Wine profile: A pink drink

  • Photo by Tim Johnson
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From the May 16, 2013 edition

Rosé wine: intriguingly blush-colored and seemingly suitable for spring drinking, but often overlooked.

This pink-saturated Race for the Cure weekend, though, seemed like the perfect reason to do a little taste test.

And the 2012 Moulin de Gassac Guilhem Rosé ($13 at MacLaren Wines) was a nice introduction. The grape breakdown is 40 percent grenache, 40 percent carignan and 20 percent syrah — strong, full-bodied reds, grown and blended in France. It sipped as advertised: full and red fruit-forward.

It was delicious with a caprese salad and garlic and rosemary fries, when it came across as especially refreshingly tart. It would be just as good with a fish dish or alongside a light pizza.

Rosé is actually made from red grapes, but here’s where the process differs from red wine-making: Instead of fermenting with the skins in the mix, the grape juice mingles with them for a short time before they are removed. This gives the wine a pinkish (rather than true red) color.

It makes for a different flavor, too — rosé wines are typically lighter, brighter and more fruit-forward than their full-bodied red wine counterparts. Still, they can run the gamut from dry to sweet and seem to share characteristics with white wines.

The combination makes for a taste that really mixes things up for the average red or white wine drinker. Another difference to note: Unlike advice you might see for other wines, go for young (one to two years old) rosés that are at their most flavorful peak. Look, also, for sparkling rosé (or rosé frizant), which brings a light effervescence to that bright, fruity flavor. Cheers!