Fresh Pairings

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  • By Brett Chappell
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Fresh Pairings

The changing season and sunny sky bring thoughts of tomato sandwiches, bbqs and grills, and, for us vinous-minded folks, the latest rosé releases.

The changing season and sunny sky bring thoughts of tomato sandwiches, bbqs and grills, and, for us vinous-minded folks, the latest rosé releases. 
We drink first with our eyes.  Studies have even suggested that people cannot tell the difference between red and white wines when they are blindfolded.  I’ve met a few whites and reds that I know I‘d have gotten mixed up.  As humans we tend to equate outward appearance with inward qualities.  This does not work with wine color(s).  Even though the rosés of Provence are among the most notably light hued of all the world’s, one of the grapes often used in them, Mourvèdre, can impart Provençal rosé with a particular weight verging on meatiness.
Depth of color indicates the thickness of the grape variety’s skin and, more importantly, how long the skin was left in contact with the grape must (juice) during the fermentation process.  Certain grapes tend to give more color.  Cabernet sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc tend toward brighter, redder hues, while Cinsault, Grenache, Mourvedre are usually paler and even verge toward salmon or onion skin.  The skins of red grapes used in a rosé, both  by nature of production and philosophy, spend very little time in maceration, hence, a reddish (pink) wine.
What rosés bring to the table, besides great color, is the freshness and flavors of warm weather fruits — watermelon, strawberry, and peach.  These wines also bring acidity.  These, fair drinkers, are a rosé’s strengths.  Summertime begs us to drink wines that fit with her garden’s abundance of produce and her sometimes oppressive heat.  The acidity of rosé brings a brightness that pair with the foods of the season and works especially well with fish, seafood, meats, and charcuterie.
Brett’s Recommended Pairings:
Grilled Cheese and Tomato Sandwich and a brut Cava rosé
A youthful bubbly's fresh fruit complements the cheese’s fat, and the acid stands up to the umami of the tomatoes. Try using our tangy Weisse Kase cheese for your sandwich – it melts like a dream. Bubbles make it even better.
Try this: Juvé y Camp Brut Rosé NV, Spain - $14.99
Bouillabaisse and a Provençal rosé
The fish stew asks quite a bit of its wine; rosé handles it deftly.  The wine’s acidity matches the tomatoes, and its earthiness, from Syrah or Mourvèdre, will tackle the fennel, saffron, garlic.
Try this: Chateau Montaud Cotes de Provence Rosé 2014, Côtes de Provence, FR - $12.99. Also available in magnum 1.5L $24.99
Eastern NC Style BBQ and Pinot Noir Rosé
Yep, food from home now – slow cooked pork with just a bit of sauce made from vinegar, red and black pepper, and salt.  (Do you see beef or tomato listed here? Me neither.)  Fat, salt, and acid all work well with pink wines.  And, smoky Pinot noir loves smoky pig.
Try this: Elk Cove Pinot Noir Rosé 2014, Willamette Valley, OR - $16.99


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