Drink Pink: Local Rose is as Versatile as it is Delicious
Drink pink this spring – pink wines that is.
Whether you call it vin gris, rosé, blush or some proprietary name – rosé is back and in a big way on Long Island. And I couldn’t be happier.
Personally, I love rosé because no other wine type or style, red or white, offers so many options and so much versatility at the table. From seafood to steak – and every food in between – there is a local rosé that will pair beautifully.
Note: We’re not talking about sweet rosé here – white zinfandel from the west coast isn’t nearly as versatile, though it’s certainly popular.
Dry rosé can even bridge the gap between white wine and red, providing a gateway to wine exploration. Well-made rosé combines the complexity and structure of red wine with the refreshing, thirst-quenching qualities of whites.
To help celebrate local rosé, the Long Island Wine Council (LIWC) has deemed May “Run for the Roses” month. Throughout May wineries across Long Island will offer specials and discounts on their rosé wines. It’s the perfect opportunity to get out and taste the local rosé bounty – even if the $1 per bottle of roséé sold that was previously donated to charity is now going to the LIWC.
You’ll find rosé at just about every local winery and much of it is good. Some is very good. I haven’t tasted all of the newly released 2010s yet, but here are some of the best that have crossed my tasting table so far, plus a list of some of the consistently best pink drinks.
Bedell Cellars 2010 Taste Rosé ($18) replaces the popular Domaine CC Rosé in the Bedell/Corey Creek lineup and is dominated by merlot (62%) with cabernet franc (27%), syrah (7%) and petit verdot (4%) – all intended for roséé rather than saignee, whole-cluster pressed and fermented with ambient yeast. The nose bursts with a distinct passion fruit-meets-guava aroma with notes of peach, strawberry, blood orange and a touch of earthy spice and sage. On the dry, medium-bodied palate the flavors lean a bit more towards red fruit – particularly strawberry and red raspberry – with a dose of passion fruit and blood orange. In the background, there is a nice herbal component of some peppery spice.
Channing Daughters Winery 2010 Rosato di Refosco ($20): Channing Daughters is the only local winery to grow the Northern Italian grape Refosco and it leads to this unique rosé that stands outs. Very brambly with red raspberry and wild strawberry character, there is a definite black currant note on the palate. Medium bodied with a certain exotic quality, the acidity is juicy and citrusy. A must-try rosé.
Roaonke Vineyards 2010 De Rosa ($18): It seems like this rosé changes styles every year or so, and this release is no exception. Drier and fuller bodied that some previous years, this blend of red grapes and chardonnay shows a mélange of fruit – everything from peach to passion fruit to strawberry to grapefruit to kiwi. It’s dry but ripe with some weight on the palate that is well balanced by integrated acidity.
Shinn Estate Vineyards 2010 Rose ($17): Shinn always produces a bolder style of rosé – one suited for burgers and even steaks. Made with merlot (75%) and cabernet franc (25%), this one smells like red wine with berry fruit, plum and classic Long Island earthiness. Intensely flavored with lots of ripe red fruit and sweet herb edges. Your next burger really will thank you.
Lenn Thompson is Executive Editor of the New York Cork Report, newyorkcorkreport.com (631-772-WINE), winner of “Best Single-Subject Wine Blog,” 2009 and 2010 Wine Blog Awards.