The personalities of rosé
Many people still associate rosé with many of the off-dry or sweet pink wines found cheaply on grocery or liquor store shelves around the world; cheap, cheerful and widely available these wines haven’t gained the best reputation. This has left many of the amazingly delicious, high-quality rosés produced forgotten or ignored, it’s time to change that. Quality rosé is diverse and can range from the perfectly light and refreshing poolside sipper, to the rich and flavorful food wine we all need to have on hand. To better acquaint you with the wonderful versatility of a quality rosé let’s take a look at four of the many personalities it can show.
- The Poolside Sipper
Poolside might not be inclusive enough, beaches work well, even a puddle will do on a really hot day, the point is rosé is perfect for when you want a refreshing drink on a relaxing day. Sitting out in the sun relaxing you really don’t want to have to think about your wine, you just want to sit back and sip on something delicious. You usually don’t want something warm, or tannic, or heavy which eliminates the majority of reds, and you maybe want something that’s light but also flavorful which can be a hard balance to strike in a white. This situation is where rosé shines bright as the flexible superstar that it is.
The typical style of quality rosé is what makes this possible. Most premium rosés are dry or very close to it, but they still keep a perfect balance between being light and refreshing but rich and flavorful. Sure some rosés tilt more towards one end of the scale or the other but they almost all try to tread that line. With no single overwhelming character they’re perfect for the random mix of snack foods and summertime activities you’ll come across. They also lack a lot of the pretense that comes associated with wine so you will even see the occasional ice cube drop into a glass and nobody really worrying if their glassware is perfect. It’s really hard to be stressed while drinking rosé in the sun.
- The Barbecue Sommelier’s Secret Weapon
Let’s be honest, we normally think beer and barbecue, but the reality is that not every day is a beer day and some people just don’t drink beer, so what do you do then? Heavy rich and saucy barbecue foods overpower most of the light whites in seconds, they just don’t stand up to all of the flavors and richness without an expert hand at pairing. Maybe you were thinking red wine as the go to but the sweetness or spiciness of barbecue can be a nightmare for pairing, and again who really wants a big rich red when it’s 30*C and sunny outside? This is again when a premium rosé fits the bill, pick something a bit richer than usual and chill it down, next thing you know you will have legendary status among your friends.
Versatility is what works its charm here for rosé. It’s refreshing and cheerful which is perfect for the barbecue atmosphere but more importantly it can stand up to barbecue chaos. If you think of a typical plate at a barbecue, burgers and sausages will range from plain and meaty to acidic with pickles and tomatoes or sweet with ketchup and mayo; Ribs could be dry rubbed, spicy, sweet; let’s not even start on the random mix of veggies, chips and other random things. This is a nightmare from a pairing perspective, with most wines there’s at least one pairing on this plate that would make your mouth recoil in horror. With rosé a bad pairing could still happen but without all the extreme flavor components you’re much safer.
- The Holiday Host’s Best Friend
When we think of rosé, most of us think of summer, or at the very least sun; this is kind of like how we think of sparkling only for celebrations. The problem with this is you are missing out on the perfect wine for so many other occasions. One of these actually takes place when we’re typically drinking anything but rosé during that wonderful stretch of holiday craziness that for Canadians lasts from essentially October through December. Rosé might seem unexpected here but it’s actually the perfect answer to your typical holiday setting.
Similar to the barbecue dilemma, most holiday dinners are a giant mix of flavours. From the staple of turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing, to glazed hams, duck, lamb chops, the range of veggies and your family’s specialty dishes, you can almost never be sure what to expect at a holiday dinner. This is when a premium rosé can really come out to play, perfect for the turkey and cranberry sauce, flavorful and fresh enough for ham or duck, plays nicely with veggies and can even handle those sweeter secret sweet potato recipes or whatever else crops up. A bottle of rosé on the holiday table can be a lively and safe addition to the party.
- The negotiator
Everybody knows someone, let’s call them white wine Wendy, usually the awkward aunt, sister or mother that seems to drink nothing other than white wine. That family member that you’ve never even seen drink water or milk, pop or juice and definitely never red wine or beer. They somehow survive year after year consuming no liquid other than white wine. More often than not depending on their generation this will be a super bland Pinot Grigio or a Home Depot level woody Chardonnay. We can all think of one of these right. Now as a host and a wine lover this can be eternally frustrating, white wine is great but not every situation calls for it.
The secret to handling a white wine wendy at your dinner party you ask? Well you probably guessed rosé, and you’re right. They almost all share a genetic inability to see the colour pink, so if you put any other liquid in front of them they recoil in disgust and turn it down, but put a rosé in their glass and they continue on as if you poured them their favorite white wine. Now this may seem petty, but when you’ve put all that effort into a delicious dinner, you just want them to enjoy it without killing the flavor like Steak Sauce Steve a few seats down.
These are just a few of the many personalities of rosé. Grab a bottle and experiment and you will see how diverse it can be. Maybe you will uncover another of rosé’s thousand charming personalities. If you do let us know in the comments or on facebook, we’d love to hear!