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Through Rosé-Colored Glasses: Uncorking the Ultimate Springtime Sipper

Through Rosé-Colored Glasses: Uncorking the Ultimate Springtime Sipper
Through Rosé-Colored Glasses: Uncorking the Ultimate Springtime Sipper
As the temperature begins to rise, store shelves start filling up with bottle upon bottle of pink-hued wine. The popularity of rosés skyrocketed several years back, and year after year, new fans continue to jump on the pink wine bandwagon. With their crisp acidity, delicate fruity, floral flavors and terrific balance, rosé is the ideal spring and summertime porch sipper.

“We start stocking up on rosés in early March and they continue to sell very will through the summer,” says Nicole Dorignac, co-owner of Dorignac’s Food Center. “What’s great about rosé is they are the perfect option for those who are not fond of white wines, but don’t enjoy drinking a heavy red wine during warmer months. They are essentially red wines that drink like white wines,” explains Nicole. Located in Metairie, the iconic supermarket boasts approximately 100 different brands of rosé from top producing regions throughout the world. “Wine is a very personal thing. We carry a wide variety of rosé styles since people have different preferences on which style they like most,” she adds. Another perk of rosé: Most are quite affordable, usually selling in the $20 range.

Most often rosé wines are made from red grapes and their alluring pink tinge comes from the grape skins contact with the clear juice. During a process called maceration, the juice and skin soak together for a specified period of time—typically ranging from a few hours to a couple of days for rosé—until the winemaker determines that the wine has reached the desired color. Rosé wine hues vary from very pale with a slight orange edge to vibrant hot pink. The longer the maceration process, the darker the wine will ultimately become. The only version of rosé whereby red and white wine is blended to create the pink hue is sparkling rosé.

The grape varieties used in making rosés vary depending upon the wines region of origin. Overall, the most used grapes include Pinot Noir, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel and Syrah, most of which being blends or 100% one varietal. In Provence, France—the area where many believe the best rosés are made—the primary grapes are Mourvedre, Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault, Carignan and Cabernet Sauvignon. In Spain, where rosé is called rosado, they are most often made from Grenache, Mourvedre and Tempranillo, while Italy, where rosé is known as rosato, primarily uses Sangiovese and Corvina, as well as several lesser-known indigenous grapes. The United States, which currently produces approximately 10% of rosé in the global market, uses mainly Pinot Noir.

Like most types of wine, rosés run the gamut from delicate and dry to bold and more flavorsome and even sweet. “There’s so many options out there, so we do our best to offer everything from sweeter white Zinfandel to super dry rosés from France. Our wine experts do a great job selecting labels in all price ranges and styles, so we can please all of our rosé loving customers,” adds Nicole. Typically rosés are fresh, fruit-driven wines with medium acidity and body and are best when enjoyed young. “They really are made to drink now, so they are best when consumed within a year or two of bottling, otherwise they will start to lose the fresh vibrancy that we love about rosés,” Nicole states.

As for food pairings, rosé is a great match for a variety of things including barbecue and grilled meats, seafood (especially salmon, crab and shrimp), sausages and charcuterie, melon and prosciutto, hummus, soft cheeses like goat cheese and brie, roasted turkey and chicken, quiche and curries, including Thai, Mexican and Greek dishes. According to Nicole, “sparkling rosé is very food friendly and goes well with many types of cuisine including creamy risottos and pastas, salads, chicken dishes, smoked salmon, oysters, strawberries and even chocolate.”

Nicole, who enjoys sipping an occasional glass of rosé after a long day working at the store, typically reaches for one from France or Oregon. “I tend to prefer the lighter, dry, crisp styles from France and I also really enjoy many rosés coming out of Oregon these days. But wine is so subjective and the beauty of it is that there’s so many options out there that it’s not very hard to find a bottle to make your taste buds happy.”
Tagged in Pups Uncorked in our Spring 2022 issue