For a good long time, I looked and Rosé and thought, “What the hell is that?” Is it a white wine that’s sexually confused or a weak red wine? Obviously, I knew what it was, but I just never really knew what the purpose of its slightly sweet, slightly clueless flavors were. It was to me what Merlot was to Miles. Then, while researching Vinologue a year and a half ago, I was kindly educated to the practical purposes of the wine.
As I quickly found, a meeting with Alen Bibich is not without a lot of food and wine. I tasted everything he had at a time when the legal drinking limit in Croatia was 0.00% (I heard it’s recently been reformed to lovely 0.50%, but only for drivers over 24 as they can obviously still find their keys at a 0.50 much better than an 18 year old). Alen could see I had had a bit of it and so, for a final glass of wine he poured up a Rosé, which I was ready to promptly turn down, but he “coaxed” me to drink it by saying it was for “refreshment”. Naturally, being a consummate winemaker, he was right, it was refreshing and as weird as it sounds, it gave me the boost I needed to get home.
Since then, I’ve been less afraid of Rosé. There is no way in hell I’d ever buy it though. I can appreciate subtleties in the very expensive variations on the type and that’s where a good many people go wrong with it. They buy the cheap Rosé which is always invariably crap as the wine has far too much sugar because the grapes were forced to over-ripen just for the sake of picking and not for the sake of taste. This is wine that will kill you and not be the refreshing blast that I appreciate now.
If asked for my ideal wine lineup for an extensive evening dinner, I would have to say that it would depend a great deal on the foods served, but an overall plan would be:
– Bubbly: French ideally, Catalan Cava if not, and Californian lastly, otherwise skip it
– White: A minor glass of something to go along with the appetizers. Perhaps a White Garnatxa or a Verdejo.
– Red: Gimme the most of this. Serve me something deep with body. If it overshadows the food, that’s not the end of the world as I’m probably starting to get drunk somewhere around here and only can taste the wine, so bring it on. Cab, Pinot, Garnatxa/Carignan.
– Rosé: Here it comes. Gotta have that pinky stuff to wash out everything else. You can see that by placing it here, I’m not appreciating the texture of the wine, but rather using it solely as a functionary wine. A grape mouthwash if you will.
– Sweet: Moscatell if at all possible. Garnatxa otherwise.
– Sherry: If still conscious a slightly dry fino to polish up the end of the meal.
– Bed: I’m not probably coherent at this point, or I’m trying to hit on a really sexy potted plant. Just roll me in to bed and make my excuses for me.
Anyways, that’s my plan and how Rosé fits in. I’m still at a loss as to why they produce so much of it. Every wine shop always has endless dusty bottles of the pink that never seem to sell. Hell, when going to Auchan this last time, half of one wine aisle was just Rosé. Why? I mean, most of us aren’t having six course meals that often, so it seems as if we’re producing a wee bit much of it.