By Gretchen Thomas, our Wine & Spirits Director
There is plenty of evidence that rose wines are more popular every year. Wine industry professionals sigh in relief every Spring as new vintage rose wines are released, sold, and basically gone by June, a sign that the everyday consumer is taking a step in the right direction towards savviness.
In the retail wine business, I believe this development to be true, but in dining rooms, rose wine drinking seems to be clunking along slowly, with just minor increases in rose sales every year. So why are people more willing to enjoy drinking roses at home as opposed to drinking them at a restaurant?
A simple speculation – no one wants to be caught drinking pink wine in public. It still carries a stigma of being a novice wine drinkers choice (totally the opposite!) and I honestly believe it has more success in home consumption, hiding from the judging public, due to that.
Up until just the last few years, the majority of the rose wine available was unattractively sweet plonk known as White Zinfandel. In the US, this created an unqualified reputation for all rose wines produced in the world, and the majority is now quite different, even some stunners from California are to be had.
This year I have taken a stance to offer what is probably an unnecessary amount of rose wines, coming from many different growing areas, an array of varietals, every shade of pink imaginable, and all lovely, dry and not just food-friendly, they are food-worthy.
The organic Pinot Noir rose from Robert Sinskey is quite allocated, we get our small allotment each year and it lasts a millisecond, but well worth it. Super pale roses are very in fashion, and also quite dry and mineral driven, look for this style in all of the French roses listed below as well as the Cistercien from Austria (one I personally stock at home).
Spain has varietals with strong pigmentation, particularly Garnacha, which makes fabulously vibrant roses full of strawberry and watermelon flavors, while remaining quite dry. And for something truly unique, our first Hungarian wine, the Sauska rose, lies somewhere stylistically between Old World and New World showing earthy flavors rarely found in rose wines. Take your pick.
SPAIN / RIOJA
2010 Dinastia Vivanco [ Tempranillo / Garnacha ] 8/32
SPAIN / CATALUNYA
2010 Mas Amor [ Garnacha / Cariñena ] 7.5/30
SPAIN / TERRA ALTA
2011 Garnatxa Peluda, Bodegas Edetària, Vinya D’Irto Rosat 29
UNITED STATES / CALIFORNIA
2011 Pinot Noir, Robert Sinskey Vineyards, Vin Gris, Los Carneros 64
FRANCE / CÔTES DE PROVENCE
2010 Terres St. Louis [ Grenache/Cinsault/Syrah ] 24
2011 Chateau Pigoudet [ Grenache/Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah/Cinsault ] 45
FRANCE / ROUSSILLON
2010 Chenançon, Colline de l’Hirondelle, Ventilo 37
AUSTRIA / KAMPTAL
2011 Schloss Gobelsburg, Cistercien [Zweigelt/St. Laurent] 34
HUNGARY / VILLÁNY
2011 Sauska, Rosé Cuvée [Blaufrankisch/Cabernet/Merlot/Cabernet Franc] 10.5/42
* Wine Selection & Prices vary in our Inman Park location.