Want a vivacious and vibrant wine?

Pick a Rosé!

Adventurous wine explorers realized long ago that most Rosés are just red wine lovers’ white wines.

Crafted in most cases from red wine grapes that are pressed just after picking with minimal skin contact, great Rosés fill out the white wine flavour spectrum –  lemons, grapefruit, green apple, melon gooseberry, kiwi fruit and honeysuckle – with subtle red berry and spice flavours.

Why wait for the next round of Rosé rousers to wake up to the fact that Spring is just around the corner? Before too long – as the weather warms up - we’ll be hearing about the great Rosé revival.

Rosés are easy to pair with almost any dish from white fish and salmon through chicken, duck, turkey and ostrich to pasta, pizza, pork, alligator, steak and buffalo. And Rosés come in an amazing variety of styles – from fun and frivolous to dustily dry and elegant… and everything in between!

Begging not to be taken seriously by wine aficionados Zentini Rosé Pamplemousse (298828) $13.99 needs to be chilled or - better yet! – poured over ice. Gently sparkling, it overflows with candied lemon rind and sweet pink grapefruit flavours. At 8 per cent alcohol by volume, it might be the perfect breakfast wine.

Situated north of Venice between Valdobbiadene and Conegliano in primo Prosecco country Villa Sandi is a breathtaking Palladian style masterpiece dating back to 1622. It is also the main office of these Veneto vintners.

Bended from Glera – the true Prosecco grape – and Pinot Noir, Villa Sandi ‘Il Fresco’ Rosé (855502) $14.99 is a sparkling Rosato Brut that showcases subtle strawberry and blackberry notes over the classic lemon, apple and pear flavours we expect from great Prosecco.

Southeast of Cesena in Romagna in north-eastern Italy between the Apennines and the sea, Poderi dal Nespoli make a wide range of still and sparkling white and red wines from Trebbiano, Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Sangiovese, Pinot Nero and Merlot. They also make Rosé!

Poderi dal Nespoli’s Filarino Sangiovese Rosé (527986) $15.85 is a deep pink colour. Aromas and flavours of roses, pomegranate and blood oranges over a core of lemon, grapefruit and fresh cut green apple flavours.  Pick this one if you’re pairing wine with pork!

Awash with Chardonnay and Shiraz, Australian winemakers seldom send us any Rosé. From their base in the Yarra Valley, Innocent Bystander offers a full range of wines.  Sadly, only their Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Moscato have made it to British Columbia.

A blend of Gordo and Black Muscat, bottled under a crown cap for easy picnic access, Innocent Bystander Moscato (861732) $19.90 is a seductive sparkling wine. Gorgeous rose petal and peach aromas set the stage for a mouthful of cherry, strawberry and raspberry flavours. At 5.5 per cent alcohol by volume, this is an excellent choice for sunny afternoon sipping.

Deeply involved with Naramata’s Nichol Vineyards, Matthew Sherlock and Ross Hackworth are also the folks behind the Lock & Worth Winery. Lock & Worth’s wonderfully straightforward mission is to craft “high quality, single vineyard, small production wines that are priced reasonably from British Columbia.”

The ultra minimalist label of Lock & Worth Cabernet France Rosé (29240) $20.40 makes it clear that they don’t spend excessive sums on graphic design. From grapes planted in 2008, un-fined and unfiltered, their Cabernet Franc Rosé is bright and fresh, with sassy fresh sliced apple, strawberry, raspberry and plum aromas and flavours.

The spiritual home of some of the most elegant Rosés is Côtes de Provence on France’s southern Mediterranean coast. Domaine Ott was founded by Marcel Ott in 1896. Today – more than 120 years later - cousins Jean-François and Christian Ott carry on that tradition.

From Domaine Ott’s Château de Selle cellars, BY.OTT (762940) $52.99 is a new Côtes de Provence Rosé. Delicately pink with orange undertones, it teases the nose with subtle aromas of white peach and apricot mixed with passion fruit and mango. Full bodied and bright, it features flavours of lemon and grapefruit and notes of red berries with a sprinkling of dusty clove and cardamom in the finish.

Be adventurous!  Beat your summer sipping wine loving friends to the punch and start exploring the amazing variety of Rosé wines.  Whether you are looking for frivolous fun or sophisticated elegance, there’s a Rosé for every palate.

Reach WineWise by emailing douglas_sloan@yahoo.com