Yes, it’s that time of year. Summer is here, and the rosé campaign is in full swing. New wines continue to arrive, and I am spending a lot of time tasting, drinking, and writing about the new 2012s. The first article was recently published (to read that article click here) and more will follow. So far about 60 rosés have been tasted and this number will continue to increase as more wines become available.
What I can say about the 2012 rosés is that, as usual, there are many really delicious and beautifully balanced wines. For the many years that I have been tasting and drinking rosés, there has never been a year that this was not the case. But, the 2012s seem especially finesseful as compared with the last few vintages. Again, they cover the spectrum from fruity wines to more complex wines and are generally low in alcohol in a range of 11 to 14 percent with most in the 12 to 13 percent range. Some are soft and supple, others are bright and crisp. And, the prices are in a range of roughly $10 to $40 with most less than $20. In short, there is something for every taste and pocket book. And, depending on the weather, the food I’m eating, and a few other assorted things, I like all types of rosés which I think fall into a few different categories:
The complex and generally lighter colored rosés especially from Provence and other areas of France, as well as Italy, and Spain. The really fruity and generally darker colored rosés, especially from the Côtes du Rhone and other areas of France, as well as Italy, Spain, and Australia. Bright, flavorful, and crisp rosés from the Loire Valley and other areas of France, as well as Italy and Spain.
I like the rosés in the first category with fish and lighter foods such as pastas and salads. The rosés in the second category I like with richer foods, anything from the grill, and spicy foods. The rosés in the third category can match very well with a wide variety of foods including most of the foods just mentioned. A big part of the fun in drinking rosés is matching the different types with different foods. But, since not all people have the same since of taste (To read articles on this subject, click here, and here), the great variety of rosés presents a terrific opportunity to play the Blending Game (To read about blending wines click here and here).
With this in mind, may I offer you a suggestion? Start with a few different rosés. Buy three or four different rosés reviewed in my article, or ask your wine merchant for recommendations. Take the wines home and taste and drink them together. Having done that, you can choose your favorites, and if some are not quite to your taste, play the Blending Game. In order to do this, also keep a few bottles of white wine in the refrigerator and at least one red wine. For whites I would suggest something soft and fruity like a viognier or pinot gris, and something crisp like a muscadet. For the red I would suggest something soft and supple like a beaujolais. With this arsenal you are now positioned to make a rosé that is suited to your taste. If the rosé is a bit to acidic or crisp for your taste, add something like the viognier or pinot gris. If it is a bit soft, add something very crisp like a muscadet. If you think it could use a bit more fruit and flavor, add some beaujolais. Measure your servings in the blend and keep track of what works the best for you. The Blending Game allows you to make something more suited to your taste. But there’s more. Add a variety of different foods, invite your friends and have them make their own blends. This is the Blending Game party!
Rosés are meant for early consumption and, for the most part, are wines for the moment. So don’t take a chance. Have a variety of wines on hand to always enable you to make the wine that most suits your taste. Play the Blending Game. Have a Blending Game party. It’s a win/win and a lot of fun!
— John Tilson, The Underground Wine Letter