Wine of the Week: Pink Syrah? Why Not?
A Rosé is a Rosé is a Rosé
People in France love Rosé wines, especially during warm weather. It's hard to find a restaurant or bar without pink wines on the list. Sometimes they even have dozens. The reason is that the wines, many of which come from the southern part of the country, are always fresh, tasty, and refreshing. Plus, as importer Kermit Lynch says, "The beauty of memorable Rosé experiences is that most of the time they involve a shining sun, good food, and friendly company."
Since French Rosés are always bone-dry and drunk ice-cold, they are ideal with food, especially on picnics. And they will usually be quite cheap unless the wine happens to be called Domaine Tempier (the best of the Rosés; it usually runs about $40). Spain in particular has some spectacular bargains, but for my money, France is still the king of Rosé.
• Hecht & Bannier Rosé ($9) is a prime example. Made in the south of France, this floral wine is made from Syrah, Cinsault, and Grenache grapes. Imagine any red fruit – raspberries, strawberries, cherries, watermelons – and you'll have an idea of the wine's lovely aromas. Try it with a good slice of salmon.
• Le Jaja de Jau ($8) is another wine from France's southern region, this time made solely from Syrah. It's a slightly darker, plummier wine, one that works well with duck or pork.
• Paul Jaboulet Aine Côtes du Rhône Parallèle 45 Rosé ($11) is the easiest to find of these three. If you like your strawberries tart and your cherries ripe, here's your wine. It's ideal for a picnic with open-flame cooking, whether with hot dogs or rib-eye steaks.
Dry Rosés are made all over the world. Unfortunately, most American pink wines are sweet blush wines, a concept that seems to be a uniquely American taste. Thankfully, more and more American wineries are making dry versions. A prime example, just in case you want to keep your money at home, is Texas' own Becker Vineyards Provençal ($10), competitive with the very best in the world.