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At first blush
Why it's time to reconsider rose

Photos by Matt Haas

February 2016

The glass shimmers a hue that ranges from the barest blush to the deepest pink, but donít let its color fool you; itís not white zinfandel or some other sweet wine. Rosť wine is a great dry wine, especially for spring and summer. "Theyíre really these beautiful, elegant wines, and they tend to have such a great freshness to them," says Talish Barrow, certified sommelier for Rare steakhouses in Milwaukee and Madison.

Rosťs are growing in popularity, and they can be made out of almost any kind of red grape, says Michael Greguska, owner of Discount Liquor in Waukesha. "Theyíre very drinkable, very quaffable wines," he says.

"Theyíre also a good bargain, as many great rosťs can be had in the $10 to $20 price range," says Jaclyn Stuart, certified sommelier and owner of Vintage Elkhart Lake. "Itís also an incredible food pairing wine."

Not convinced? Take a sip of these pretties in pink and you might be converted.

Bieler Pere et Fils rosť is a very traditional French rosť made mostly with grenache, syrah and cabernet sauvignon grapes. Itís balanced with a nice acidity, Stuart and Greguska say.

Sokol Blosserís pink pinot noir hails from Oregon. "Itís got this great brightness ó a tart, fresh quality of new strawberries that makes you just want to sit out in the sun and be grateful itís not winter any more," Barrow says.

Jed Steele, who put Kendall Jackson on the map, makes a rosť from cabernet franc grapes for his own Steele Winery. "Itís dark and brooding in style, and it can actually age three to four years," says Greguska.

Villa Wolf is a German pinot noir rosť. "It drinks like a white in that itís very light-bodied, but it also has that little pop of strawberry to it with just a hint of spritz," Stuart says.

Barnard Griffin is a Washington winery that makes a rosť from sangiovese grapes. "This one has more of a dark color to it, and it has a fuller, richer aftertaste and nice body," Greguska says.

The Jaillance Cremant de Bordeaux Cuvee de LíAbbaye is a sparkling rosť made from merlot. "Itís super ripe with a little bell pepper on the nose," Barrow says. "Itís a great food wine, but itís also a really charming way to begin a meal." M



This story ran in the February  2016 issue of: