Rosé all day: 5 to try for your next summer gathering
Drinking rosés after Memorial Day makes a fun and delicious way to slip comfortably into enjoying summertime pleasures. The eye-pleasing and generally reasonably priced “pink” wines readily match the salads, savory dips and grilled foods perfect for outdoor summertime gatherings.
Just use a little imagination and try a variety of diverse rosé styles to please every taste. Start with the following:
• 2017 Terra d'Ortolo, I.G.P. Île de Beauté, France (78858; Chairman's Selection On Sale: $9.99). The aptly named “Île de Beauté” (i.e., Ile of beauty) appellation spreads over the island of Corsica's ruggedly gorgeous mountain sides. The Mediterranean sun and sea breezes temper the vineyards' relatively cool climate to ripen the fruit perfectly.
This blend of Niellucciu, Sciaccarellu, Grenache and Merlot rocks the glass with fresh strawberry, plum and light spicy notes. Then lush, ripe red fruit, plum and citrus flavors follow balanced by uplifting acidity. Pair it with either grilled tuna with a mango and citrus sauce or spicy barbecued shrimp. Recommended.
• 2016 Dominio de Punctum, Lobetia Rosado, Vino de la Tierra de Castilla, Spain (1569; $9.99). The Fernández family grows Garnacha grapes in a “traditional” organic method, free from synthetic chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. The resulting salmon-pink colored wine delivers an easy drinking glass with refreshing crispness and ripe red fruit. Try it with slices of sweet green, red and yellow peppers with a creamy garden herb dip. Recommended.
• 2017 Ippolito 1845, “Mabila” Cirò Rosato D.O.C., Italy (Luxury 73942; $12.99) comes from Gaglioppo grapes, a native Calabria variety with ancient origins still shrouded in mystery. The wine's deep salmon color offers light floral and vibrant red cherry aromas. Fresh, fruity flavors of red cherries and citrus balance with fresh acidity and minerality. The fruity, dry finish pairs well with pasta with olive oil, minced garlic and red chili flakes. Highly Recommended.
• 2017 E. Guigal, Côtes-du-Rhône Rosé, France (available online nationwide for around $15; Pennsylvania currently offers only the 2016 vintage as Code 4884; $14.99). Year after year, Guigal rosé consistently delivers terrific quality and good value. The wine incorporates grenache noir, cinsault and syrah, noble grapes grown with low yields to enhance concentration and flavors. Final aging in stainless steel tanks preserves freshness.
Lovely red fruit and light herbal notes open to ripe, crisp red fruit flavors balanced by uplifting acidity. It finishes dry and refreshing. Pair it with either barbecued baby back pork ribs or smoky barbeques chicken. Highly Recommended.
• 2017 Château Trinquevedel, Tavel, France (Luxury 74274; $18.99). The southern French Tavel rosés enjoy an outstanding international reputation, so the appellation's producers make no other wines, neither white nor red. Grapes from Tavel's very best parcels go into the delicious rosé wines.
In this case, winegrower Guillaume Demoulin uses both red-skinned grapes — grenache noir, cinsault, syrah and mourvèdre — and white-skinned grapes — bourboulenc, clairette and grenache blanc. The vines toil in sandy soils covered by galets roulés (rounded stones) which makes for arduous farming. The resulting fruit delivers intense aromas, terrific concentration and refreshing acidity.
The wine's ruddy red salmon color offers ripe red fruit and spice aromas with lavender notes. Ripe fruit flavors with good concentration balance with fresh acidity through the dry, fruity finish. Pair it with grilled salmon steaks. Highly Recommended.
Dave DeSimone is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.