At one time rosé wine was considered the choice of unsophisticated drinkers. Not only have rosé wines, in general, become more serious in their style and quality, they are also drunk by a diversity of wine lovers – from the casual to the serious. But they will always still serve the same purpose to me: they are reminders for us to slow down, take time to talk to those in our life and remind us what it is to be human again.
New York City is a fast paced town. A town where there is never enough time. It doesn’t matter what you do for a living: banker, engineer, cashier or artist, there is no excuse for not working hard and there is no time to relax – most of the year. But there is a change of pace during the summer.
Summer in the City
Even though, in the Northern Hemisphere, summer does not officially start until the 20th of June, many people in America begin to feel that summer begins after our Memorial Day holiday. Once there is any sense of “summer,” New Yorkers start getting to work a little later and leaving a little earlier. People on the street start walking at a slower pace. And surprisingly, once in a while, someone will actually hold the subway door for you. The longer daylight hours combined with the warmer temperatures affect everyone and make those once seemingly life and death deadlines seem not as important.
Rosé is Summer
Once in a while I see someone walk around in a summer dress or wear flip flops on a cold winter’s day. My first reaction is, “Are they mad?!” but then I think about my drinking habits. Yes, I love my serious reds and whites such as Burgundy, Barolo and Napa wines. Yet when I feel I am being surrounded by too much seriousness with wine, which does sometimes happen, I order a rosé because it reminds me of the conviviality of summer. Because wine should always be fun and bring us closer together rather creating a formality that tears us farther apart. And so with that in mind, the woman wearing the summer dress in winter is a shining light reminding us that the sun will come out again.
Sometimes we get so carried away with “important” things that we forget about the things that are most important. Rosé wines remind us what is most important. When I think back to what I was drinking when I was enjoying a sunset, having a heart to heart with a friend or enjoying a picnic with loved ones, it was always rosé.
Don’t get me wrong, today there is a range of rosé wines that run the gamut from cheap and cheerful to devastatingly breathtaking, so I am not suggesting they cannot be serious wines. Rather, I like to think of all of them as siblings, of sorts, that typically show fresh, generous characteristics in one way or another. Rosé wines are not narcissistic beverages that demand us to only pay attention to them. Instead they inspire us to see the beauty of the place and people around us.
Everyday Drinking Wine (less than $15)
2015 Trediberri Langhe Rosato, Piedmont, Italy ($12): 100% Nebbiolo. This rosé gives so much pleasure for a small price. The rich abundance of fresh raspberry and cranberry flavors with an aroma of cherry blossom paired with a good body makes this rosé great for barbecue and richer dishes.
Special Occasion Wine (from $15 to $50)
2015 Idlewild “The Flower” Rosé, Mendocino County, California, USA ($20): A blend of Nebbiolo, Dolcetto and Barbera. A great example of how much in love the US is with most things Italian and hence we grow Italian grape varieties. This rosé has heavenly scents of wild flowers and grapefruit with a gorgeous pale onion color and delicate palate.
Fantasy Wine (over $50)
Benoît Lahaye Rosé de Macération NV, Champagne, France ($75): 100% Pinot Noir. The grapes come from the “Grand Cru” village of Bouzy, which is renowned for its Pinot Noir. This is a very dry style of Champagne with the dosage being only around 2 to 3 grams per liter. Also, another atypical thing about this Champagne is that it is made in the saignée method, shortly macerating the juice with the skins (in this case, whole cluster bunches macerate for 2 to 3 days), instead of the typical blending red or saignée rosé wine with white wine to create rosé Champagne. This is a wild expression of Pinot Noir with flavors of bramble fruit, cinnamon toast and more flesh than structure. This wine certainly challenges one’s idea of what Champagne should be and is like the eccentric relative in a conservative royal family.