Discover Rosé Wines This Summer

Domaine Houchart1967 was the “Summer of Love” in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district.  So I’m declaring the summer of 2007 as the “Summer to Love Rosé.”  Perhaps we can even have a theme song.  Maybe AC/DC can re-issue one of their famous songs as Whole Lotta Rosé.

O.K., enough AC/DC Rosé wine fun.  What is Rosé?.  Why is it becoming so popular and most importantly, what do I recommend?

Let’s start with what is Rosé?  Proper Rosé is a wine that comes from red grapes.  The grape’s skins are allowed to remain in contact with the juice in the fermentation vat for only a short period of time (generally hours).  This allows for the pink color to be established and a touch of tannin to meld into the juice.

What is a Blush Wine?  It’s a Rosé as well.  However, many might argue that if a winemaker adds a little red wine to a white wine to give it a pink color, then that would not be considered a Rosé.  The only exception to this rule would be when it comes to making Rosé Champagne.

Are Rosé wines sweet or dry?  Both.  The famous or infamous sweet Rosé wines are the Mateus which is a semi sweet sparkling rosé from Portugal and the other is White Zinfandel.  As for dry Rosés, many regions have been making dry Rosés for years.  Provençal & Tavel in France come to mind.  With dry wines continuing to grow in popularity, and with the expansion of the American palate, these fruity, refreshing, dry wines are just beginning to come into vogue here in the United States.  Even a few U.S. winemakers are jumping on the band wagon. 

For this post I tried a Rosé wine from Provençal.  As you may remember from my post a few weeks ago, I’m a big believer that the proper glass can make a difference so I tried this wine with my new Riedel “Rose” glass to benefit Living Beyond Breast Cancer.  Click on the link to read more about this fundraiser.  The wine I chose to review for this post was the 2006 Domaine Houchart “Cotes de Provence” $10.  I rated it Very Good .  It is made from 35% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 20% Cinsault, 10% Cabernet, 5% Mourvèdre, & 5% others.  It was very likeable and refreshing.  I also found it to be quite tasty and very appealing for the hot summer days ahead.  For complete review of this wine, click on the link above.  Serve it at about 50°F to 55°F. 

I would also like to tell you about a few American Rosés that I have tried over the last few months.  First, is the 2005 Yorkville Cellars “Rose de Franc” $16.  I rated this dry organic wine as Very Good and refreshing.  The other is the 2006 Anglim Winery “Rose” $15 made from mostly Grenache & Syrah.  I rated this wine Very Good .  It is one of the nicest Rosés I have had this year.  If there is a Rosé that you have tried recently, please feel free to provide a comment so the entire Wine Sediments audience can try Whole Lotta Rosé during the “Summer to Love Rosé.” 

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