Dry Rose. Elegant, delicate and floral, yet rich with ripe fruit and perfect for the spring and summer heat. Every year around this time, they become more popular and my sales reps flood in telling me “Oh, I have this beautiful new dry rose you must try.” I always do, and I always LOVE them, but there is a great misunderstanding with the mass consumer of what a true Dry Rose is, or simply just a Rose, as it is spoken of in Europe.
Due to the ever popular White Zinfandel (which, don’t get me wrong, has its place, and is enjoyed by many), the general perception of a rose is something cheap and sweet. Not the case at all, which is why I chose this as my first liquid culture article.
So, what is a true rose? Here we go…. Rose may be the oldest known type of wine made. Ancient wine makers believed it to be more palatable and approachable, and thought darker heartier reds were way to harsh. The process begins the same as when making any wine, except right after the pressing of the grapes, when the juice is separated from the skin. The skin is what imparts most of the color and tannin, which is why a rose is usually a pale pink liquid that is ever so soft and smooth. Any red grape varietal can be used to make a rose, and some wine makers even chose to blend in a small percentage of the juice from white varietals as well.
My favorite styled roses are those from the South of France, specifically Provence. Following that theme, here is my current alcoholic liquid of choice (for today anyway) – Sulauze Pomponette Rose, Provence, France ( $18 avg retail price). The grapes are Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Cinsault…WHAT – if this was a red wine it would be big, rich and spicy. As a rose, it is beautiful pale salmon color with fresh bright citrus notes, especially flavors of blood orange, followed with this silky lavender finish and crisp minerality. Served chilled, consuming a whole bottle to yourself is not going to be difficult, so proceed with caution – OH and to boot, this winery is certified organic!
So throughout the next few months, when you see a dry rose in a liquor store or restaurant, try one. My Professor, Karen MacNeil, once told me, “always drink out of your comfort zone, otherwise you will never learn the wonderful nuances that each and every different style can provide.” After your new found love for rose is established, e-mail me. I would love to hear all of your feedback and favorites! Here’s to a Happy and Healthy Spring, and ROSE SEASON! CHEERS! – Andrew
Click Below to Listen:[audio:http://pawling.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/130511_Liquid-Culture_Rosse.mp3|Titles = Liquid Culture_Rosse]
Andrew Sarubbi studied wine with the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa, California, as well as with the Sommelier Society of America in Manhattan, NY. Andrew also studied Spirits through the United States Bartenders Guild, and is an active member of the New York Chapter. He specializes in the Historical and Cultural references associated with all alcoholic beverages. Andrew has been the Manager of McKinney & Doyle Fine Foods since 2004, overseeing all things Restaurant related, including the buying and directing of the entire Beverage Program. He was recently chosen as one of the Top 5 Bartenders in the country to compete in the 17th annual Calvados Nouvelle Vogue Competition. Please direct all questions, comments and other feedback to Andrew@Mckinneyanddoyle.com