the reasons so many wine critics recommend wines from Tavel or Bandol in France or from tapas-happy Spaniards.
Oregon’s WillaKenzie Estate Rosé ($22) is one of my favorite new pink wines. This is their first vintage of pink, but it doesn't seem like a run-in with the dreaded low-color red grape. It sure tastes like they mean it. The watermelon and honeycrisp apple aromas added to the dry, velvety mouthfeel make this an ideal wine with all sorts of summer fare from burgers to fried chicken. But it also has the tannic grip to stand up to pasta or pizza with a big, acidic tomato sauce.
Other yummy Rosé options include Chapoutier’s Belleruche Rosé ($10) from the Rhône Valley. It is a touch more raisiny than the WillaKenzie, but great with stews or rabbit. Or, show a little local support for a Texas Rosé. The winemakers of the state make tons of different pink wines, but most are expensive boogers. Two of the best under $20 bottles are McPherson Cellars Les Copains Rosé ($18) and Llano Estacado’s Signature Rosé ($11). And when our one week of winter rolls around, remember these wines as superb matches for stews or mixed grills.