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June 30, 2010

The Grape Escape: Why blush? You look good in pink

In one of the many ways in which the world of wine lovers is divided into two parts, we have those who love to sip pink wine, especially in the summertime, versus those who consider rosé a weak substitute for red and an odd replacement for white.

I used to be firmly in the “No rosé, José” camp, but in fairness, a few memorable lunches al fresco during summer visits to Provence gave me a quick attitude adjustment, at least insofar as Provence-style rosé wine is concerned.

I’m not enough of a wine snob to bash “blush” wine — White Zinfandel and its cousins — but would gently suggest that if your experience of pink wine is limited to this soft, fruity and somewhat sweet style, you owe yourself a change of pace.

Bone-dry rosé, with its crisp, dry, berry and herbal scents and flavors and its great affinity for the food of the country, is a whole other critter, and one worth a try with something good to eat on a hot day. It doesn’t have to be French. Italian Rosato, Spanish Rosado or dry pink wines from California, Australia and around the world all have their appeal. Serve it with a light chill, not a taste-bud-numbing freeze, and enjoy.

Here’s a good organic item from Provence, available at Whole Foods Wine Shop.

Mas de Gourgonnier 2009 Les Baux de Provence Rosé ($15.99)

This is a clear, light salmon-color rosé, with subtle red-berry fruit and fresh herbal aromas and flavors. Dry and tart, it’s a winner at the dinner table.