Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.
When it comes to pink wine, there’s one basic thing to know: White Zinfandel is not the same thing as dry rosé. White Zin - and its various blush-wine brethren - is somewhat sweet; when you think of a White Zin, think of the pink hue of cotton candy, and you won’t be far off, tastewise. Dry rosé, on the other hand, is crisp, zesty and not sweet at all.
Unfortunately, the massive popularity of White Zin over the years did a number on people’s perception of rosés in general, sort of the way Jar Jar Binks corrupted the aesthetic legitimacy of the entire Star Wars universe. Thankfully, just as the doofus horror of J.J.B. has ebbed over time, so has the permeating sense that all rosés are sweet.
In fact, dry rosés are an ideal springtime wine. As far as I’m concerned, they’re meant to be drunk outdoors - whether at a picnic, al fresco at a restaurant, or simply on a porch or in a backyard. The longer, sunnier days ask for something in the glass that you can see through; and the light, berry-to-watermelon fruit notes of most rosés taste like springtime too. So, with that in mind, here are a few great bottles to look for.
2012 Barnard Griffin Rosé of Sangiovese ($12)
What led Washington state’s Barnard Griffin Winery to concentrate on the Tuscan grape Sangiovese for its rosé, who knows. But it was a good choice - the Columbia Valley’s temperate weather gives this wine fresh, zesty acidity and a striking electric-pink hue.
2012 Librandi Cirò Rosato ($13)
The warmth of the Calabrian sun accounts for this deeply colored Italian rosé’s ripe cherry fruit and a full-bodied (for this style of wine) texture.
2012 Domaine de Malavieille Charmille ($14)
A blend of Syrah, Cinsaut, Mourvèdre and Grenache from southern France’s Pays d’Oc region, this pale, salmon-colored wine - made with organically grown grapes - has a fresh, minerally finish.
2012 Domaine de Nizas ($14)
Also from the south of France, this Syrah-driven rosé has a light tarragon scent and surprisingly full-bodied berry flavors. It could easily work as a main-course wine for, say, grilled chicken or pork.
2012 Pink Pégau ($20)
Domaine du Pégau is one of the top producers in Châteauneuf-du-Pape; unsurprisingly, winemaker Laurence Féraud also has a deft hand with rosé, as this peachy, citrus-tangy wine makes clear.
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© 2011 American Express Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved.
awwwww,how cute.Pink,cause it's for mommys.
THIS is WHATS wrong with our PATRIOCACHAL society!!! Why should pink be for women.Sheesh.This sexisim should NOT be tolerated
You've obviously never had a drink with my mother-in-law. If it ain't pink, she's not drinking it.
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