Dry Rose is one of East Tennessee’s fasting growing wine categories and for good reason. I can’t think of another wine that is as versatile with food then dry Rose. It can be served as an aperitif or paired with salads, fresh fish, grilled vegetables, pork and chicken dishes, barbeque, burgers and pizza. In fact it’s hard to find a food group that doesn’t pair well with dry Rose.
So the big question is, what is dry Rose and from where does it come? Some people might believe that to make Rose all you need to do is blend red and white wine together. Well, I’ve seen it done at many a wine party when a guest has been drinking white wine and wants to change over to red wine and accidentally leaves a little white wine in the glass. But that is not how dry Rose is made. To make Rose, red grapes are lightly crushed and the clear juice is left to macerate with their red skins for a specific amount of time (from a few hours to a few days). The longer the time, the darker the Rose gets. And you can make Rose from several popular grape varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Grenache and any other grape with a dark skin.
So where does Rose come from? From just about every wine producing country in the world. France and Spain are two of the largest producers, along with Italy and the U.S. But I have had dry Rose from Argentina, Chile, Australia, and even Germany. But I would have to say that the dry Rose that I love the most comes from southern France, including Provence and the Rhone valley. Over the past few years, California Rose has really come into its own, producing some that rival the best that France has to offer.
One more important factor about dry Rose. You want to drink Rose while they are young and fresh, so look for the just released 2013 vintage. There may be a few 2012′s still in the marketplace, and while very nice, have a much shorter shelf life than the 2013′s.
My Rose pick for 2013 comes from the Provence region of southern France, home too many of the best dry Rose made in the world. The 2013 Triennes Rose ($18) is a blend of Cinsault, Syrah, Grenache and Merlot. The juice is left on the skins for only 2-3 hours which produces a light salmon color. But don’t let the color fool you. From the first glass you get this sense of elegance and freshness. Strawberries, raspberries, and watermelon are predominate along with a dry, juicy finish that makes your palette scream for more. A limited amount made it into the East Tennessee market so act quickly.
I have listed other Rose that are worth checking out. All come from the just released 2013 vintage. From France, look for the easy going Chateau Grande Cassagne ($12), the value packed Bila-Haut by Michel Chapoutier ($13), the complex Chateau de Lancyre from Pic Saint Loup (20), the rich, full-bodied Chateau de Segries Tavel Rose ($20) and the home run Mas des Bressades from Costieres de Nimes ($15). From California, check out winemaker Wells Guthrie’s outstanding Copain Rose of Pinot Noir ($19) and Simi Winery’s rich Rose of Cabernet Sauvignon (415). And from Oregon, try Domaine Serene’s outstanding “r” Rose. Later in the season, expect to see new arrivals from Spain and new releases from other parts of the world.