BRUNELLO’S NOSE KNOWS….
Rose' Still Wines
It’s the “unofficial start of summer” and nothing chills you out better on a hot Florida day than a lovely glass of rose’! Rose’ can be made from any red grape, or a combination or blend of red and white grapes. Wonderful to sip on a hot sunny day with your toes in the water. The wine is usually lower in alcohol, and ranges in color from pale pink to dark salmon and copper. True Provence Rose’- wine made from that particular region in France, tends to be lighter- and ALL of these rose’ wines are finished in a DRY style. It is not the sweet stuff of White Zinfandel, which garnered fame from California in the 1980’s and 90’s. Today, rose’ means strawberry, cherry, tart fruit and acid, and often a bone-dry finish. Refreshing to drink as an aperitif, or with any combination of lighter meals such as fish and chicken.
How did rose’ get started? Well, back in 500 BC when the Romans and then the Greeks were growing grapes in the south of France, they were not that sophisticated at winemaking. Many wines were fermented quickly and the skins were removed leaving a slightly alcoholic pink wine; the first rose’ ever produced was believed to be in Provence. Cote de Provence is a large Appellation with four sub regions. Over 80% of the wine produced in Provence goes into rose’ winemaking. Different regions of Provence, known for its lavender and thyme fields, allow different varietals to grow many different flavor profiles based on the “terroir”. That being said, almost every region of the world is producing a rose’ wine these days. Let’s explore how it’s made and a few we have here on the shelf for you to try.
There are a couple of ways to turn red wine grape varietals into rose’; the French method of Saignee, which literally means bleed, is a popular method. Winemakers will “bleed off” a small percentage of their red wine production in the early stage of fermentation to make a rose’- typically much darker pink in color with a richer flavor profile.
The Maceration method is the most popular, where the grapes are allowed to rest on their skins for a very short time, allowing more subtle color extraction. The longer the maceration, the darker and more richly flavored the wine will be. This method can produce many styles of rose’ based on the winemaker and terroir of the grapes harvested. Grapes can macerate on the skins from minutes to hours to days.
Direct Pressing is a method similar to maceration- instead of allowing the juice a lot of time to sit with the skins, the grapes are pressed quickly and the skins removed, leaving a natural pink color. Direct Press rose’ usually has more citrus flavors.
Blending is an uncommon method of making rose’ that is actually banned in most parts of Europe (save for Champagne). A small amount of red wine is added to a still white wine to change the color and flavor profile. This method is used in countries outside Europe, though it is not wildly popular.
Here are a few rose’ wines we have on our shelves from all around the world.
Studio by Miraval is a wonderful Provence rose’ born out of plots of vineyards in the south of France surrounded by olive groves and Pine trees. This winery is run by the famed Familie Perrin- who has been making wine for hundreds of years. In partnership with the Pit -Jolie company; yes, Brad Pit still owns the Miraval Winery, and Studio is their entry rose’ wine. A blend of Cinsault, Grenache, Rolle, and Tibouren (all grapes known to the Provence Region of France) this wine shows flavors of strawberry, blood orange and ginger spice, with a smooth richness on the finish. It is perfectly paired with seafood, as the salinity is apparent on the first sip- the vines close proximity to the ocean plays a part in the terroir. Studio is named for the recording studio at the winery where many famous musicians have come to relax, unwind, play music, record music, and sip Studio Rose’! I give it three bones.
Pasqua Rose’ 11 Minutes is from the Trevenezie IGT located near Lake Garda in the Friuli region of Italy. This fun rose’ wine is named for the number of minutes the skins spend resting with the juice (maceration). Mostly Corvina grapes (50%) with some Trebbiano (25%) blended in, and a touch of Syrah (15%) and Carmenere (10%). Pale pink in color with floral aromas and significant acidity. Soft berry and mineral notes. I give it three bones!
Honoro Vera Rosado from Spain is a blend of Syrah and Tempranillo made with a combination of direct press and saignee’. The wine is elegant with a bouquet of apple and lemon peel, with hints of flint. The beautiful salmon color expresses subtle flavors of watermelon and strawberry with bright acidity. I give it two bones!
Belle Glos Pinot Noir Blanc This famous Joe Wagner California produced wine is offering a rose’ from Sonoma County. Pale pink with a copper hue, citrus aromas, and creamy orange notes, with a dried fruit finish. I give it two bones!
