By Peg San Felippo
City & Shore Magazine
There’s never a bad time to drink pink, but no better way to chill out the warmer months ahead than with a cold glass of rosé.
Full disclosure, I may be a little biased about the wine so many associate with summer. I’m a wine Sommelier, but I’m also a “roséaphile.”
And I’m not alone, apparently. According Nielsen Data, rosé consumption in the United States increased last year by 53 percent.
It was “rosé all day” for me and seven other local Somms recently at THE Rosé Competition in Fort Lauderdale, coordinated by Shari Gherman, co-founder of the American Fine Wine Competition with the help of Bob Ecker, a Napa-based wine writer and founder of the first all-rosé competition in the United States.
This international competition included 173 still and sparkling rosés ranging from $11-$135. The Best of Show in the sparkling division was one of my domestic favorites, J Brut (NV) Rosé from J Vineyards & Winery ($45). Surprisingly the winner in the dry rosé category came from Hungary (who knew?!) The Sauska Rosé Cuvée ($15) was a blend that included cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah and pinot noir grapes. La Vieille Ferme ($11) from France took second place and is readily available in liquor and grocery stores throughout South Florida.
Stephanie Miskew, proprietor of The Wine Atelier in Delray Beach, is a longtime fan of rosé. “Rosé is one of the most versatile and food-friendly wines made,” she said. “There’s nothing like Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé ($75) with a grilled N.Y. strip steak.” Another of Miskew’s favorites is Château d’Esclans Rock Angel ($35).
“If you have a yacht you have rosé,” said Andrew Lampasone, owner of Wine Watch in Fort Lauderdale. “There is not a yacht docked in Fort Lauderdale that doesn’t have some on board. When owners come in to stock their boats they don’t just buy a bottle or two of rosé they buy five or six six-packs at a time, particularly Domaine Ott from Château Romassan ($54). Wölffer Estate ($20) from Long Island, N.Y., is also a big seller.” Lampasone has seen a steady increase in sales in the past couple years and now has over 50 still and sparkling rosés available through his store. “It’s definitely the day-drinkers beverage of choice, especially in Miami and South Beach.”
Here are some things to keep in mind when purchasing rosés:
There are great ones out there but some wineries are trying to capitalize on its trendiness. Just because a winery makes an amazing chardonnay or cab doesn’t guarantee their rosé will be as good.
Price should not be the determining factor. There are some terrific rosés from $11-$25.
Don’t be afraid of frizzante (sparkling) rosés, made to be slightly effervescent. Originally popular in Italy they are now made in wine regions around the world.
For those of you still giving rosé “the cold shoulder” let me also clear up some myths:
Myth 1: All rosés are sweet.
Fact: Like any wine, rosés can be dry or sweet. New World wines are generally sweeter than others.
Myth 2: Color equals quality.
Fact: Color is a result of style and winemaking and pale or darker rosés can be good or bad. (Avoid bright orange, though, as that can mean the wine has oxidized).
Myth 3: Rosé first gained popularity in the ’70s when California began to produce blush wines.
Fact: Pale wines were the preferred pour among the elites of ancient Rome. (Darker wines were left for the soldiers and peasants).
Myth 4: Only old people drink rosé.
Fact: Nope, in fact millennials seem to be driving the pink trend. According to Nielsen Data, 40 percent of all rosé consumers are 21 to 34-year-old females.
Myth 5: Real men don’t drink rosé.
Fact: Rosé pub crawls are common worldwide. Male (and rosé) only drinking events are frequent in the Basque region of Spain.
2017 roses under $25 to try now
BY.Ott, Domaine Ott, Côtes de Provence, $20.
Alie, Frescobaldi, Tuscany, $19.
Saint AIX, Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence, $21.
Decoy, Napa Valley, $20.
Gérard Bertrand brut rosé Crémant de Limoux, Languedoc, $15.
d’Almerita, Tasca, Sicily, $14.
Chapoutier Belleruche, Côtes du Rhône, $11.
Turkey Flat Vineyards, Barossa Valley, Australia, $18.
Julia, Hearst Ranch Winery, Paso Robles, $21.
Château de Trinquevedel, Tavel, $18.