Haute How To: Pairing Rosé Wine With Summer Dishes

domaine ott glass

Recent record-breaking temperatures in San Francisco had many oenophiles going for rosè wine. The blush-colored adult beverage is certainly enjoying being the haute wine these days. Bottles seem to be flying off the shelves more quickly than ever. As you gear up for late summer and Labor Day entertaining,  we wanted to offer you some suggestions on how to pair rosè wine with summer dishes from Paul Mekis, wine director for Rosewood Hotels & Resorts and sommelier of Madera, the Michelin-starred restaurant at Rosewood Sand Hill in Menlo Park.

Mekis, who as a child helped his grandfather and father, who regularly made their own wine, siphon wine from barrels into gallon jugs, is a credentialed advanced sommelier — one of only a few in the world. He joined Madera following 10 years at the celebrated Plumed Horse in Saratoga, where he oversaw the wine cellar and a wine list of more than 2,000 selections. While at the Plumed Horse, Mekis earned Wine Spectator‘s Grand Award, the highest honor in the magazine’s annual dining guide, for nine consecutive years. Since the opening of Madera in 2009, Mekis’s direction of the wine program has led to three Wine Spectator awards of excellence, the highest honor for the size of the cellar at Madera. The restaurant has also earned a Michelin star for two consecutive years. Mekis takes particular pride in the sommelier team he has assembled at Madera which represents more than 50 years of wine experience among the three sommeliers.

Below are Mekis’ suggestions for the perfect rosè wines and the best seasonal dishes to pair them with based on the occasions:

Chateau de Pampelonne for a Crab Boil: This rosé has earthy tones but is still very light and fantastic for pairing with crab meat, shrimp, grilled salmon and even Hamachi or a tuna tartare.

Chateau de Trinquevedel Rosè for a BBQ: Mekis likes the earthiness and complexity of this rose – it has good body and structure to it making it a great choice with heavier dishes like lamb burgers and steaks.

Domaine Ott “Les Domaniers” Provence for Sipping by the Pool: Light and drinkable, this rosè is perfect on its own and is the most popular rosè on the poolside menu at Rosewood Sand Hill. It also makes for a great hostess gift and pairs beautifully with pasta dishes such as linguini with heirloom tomato wedges, prosciutto and toasted pine nuts.

Clos Clementine Cotes de Provence 2014 for a Cocktail Party: This light and crisp rosè has the slightest touches of bright berry flavors and complements mature and hard cheeses perfectly. For other cocktail party appetizers, it drinks well with petite lamb chops, beef lollipops and goes particularly well with all spicy foods.

Moshin Pinot Noir Rose, Russian River Valley 2014: This rosè is light in color soft strawberry-tangerine with great acidity and balance. It pairs well with a fresh summertime melon and prosciutto appetizer. If enjoying this wine alongside an entree, it pairs best with a delicate fish like petrale sole with orange zest.

Domaine de Marquiliani (90% Sciaccarellu 10% Syrah Rosè, Corsica 2014: Light with a wonderful balance of white flower aromas, peaches, delicate tart cherry so it pairs well with couscous with dried cherries and currants.

Paul Mekis
Paul Mekis

Photo Credit: Courtesy Rosewood Hotels & Resorts