Cold-Weather Rosé? Absolutely!

  in Blog

By Clint Mitchell, Oryana Beer & Wine Buyer

It’s understandable to think of rosé as a summer wine. Warm, sunny days lend themselves well to a bright, fruity slightly chilled rose.

But as the skies darken, and days grow shorter, there’s no need to wait six months for your next sip.

Rosés come in a variety of styles, and while the light, super fruity types may not fit a fall palate, the bigger bodied styles — full of berry and stone fruit flavors — do. Consider them as a companion to food, whether it be roast chicken, pizza, salads, spicy Asian, or simply as an aperetif.

Some of my favorite rosés for this time of year come from France, and the Rhone Valley in particular. Often a blend of Grenache and Syrah, similar to many red wines you’ll find from the region, these rosés are  generally a bit darker in color, and a little dryer — still fruity, but not sweet — having spent some time on the skins during fermentation.

There’s no need to rush for the latest vintage with many of these wines, either. Some, especially those from Tavel (an area of the Rhone where roses are made exclusively) are built to last at least a few years in the bottle.

Here are a few of my favorites:

2016 D’Aqueria, Tavel, France; $13.99. Strawberry and currant flavors lead to floral notes and a streak of minerality on the finish. Pairs well with grilled chicken or even a baked ham.

2016 Chapoutier Mathilde, Provence, France; $11.99. Bright and lively, with stone fruit flavors and a watermelon finish. Ideal with salads or spicy Pad Thai.

2017 Mourges de Gres, Costier de Nimes, France; $13.99. A full-bodied rosé, brimming with berry, peach and orange flavors. Savory and creamy on the finish. Works well with a spicy curry or any manner of shellfish.

2017 Arcturos Rosé, Black Star Farms, Suttons Bay, Mich.; $15.99. Made from both estate and sourced Pinot Noir, this wine hits all the right notes for a dry, yet fruity rose. Bursting with strawberry flavors, and just enough minerality to round out the finish. Enjoy with a light salad or poached salmon.

2017 Crios, Argentina; $10.99. A Malbec-based rosé, with plenty of body, lots of cherry flavors and a bit of spice. Its clean, dry finish lends itself well to food. Try with a roast chicken or pizza.