This Saturday Dee from Cafe Europa will be coming to pour some wonderful wine picks from her native Croatia as well as some excellent bottles from Spain. The lineup is perfect for summer, with some great options for pairing with seafood and grilled meats, as well as some that are perfect for sipping by the pool or on your deck.
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!
As the last of the snow seems to have finally melted, we are ready for spring around here! I am ready for baseball and spring flowers, but am also ready to move on to spring wine and food…how about you?
If you missed this past Saturday’s April Pairings of the Month tasting, there were several wines and pairings in that lineup that really seem to fit the season. The Buxy Cote Chalonnaise Blanc , a white Burgundy for under $15, has restrained elegance and good minerality, delicious with the Sequatchie Dancing Fern cheese. Dancing Fern, doesn’t that sound like something to eat in the spring?
Asparagus is probably the first ingredient I associate specifically with the spring season. While asparagus can pose some wine pairing challenges, tossing it with pasta and cheese sets up some nice wine pairing options! For instance, this Asparagus Chicken Bow Tie Pasta recipe went very well with a Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley. And one of my favorite asparagus recipes is this Food & Wine recipe for Shaved Raw Asparagus with Parmesan Dressing. Pick up a bottle of your favorite crisp Italian white from Pairings for this one — maybe a Grillo or Vermentino.
Red wine fans wanting to enjoy some asparagus this spring, fear not! Roasting or grilling asparagus can set up some good pairings with red wine. Get some details and a recipe here on Cooking Chat.
I got a sneak preview of some of the upcoming pairings, and I see that one of my favorite rosés in the store will be opened on April 20. The Chateau Pibarnon Bandol Rosé is a wonderful expression of Provence rosé. I’d have to say this wine is my favorite pairing for one of my go to recipes when I start firing up the grill — this simple Grilled Swordfish with Garlic Soy Marinade shown to the right.
Speaking of rosés, have you signed up yet for the First Annual Pairings Rosé Party? The store will close early on Tuesday, April 9, so that rosé lovers can taste rosés not yet available in the store — unless you come to the event! You can purchase wines that night at a 20% discount.
This post is written by David Crowley, a Pairings regular who writes the Food and Wine blog Cooking Chat. David will be writing a regular guest blog post here on the Pairings website.