A Rose is a Rose, Unless it is a Rose’…Then Chill It

In a lot of ways, I am probably a creature of habit.  (Some will say just a creature) But I think most of us are in many areas of our life.  While I enjoy an adventure and trying new things, experiences, and challenges, there are some things that you can count on in terms of my habits.

Such as drink preferences…

You can pretty much guarantee that during the fall and winter, I will have a scotch or bourbon based drink in my hand, usually a Manhattan.  The holiday time is definitely Manhattan time.  It has somewhat become a bit of family tradition.  (more about Manhattans and family tradition at a later posting…) And in recent years, you will find me with a rye based drink in my hands at that time of the year…probably a Sazerac cocktail.

Springtime and summer are filled with “lighter” drinks such as Tequila, Rum and Gin…or a version of a Margarita, Mojito or Gin.  They just seem a little more appropriate with the lime, a little sweeter and plenty of ice.  (I think I can smell the Hawaiian Tropic lotion now)

Now wine…is a different story…kind of.  Wine itself is fine (see what I did there?) any time.  But like the cocktails I mentioned, at different times of the year, I find myself favoring different kinds of wine.  That is not to say I only drink certain wines at certain times of the year; nor does it mean I only drink certain wines when I am eating specific foods.  I really drink whatever I like, whenever I prefer, with what tastes good to me.  And I think that is a good thing.  But I have found that Diana and I have been drinking more Rose’ wine during the summer in recent years.

Rose’ seems to have been made for summer enjoyment.  You drink it chilled.  It can have a fuller body or a soft crispness to it.  Rose’ can be a little sweeter and it can be much more dry than you would expect.  It goes with chicken, beef, pork, fish, pasta or just a big salad.  You can drink it as an aperitif or enjoy it with your meal…it is extremely versatile.  I know some people may tend to sneer at a glass of Rose’…but if they give it a try, they will probably enjoy the crispness that this drink will bring to their palates.  They will also be pleased to learn that there are far fewer tannins in a glass of Rose’.

I remember back when I was much younger, about 12 or so, my Dad would buy a nice bottle of wine for he and Mom to share.  It would be a bottle of Lancer’s or Mateus Rose’ wine.  I was impressed…but I still impress easily.  Later in life, I can remember scoffing at that memory…how Dad thought he was buying a real nice bottle of wine, and how much Mom would say she enjoyed it.  I guess I didn’t know as much as I thought I knew.  That stuff is still pretty good.

We have had some very good Rose’ wine and some good ones.  And while I have not had any of the “2-Buck Chuck”, I have had Yellowtail Rose’.  ( 2 bottles for $10! at Lucas Liquors – this is an adult candy store in the Ellisville area of St Louis County) And it is not bad.  Not a real distinct flavor, a little sweeter, but a great price for a chilled wine on a hot summer Tuesday in July or August!  A few weeks back I had a wonderful Rose’ with my friends in Sonoma, Lynn and Paul.  We enjoyed a bottle of  Antica Terra…”Old Earth” from my latin days at the U-High…from Oregon.  I believe it was a Rose’ Pinot Noir, but I might be wrong.  I do remember it being rich and velvety with berry and a little pepper finish.  A little more flavorful and complex than most Rose’s I have had…but it was excellent.

Another nice Rose’ I have had is Bell from the Sierra Foothills.  It is great on the palate with a bit of a fruit flavor and floral nose (wow, that sounded pretentious!).  It is a little dry, but goes great with spicier foods…Tex-Mex, Barbecue, even a spicy stir-fry.

Since I am not an expert, and most of you will attest to that, I only can say what I have noticed.  ( How could I claim to be an “expert” when we sometimes drink Rose’ out of a juice glass?  Tastes good too! ) And I have noticed that Rose’ from Europe seems to be slightly drier than those from US West Coast and Australia…or maybe I just need to keep trying more wine to discover if this is true!  But one we recently tried was La Baronne Rose’ wine from France.  While I seemed to detect some fruit in the aroma of the wine, I thought it ended with a drier finish than I expected.  Actually I enjoyed it, and it would probably go well with some cheese, fruit and crackers.

Anyway, the bottom line is that I just drink what I like…at the time of year it seems to fit for me.

(…although I will admit to sometimes picking out a bottle of wine because of the Name or the Label…and I am seldom disappointed)

So pick out the wine you want, your friends and loved ones, and have a great time.  That is what life is about.  But keep in mind…if you find something you like…drink it.  Regardless of what others think or say.  And if you find someone you love…and I have…tell them you love them…and I do! 

Published in: on September 1, 2010 at 12:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

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