by Thea Dwelle, author of the wine blog Luscious Lushes
We all know the classic images of Valentine’s Day – hearts, roses, pink champagne. You might even venture out and say pink wine is right for the occasion. But why are you saving your pinks for one day a year? Whatever you call it, rose, pink, blush, or blanc de noir, pink wine is not just for Valentine’s Day!
Rosé wines can range in color from a barely kissed baby’s cheek, to blood red. They also vary in flavor from delicate rose petal , to deep, meaty flavors. The beauty of rosé is that they are made from almost any varietal, and are found all around the world. Every region has it’s own distinct style. The wines of Provence, for example, are widely varied. Mourvedre, Grenache, Cinsault and even Syrah, are all used with smaller regions having variation. One of my favorite Provençale rosés is Chateau du Rouet Costes de Provence ($16.99). This classic has light strawberry and raspberry notes, perfect sipping on a warm spring day. Another winner is the Gassier Sables D’azur Rosé ($12.99). Brilliant salmon, it’s beautiful Grenache base is an amazing accompaniment with a salmon burger with excellent QPR.
Sparkling wine also makes an appearance in the pink rainbow, ranging from a rich salmon, to a pale, cream-colored yellow. A house favorite, the Chandon Blanc De Noirs ($16.99) is a consistently refreshing sparkler that is suitable for celebrations of any kind.
Here in the US, we’ve had a long love/hate affair with rosé. These “blush” wines gained popularity during the white wine shortage of the mid-1970s with the ladies that lunch. Not the sweet white zinfandels that we think of today, these were dry charmers.
The most popular style is rosé of Pinot Noir, with strawberry notes and rose petal aromas. Even zinfandel is getting in the act with dry Rosado styles. With so many to choose from, you can pair almost any dish with a rosé. Check out the Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare ($13.99). This amazing domestic Rhone-style rosé is full of bright red fruit, With a backbone, and can stand up to best BBQ dishes.
While a a sparkling Blanc de Noir is still classic for Valentine’s Day, venture out and try rosé every day. Hamburgers for dinner? Try rosé of Cabernet Sauvignon, unusual and fun, that can stand up to a steak. For pork dishes, rosé of pinot noir is a classic pairing. But go one step further and try a rosé of syrah, with its slightly denser flavor that stands up to a strong pork dish. The bright cherry notes of the syrah and the pork mingle together perfectly. No shrinking violet, they can stand up to many dishes.
Roses can range from fun, affordable everyday wines that are great to pair with BBQ and pizza, to complex, intensely aromatic wines worthy of a splurge. Go ahead! Experiment, and make every day special with some beautiful pink wines!
Thea Dwelle is the creator and editor of the wine blog, “Luscious Lushes,” which covers wine travel, wine business and technology. A CRM expert by day, wine brat by night, she seeks every opportunity to try new wines and expand her palate by drinking as much good wine as possible and sharing the experience with you.