Sassy, sweet, sexy, supple, sumptuous, soft and, of course, St. Tropez…Rosé wine is all of the above. As the summertime sun blazes over the northern hemisphere’s über-chic hot spots, like Miami and the Hamptons, what could be more apropos than sipping on a glass of refreshing rosé? For a long time, rosé has been the beverage of choice for the fashionable set spending their summers on the Cotes d’Azur; now is the time to bring that pizzazz stateside. So whether at a sunset dinner, a cocktail party or simply with at a sandy beach watching the tide come in, rosé wine befits any summertime celebration.
Interestingly enough, white wine is not for everyone and red wine is impossible to drink under a beaming sun, but rosé meets the definitive balance between fruit, acidity and temperature. However, not enough people feel comfortable picking up a bottle. A misapprehension exists with rosé wine as more people are familiar with its cloyingly sweet, cheaper cousin known as “white zinfandel” rather than what it really represents. Fortunately for us wine lovers, there are a plenty of serious wineries making unbelievable pink wine, so the choice ultimately lies in the consumers’ hand.
As versatile and easy as it is to sip, rosé pairs seamlessly with a myriad of cuisines making it ideally suited for enjoying a multitude of dishes. So opt for rosé when savoring a Paella in Andalucia, or a Bouillabaise in St. Maxime or just a plate of barbecue from a favorite spot. Below are three stellar selections for your sipping pleasure.
Commanderie de Peyrassol Rose, Cotes de Provence, 2009, $25 – A land fated for wine making, Commanderie de Peyrassol has been pressing and bottling Provençal emotion, character and essence since the time of the Crusades, with its first recorded bottling dating back to 1256. Located in the heart of Provence, Françoise Rigord creates the quintessential style of rosé at Peyrassol that consumers have come to know and love. It is pale pink with delicate aromas of strawberries and cranberries, light and dry on the palate, with a bright, crisp finish that immediately demands a follow up sip.
Cave Yves Cuilleron, “Sybel,” Vin de Pays Collines Rhodaniennes, 2009, $17 – Named after “la belle syrah,” the beautiful syrah, “Sybel” delivers a round and fleshy style of rosé with its deep, mauve color, and rich, ripe red fruit. Meant for quaffing along the crystalline, turquoise coasts of the Cote d’Azur, this charmer explodes with flavors of juicy, pink watermelon, freshly picked raspberries and lusciously ripe peaches – simply a mouthful of pink moxie.
Chateau Pradeaux, Bandol Rose, 2009, $45 – The Brigitte Bardot of the world of rosé, all rosés aspire to become a Chateau Pradeaux – supple, sexy, complex, full of life and, of course, better with age. Filled with intense, ripe, red fruit, flowers and even a hint of fruit punch on the nose, strawberries and crushed raspberries persist on the palate along with its luscious mouth-feel and bright acidity. With a viticultural history extending back to the French Revolution, Chateau Pradeaux is exalted as the benchmark of wine making in Bandol as they combine mourvedre and cinsault to produce a stellar, age-worthy rosé.
Please note some of these wines are very limited in production and therefore difficult to find. If interested in acquiring, visit www.epicuriouschic.com and they can assist in sourcing these wines.