Food & Drink » Anthony Gismondi on Wine

Food and Drink

Old rose is new again



If back to school tasks have you preoccupied this week, the fabulous warm, late summer weather we are enjoying suggests fall could be more than a month away and that still leaves you plenty of time to embrace the season’s hottest wine style – rosé.

Like most everything in the wine business the rosé category has undergone a great deal of scrutiny of late as wineries move to improve a niche wine that somehow always looked better than it tasted.

Better techniques and a commitment to the rosé style from the vineyard to winery has upped the quality of the modern-day pink, giving it something to offer most curious sippers.

That said, I have a theory about the rush to rosé and it has nothing to do with technology or better winemaking. Nor does it point to any marketing gimmicks. I believe consumers are embracing rosé because they are as confident as ever about tasting wine and after years of exploring different grapes and styles of wine, rosé is just another, whose time has come.

Because we approach it with more knowledge and interest than ever before, it must taste better to hold our interest. Just being pink is no longer good enough.

Today’s rosé is generally drier and or fruiter than previous editions and it’s this style, (higher acid and less sugar) that is making important inroads into local restaurants and wine bars and even B.C Liquor stores.

For the record, there are few places rosé is made by simply blending red and white wines – at least legally. Most pink wine begins life the same way as a red wine, inside a tank fermenting on its skins. The difference is after a few hours, the skins are removed and fermentation continues as if it was a white wine.

The reduced skin contact produces a delicate pink wine that undeniably grabs your eye in the glass and that comes with just enough flavour and tannin to stand up to a wide array of al fresco bites.

Summer usually means eating more casually, and often out-of-doors, and both are suited to the versatility of rosé that offers more mouth-weight than simple whites but does not overpower the food in the way red wine tannins might.

Less acidity and lower alcohol are two key features of dry rosé, when compared with whites and reds, and that smoothness allows it to pair well with a variety of pasta dishes, both warm and cold.

Again thanks to its softer tannin, rosé is a fine companion to most fish dishes, and the spicier the better. Think grilled salmon and glass of pink Provence. A favourite rosé pairing of mine is fresh goat cheese encrusted with peppercorns and dried tomatoes.