Pool and beach weather may be slow coming this year, but like the flowers that inevitably blossom in spring, this is also the season that pink rosés roll into Pairings. One of my favorite signs of spring for sure! And now we are finally getting into some weather that seems more fitting for this time of year.
But wait, are you one of those skeptics that stays away from the rosé? Perhaps you associate the pink wine with a syrupy sweet white zinfandel, or simply a wine that doesn’t have much happening? If you are in this camp, I urge you to give some of the rosés at Pairings a try! They have quite a range to choose from.
For a crisp, light rosé style, the Grenache-based Bastide Des Deux Lunes from Provence is a classic choice.
The Famille Bourgeois Sancerre Pinot Noir Rosé demonstrates the complex flavor profile that a good rosé can show.
If you think rosés are too light for your red drinking ways, open a bottle of Cerasualo, a rosé of Montepulciano that looks almost like a red in your glass. I first came to appreciate this full-bodied rosé when visiting Abruzzo wineries last year (see photo on right), and am glad to see Pairings carrying one.
Most rosés are made from red wine grapes, where the skin has just a little bit of contact with the fruit during the winemaking process, giving the wine its pink hue in various shades. One good way to explore rosés and gains some appreciation for them is to look for rosés made from some of your favorite red grapes.
Pairings with rosé wine
I’ve been getting into rosé mode lately, so let me share some of the pairings I’ve tested that work well with rosés available at Pairings:
Domaine la Suffrene Bandol Rosé with Pan Seared Tuna: Our easy pan seared tuna gets topped with an olive relish. These Mediterranean flavors set up a pairing with a rosé from Provence. This blend of Mourvedre, Cinsault, Grenache and Carignan. is a great expression of Provence rosé Taste of melon fruit and some underlying minerality.
If you aren’t in the mood for tuna, the Domaine La Suffrene rosé also pairs well with our Mediterranean Grilled Chicken recipe.
The Mediterranean flavors of those chicken and tuna recipes I paired with the Bandol rosé are natural pairings, with the food flavors suggesting the same Southern French region that brings us the wines. But rosés can be a versatile wine pairing partner that can go with some dishes you might not expect!
Some might say beer, or even milk, is the beverage to pair with chili, but I’m a wine guy so I’ve been working on finding good wine pairings for chili. And some rosés have been one of my favorite choices! Just the other night, I opened a bottle of Les Violettes Côtes Du Rhône rosé to go with our Easy Black Bean Turkey Chili and was pleased with the pairing. One key is that my chili has moderate spice levels, which is more conducive to a good wine pairing.
The bright, fresh flavors of a good rosé make it a wine we go to in the spring. Those same qualities also make it a great match for the Mango Salsa we made recently to go with some tilapia. The salsa also goes nicely with chicken. We loved the Tilapia & Mango Salsa paired with Le Saint André Rosé, from Figuière, located on the Mediterranean between Nice and Marseilles. There’s a lot to like about this rosé–I smell spring on the nose; on the palate, melon fruit and a touch of kiwi. Medium body with a bit of acidity, making it a food friendly wine.
Baseball keeps us busy in the spring, which means meals we can make in the slow cooker come in handy. One recent game day I got some Slow Cooker Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs going in the morning. After the game, we were ready to plate the chicken and it enjoy it along with the Famille Bourgeois Sancerre Pinot Noir Rosé. Another rosé pairing that gets a thumbs up!
Testing Pairings for Two Rosés
To generate some more ideas for pairings with the rosés available at the shop, I recently picked up and tested pairings for two rosés that are quite different in their style. The Bastide Des Deux Lunes is very light in the glass; I get honey and peach on the palate. The Peyrassol Cuvée de la Commanderie is a darker pink in in the glass, and has a steeliness on the nose. Much drier than the Bastide, with cantaloup fruit.
I noted that the recent Grand Pairing event featured the Mt. Vikos Red Pepper and Feta Spread with a number of the rosés that were being poured that day. As I prepared dinner, we tried a bit of the Bastide and the Peyrossol rosés with the feta spread. Both definitely work, if I were picking one to serve with light appetizers it would be the Bastide.
For dinner, I made some simple grilled pork chops with a little rosemary rub. Many of the pairings I mentioned so far involve fish or chicken with rosé. But my experimenting shows a full bodied rosé like the Peyrossol can stand up to heartier fare like pork chops. Keep that in mind for your weekend grilling! I bet this bottle would also be nice with grilled sausages.
I served the pork chops with a side of Greek Orzo with Spinach, Olives and Feta. This dish is a nice side but can also be a good vegetarian main course. If I were just focusing the pairing on the Greek orzo dish, I would go with the lighter Bastide rosé.
So those are some of the good pairings for rosé I’ve had lately. What are some of your favorite pairings with rosé wine? Let us know in the comments!