Stop and smell the rosés
WWMD (What would Margaret drink?)
Margaret Pearman is a certified sommelier under the Court of Master Sommeliers and is responsible for curating the award-winning wine list at Charlie’s Coastal Bistro. Here is her sipping suggestion for May:
Just as the saying goes, “everything is coming up roses,” pink wine is having its time in the sun and claiming a space as a style that is here to stay. Rosé wines have been around since the Phoenicians brought their slightly diluted wine to modern-day southern France. During those times the thought was that drinking full-powered red wines would lead to one’s demise. When the Romans arrived in France, the drink was distributed throughout the region via shipping routes, and to this day southern France remains the epicenter of quality rosé production.
For years I tried to serve a dry rosé wine, with little or no success. The sweet pink wines that had made a big splash in the 1970s had ruined the category’s reputation. A new generation of wine drinkers who live on social media has brought rosé back into the light.
Rosé wine consumption has exploded, thanks to tags like #roséallday. The wine style combines the refreshing quaff-ability of white wine with a little added tannic structure of red wine. Rosé wines are made by shortening the skin contact time to less than 24 hours (most red wines stay in vat for a week to a month). The color can range from pale pink to salmon, and any red wine grape can be used. Rosé is a superstar when it comes to pairing. It’s versatile and can stand up to an array of foods. Most importantly, the pink drink can stand alone as an aperitif and is perfect to enjoy by the pool.
Some of my favorite rosés:
Mirabeau, Provence: Classic and affordable with a light pink hue, cherry, apricot and orange zest. $20.
Gueneau Sancerre Rosé: Made from pinot noir, this one has subtle strawberry notes and lots of elegance. $30.
Stolpman Love You Bunches, Central Coast: An ethereal lightweight rosé with more exotic notes of mango and citrus ($20).
Domaine Pradeaux Bandol: Perhaps the mothership of all rosé hails from the Bandol region. It is rich, complex, and deeply hued with notes of blood orange, anise and rosé petals. $45.
From petals to palate
There are many types of wines made from various types of flowers such as dandelion, elderflower, rose and hibiscus. The process involves fermenting the flower petals in sugar water with yeast. The yeast consumes the sugar, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide. The mixture is then strained and aged in a fermentation vessel for several months. Flower wines tend to have a delicate and floral flavor, and they can be served as a dessert wine or paired with light dishes such as salads or seafood.