“If you find a wine that you love, be sure to stock up on enough to get you through patio season!”
Vinelife with Kathryn Zondag
The sun is shining, the patio is calling, and the season of summer sipping around the barbecue with friends is upon us! With all of that beautiful sunshine comes a time to appreciate wines that taste as pretty as the summer sunsets. Springtime marks the release of many new rosé wines just in time for summer, and there are plenty of delicious new options on the market.
The best part about drinking rosé? Not only are these wines usually very reasonably priced, but most bottles can be enjoyed with almost anything! Depending on the level of acidity in your rosé, wines made from grapes like Pinot Noir and Gamay are perfect with summer salads with fresh fruit and lively vinaigrettes. Some of the ‘meatier’ options, made from grapes like Syrah or Tempranillo, are excellent with summer sausages and smoked barbecue. Due to the vast assortment of flavours, charcuterie and cheese platters with all of their accompaniments are ideal candidates to pair with the light crisp flavours of most pink bottles.
This is a category of wine that is as broad as “red” or “white,” so it pays to do a little digging while Tempranillo shopping. Styles can range from bone dry to sweet. Take the time to read labels, and ask for advice from store staff on their picks.
Many forms of Tempranillo are wines that are in short supply. This is often due to production methods, as some wineries make their Tempranillo by bleeding off a small amount of juice from grapes that are destined for red wine production. This method, known as saignée, is employed in an effort to concentrate the flavours in red wine. However, it means that only a very tiny percentage of their juice is used to make rosé wine. This can result in small case lots, and limited supply. Often the best rosé wines are only available for purchase directly from the winery. If you find a wine that you love, be sure to stock up on enough to get you through patio season!
Some of my favourites, like Blanc De Noirs from Poplar Grove, and Painted Rock’s Rosé, are made in this fashion using a blend of the Bordeaux varietals. However, many producers strategically grow grapes destined for rosé. Top picks in this category include Kitsch Wines Rosé, and Quails’ Gate’s Lucy’s Block, both made from 100 per cent Pinot Noir. These are wines that are bright with lively red fruit character and juicy strawberry lemonade-like acidity, and offer extreme versatility with foods.
Whichever bottles you choose, I hope that they are shared in the company of great friends, sunny days and warm nights, because that is what summer sipping is all about!
Kathryn Zondag is a certified sommelier, and holder of the advanced certificate in wine and spirits from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) in London, England