Food & Drink

Rosé Season is Open

Underdog Wine Co.’s Ryan Sciara provides a quick primer for the once-maligned pink-hued wine that’s now cool to drink.

Story by Ryan Sciara

It’s springtime, which marks the official start of rosé season, that light- to medium-bodied wine that aficionados used to hide when friends came over for cocktail hour.

True—it wasn’t long ago when you would get a sideways glance for drinking pink wine. Thankfully we have distanced ourselves from those days—now it seems everyone is drinking rosé, including people who once pooh-poohed it. In fact, rosé sales have soared over the past 10 years, taking the wine from trendy to something with staying power.

Rosé comes in a beautiful spectrum of colors, from the pale peach and salmon to the electric pink. Flavors vary from the soft and peachy-citrusy to the deep and rich cherry-berry. In general, rosé wines are meant to be drunk right away, not intended for the aging process.

At its most basic description, rosé is produced from red grapes that see just a short time of skin contact during fermentation (anywhere from a couple of hours to a little over a day). Depending upon the length of maceration time during which the clear juice remains in contact with the dark skins, the rosé’s color can range from a pale touch of blush to a brilliant, translucent ruby red.

The saignée method for making rosé is also common and involves bleeding off a small portion of the juice during red wine production, resulting in a very concentrated version of rosé.

Rosé can also be made by blending white wine with red wine (as in rosé Champagne production), or by a whole cluster pressing, but these methods are much less common.

Here are six of my favorite rosé wines.

 

Red Car Winery – Sonoma Coast, California

Varietal: Pinot Noir

Aroma: strawberry, honeydew, orange

Palate: bright raspberry, strawberry, ruby red grapefruit, bing cherry, tangerine oil

Body: light to medium

Finish: long and clean, fresh red fruits, intense citrus

Scaia – Veneto, Italy

Varietal: Rondinella

Aroma: strawberry, white peach, rose petal

Palate: fresh strawberry, watermelon, honeydew, orange

Body: light

Finish: fresh and juicy, lengthy red fruit and spice

Miraval – Cotes de Provence, France

Varietals: Cinsault, Syrah, Grenache, Rolle (Vermentino)

Aroma: floral, white peach, raspberry

Palate: layers of fresh raspberry and strawberry, fresh herbs, peach skin, minerals

Body: medium

Finish: round, long and vibrant, mixed berries, cream

Chateau Montaud – Cotes de Provence, France

Varietals: Syrah, Cinsault, Grenache, Carignan, Tibouren

Aroma: peachy-orange, watermelon, herbs

Palate: juicy white peach, honeydew, watermelon, cranberry, tangerine

Body: light

Finish: light & clean, juicy strawberry, bright acidity

Shane Wine – Sonoma County, California

Varietals: Syrah, Grenache

Aroma: wild strawberry, blood orange, pomegranate

Palate: raspberries, orange blossom, black cherry, grapefruit skin

Body: medium

Finish: tart, hints of sour cherry, pomegranate and spice

Charles Smith Wine “Vino” – Columbia Valley, Washington

Varietals: Sangiovese

Aroma: cherries, strawberries, savory herbs

Palate: juicy red currant, cherry pit, raspberry, orange oil

Body: medium

Finish: bright and crisp, soft and juicy red fruits, stony minerals


Ryan Sciara is the heart and hustle of Underdog Wine Co., a delightful boutique wine store in the Crestwood Shops in Kansas City, Missouri. His passion for good wine is legendary, as is his ability to match clients with the perfect sip. For more information, visit underdogwinekc.com.