We love pink wine at the Goats! Our sommelier Aaron Sherman took a few minutes to walk us through (in pretty great detail!) the ins and outs of this tasty beverage. Read on to find out everything you wanted to know about Rose!
Roses are good for fans of ___________Wine__________.
Roses are good for fans of ____________Springtime_________.
Roses are good for fans of __________Happiness___________.
Roses are good for fans of _________Everything____________.
I know that Spring and Rose go together, but I don’t know why! Please tell me!
Rose is a perfect spring wine. They tend (tend, of course, because there’s always someone out there doing something weird or different) to be light and fresh. Roses are usually made by taking red grapes and only soaking the skins of the grapes for a very short time. Think of it like a tea bag that you dunk in hot water once or twice, instead of leaving it in contact for several minutes (or days/weeks in the case of wine).
Roses are light, they are fresh, they drink really clean. Think of the first flavors of spring: baby greens, ramps, garlic scapes, lettuces. The first things that come to us in spring are bold, but light. We’re not talking root vegetables (heavy), we’re not talking peaches (syrupy sweet), we’re not talking buttery corn. We’re talking light and fresh.
Think of it this way, we’ve been buried under snow, with big, warming flavors of meat, potatoes, big red wines, and scotch for months. Spring is the first light of life, and the first time we get to shed those heavy layers and enjoy something light and flimsy. Wine is the same way. The roses are the first things that aren’t big, and rich, and mouthfilling, and heavy; they’re the first taste of clean and zesty that we’ve had in months.
What dishes go well with Rose?
Roses are the great middle ground: white wine drinker eating steak or pork? Rose has just enough red fruit flavors to pair up and yet still drinks like a crisp, fresh white. Red wine drinker eating trout? Roses are light and clean in flavor, but have berry tones that play in the world of red without overpowering the dish. Just like to drink everything? Goodness, that rose looks pretty in the glass.
I like roses to play with foods that need white wines structures (acidity and lightness), but can use a bit of red/black flavors (smoke from the grill, mushroom notes).
Perfect rose pairings:
Baby spinach salad with strawberries and ranch dressing: the greens are light (no big protein to chew against); the strawberry flavors are echoed in the wine and berries; the acidity cuts through the fat of the dressing.
Seared trout with fine herbs: trout can sometimes play in the fatty textures of salmon, without being quite as heavy. The flavors tend to be delicate, and if it is seared with just a hint of char, there can be a touch of smokiness. Rose will not be overweight for the light fish preparation (no buttery richness), and the red tones work with smoke like they do in red wines.
Cheese and charcuterie: There is nothing better than a big plate of cheeses and breads and meats, with a nice bottle of cool rose. Hours of noshing and conversation. What could be better?
What should I look for in a good Rose?
Typically, I would say look for the most current vintage you can find. Right now, most places are releasing their 2013s (the fall before the current spring). Most roses are meant to be drunk young, so fresh is better.
The spiritual home of rose is the south of France, primarily in and around Provence. These wines tend to be light in color, and delicate on the palate. Rose should bring an image to your mind: if you drink and can picture yourself on a patio in the Mediterranean, you are doing it right.
Also, look for a producer who makes great other wines. Often the rose is their entry ticket: it gives you a nice clue about the quality of their other wines. And if they make exceptional red wines, often the roses are at a fraction of the price!
What Roses are available currently at G&TG? Will that be changing?
At Girl & the Goat, we are currently pouring the rose from Triennes; Triennes comes from the South of France, right around the area of Provence. It is owned by the proprietors of Domaine Dujac (one of the greatest estates in Burgundy) and Domaine de la Romanee Conti (perhaps the greatest winery on the planet). Their red wines would sell for hundreds, or thousands, of dollars on the list, but their rose is available for $12 a glass. Now that’s a bargain.
I also have a few roses available by the bottle:
Vallado, which is owned by Quinta do Vallado, a great producer of Ports. This is Touriga Nacional from the Douro valley. It is a bit fuller in weight and texture, nice in this tweener season that is not really winter, but not quite spring. It has flavors of cranberries and strawberries, with just a hint of cream, and a pretty little note of old library books (a really nice, dusty quality).
I also have a bottle of rose from Pinot Noir from Germany, by Schaefer Frohlich. Delicate, fresh, and racy acidity, it has hints of Pinot Noir, but is rapier thin and super clean. It’s awesome!
Now, off to drink a glass of rose! Cheers.