There are South American rose’ and Australian rose’- nearly every part of the world that produces wine has a rose’ in one form or another. Stay cool and refreshed and enjoy a trip around the rose’ world by exploring our aisles. Remember we offer curb side pick up as well. We hope to see you soon!
By Brunello Giancola as told to CRBrown
Value Wines for the Times
We have all settled in to the new “normal”- we are practicing safe distances and staying at home, and finding new ways of working and doing things, including communicating and shopping. If you’re budget has taken a hit, or if your wine consumption has gone up significantly (whose hasn’t?!) don’t raid all of your good stuff out of the wine cellar. We have some great wines all under $10 a bottle that won’t disappoint. Don’t forget, you can call us or e-mail and we will pull your order for you. Here’s some popular varietals that are budget friendly- all around $10 a bottle or less.
Washington Hills Riesling This wine is grown in Columbia Valley, in Washington State. It’s light and fruity with flavors of orange zest and dried apricot, with a hint of red roses on the nose. A touch of Gewurztraminer blended in gives a ripe pineapple and sweet tart finish. The winery is owned by the largest wine company in the Northwest, Precept Brands. Lots of fruit sources and quality. I give it two bones!
Chateau St Jean Crisp Chardonnay Part of the Treasury Wine Group, St Jean has a long history of quality in Sonoma, California. Founded in 1973, the current winemaker Margo Van Staaveren has over 35 years of viticulture and winemaking experience. This “crisp” Chardonnay is aged in stainless steel – hints of lemon, fresh pear, and apple blossom. This wine shows the true expression of the grape grown on their vineyards in Kenwood, Sonoma. I give it three bones!
Day Owl Rose’ This wine radiates floral red fruit and vibrant orange zest. The lively acidity makes the wine great just for sipping on a hot day, or with light seafood or chicken dishes. The grape is Barbera- an Italian varietal that grows well in California. The fruit is sourced from Central Coast and Paso Robles and it is slightly lower in alcohol, 12% so we love it for “day drinking”! I give it three bones!
Cycles Gladiator Pinot Noir Another value from California that is owned by a wine group that contracts out for the fruit. This practice is common in Europe and a growing theme in California, as quality wines can be produced affordably. Wine Hooligans purchased the Cycles Gladiator brand and the grapes are sourced from up and down North and Central Coast areas of California, within ten miles of the Pacific Ocean. Aromas of cherries with soft, toasty oak. Flavors of Pomegranate and strawberry, with tobacco and raspberry on the finish. I give it two bones!
Sterling Vintner’s Collection Merlot Another treasured wine from the Treasury Estate folks- this Merlot has ripe dark fruit flavors and a touch of spicy oak. Blackberry fruit up front with a hint of chocolate on the finish. The winery is located in Calistoga, California and is famous for their aerial tram that takes visitors up the mountain with amazing views of the vineyards and countryside. The Vintner’s Collection is their entry level tier of wines and grapes are sourced from vineyards throughout CA. I give this Merlot three bones!
Line 39 Cabernet Sauvignon This wine is a pleasure to drink at this price point! The 39th Parallel runs through the heart of California wine country and this is the inspiration behind this label. Grapes are sourced throughout the best regions: North Coast, Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino for this wine. Aromas of blackberry, plum and vanilla- medium bodied with a smooth palate. I give it three bones!
19 Crimes Shiraz Named for the English convicts that were sent to Australia via boats for committing any of 19 Crimes. These convicts eventually became colonists and settled the land, became farmers and viticulturists. Intense aromas of vanilla, ripe raspberry and plum fruits. A great value, I give it two bones!
Piatelli Malbec Over 50 years ago, an Italian family settled in Mendoza, Argentina and planted wine grapes. The current winemaker, Valeria Antolin is a second-generation viticulturist following in the footsteps of her father and uncle. She grew up in the industry and has consistently garnered 90+ ratings on these wines. Intensely aromatic blueberries on the nose, flavors of plum and raspberries. Medium to heavy weight with a smooth finish. This is a super- premium wine at a bargain price point. I give it three bones!
There’s something for everyone to enjoy here at Ed’s. We offer curb side service; we will gather your order and have it ready for you when you pull up in your car. Stay safe and stay sane, and remember you can’t walk your dog too many times!
By Brunello Giancola as told to CRBrown