Michael O’Harra, the founder of New England Wine & Spirits recently invited me to a wonderful tasting of some of the new wines they were taking on from around the world. I was surprised to see about one third of the wines were Roses! Mike indicated that Rose has been overlooked by American consumers for some time. However, it has become the hottest wine type in the country. Mike travels all over the world tasting wines and trying to find a great wine at a great price that he feels will be a hit to the Connecticut market place. He is a delight to be around and tells fascinating stores about his wine-seeking adventures. His track record is awfully good. He has brought in wines from Aliancia to Zwack or perhaps I should say from A to Z.
Included in this group are such favorites as Barefoot Cellars, Black Tower, Bogle, Geno Auriemma and a host of other wines. One of the favorite rose wines I tasted was Rose de Loire from the Loire valley in France. It was bright and flavorful and delicate wine that is just terrific!
Another great Rose was called Compos de Luze it is made from 100% granache. Lots of strawberry and fresh fruit abounded and it had a big strawberry nose. Another is called Codorniu Pinot Noir-Rose. This wine is part of the new “Pink Revolution” and Spain’s first Rose cava made entirely from 100% Pinot Noir grape. Lots of woodland fruit characteristics and a crisp citrus finish.
When rose wine is the primary product, it is produced with the skin contact method. Black skinned grapes are crushed and the skins are allowed to remain in contact with the juice for a short period of time. Usually one to three days. The must is then pressed and the skins are discarded rather than left in contact throughout fermentation. The longer the skins are left in contact with the juice the darker and more intense the color of the wine. Early red wines were most likely more the color of Rose then red wines. Early wine makers did not leave the skins in contact with the juice for long periods of time in that they wanted a light fruity wine. Big red wines were considered harsh in Greek and Roman times. So this Mother’s Day have mom join the “Pink Revolution” that is sweeping the country and buy her a bottle one of these wonderful Rose wines. You will be glad you did!
Ray Spaziani is the Chapter Director of the New Haven Chapter of the American Wine Society. He teaches wine appreciation classes at Gateway Community College, The Milford Board of Ed and at Moltose Wine and Beer supply and is a member of the International Tasting Panel of Amenti Del Vino and Wine Maker Magazine. He is an award winning home wine maker. Email Ray with your wine questions and wine events at Ray.Spaziani@gmail.com.