Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Rosé Summer Rolls On With Two French Mediterranean Winners

We’ve declared this the Rosé Summer. Pink is everywhere you look. For us in the Triangle area of North Carolina, there has been some sweltering humidity. What’s a person to do? Try uncorking one of these rosé blends.

Power Of The Chiller

Rosé is a pink wine made from red wine grapes. Red wine wouldn’t be red if not for extended contact with the grape skins, which provide anthocyanins – the compound which gives grapes color. When it comes to drinking wine, that may be TMI (too much information)!

The art of rosé is controlling the process to result in the delightful salmon, coral or rose colors. The visual treat is a boost to the spirits on a hot day as much as the crisp refreshing wine.

We encourage you to chill it down and then get down, so to speak, with a glass of rosé. It’s a perfect pairing wine for a variety of foods.

Say Cinsault – Say What?

We recently tried a pair of rosé wines from France, the Mimi en Provence Grand Reserve, Côtes de Provence and the Gérard Bertrand Cote des Roses, Languedoc Sud de France. Both are 2016 vintages and both can be found in the $12-$15 price range.

This pair also shares the same trio of grapes in their blend: Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah – popular grapes in the south of France. The Mimi lists the grapes in the order above, while the Cotes des Roses leads with the Grenache in the greater quantity followed by Cinsault. Cinsault, is pronounced SAHN-soh, and can also be spelled Cinsaut. Cinsault can withstand very high heat, and so it is widely grown in the hotter areas of France, like Languedoc. It is typically blended to tone down its naturally high acidity. We consider this a playful blend of grapes, that well represents the Mediterranean region from which they originate.

A Rosé By Any Other Name

Two great entrée choices for rosé are pork and salmon. We tried them both with excellent results. We paired the Mimi with cedar plank rosemary salmon served with broccoli and baked potatoes.

The Mimi, which we picked up at Cellar 55, is a light salmon in color – how fitting! The bouquet is bright and floral. On the palate, there is a taste of Granny Smith apples and citrus. It is fresh and crisp. It was a seamless match with our salmon and we continued to enjoy it on into the evening.

The Gérard Bertrand is pale pink in the glass. On the nose there are whiffs of red fruit. The Cote des Roses was poured with panko-coated pork chops grilled with apples and served with broiled vegetables and couscous. The grapes for this vino are grown in a warm, windy climate and the altitude and cooling sea breezes allow the grapes to retain their freshness. We tasted honeysuckle and flavor threads of candied citrus.

I grabbed the Gérard Bertrand for dinner when I saw the Green Dragon arranging some pink roses on the dining table. The Cote des Roses bottle is embellished with a pink rose on the neck. The bottle was created by a young designer from the Ecole Boulle. It features a rose molded into the bottom of the bottle. You can turn the bottle upside down and present it like a rose, I guess.

Both the bottles are closed with glass stoppers, adding to the artistic appeal. These are crisp, refreshing food-friendly choices for your warm weather refreshment. Let the Rosé Summer roll on!

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