Proof you can drink rosé all year round!
On April 5, 2018, the “Rosé’s Aren’t Red” event led by Tim Hendrickson, gave us a taste of warmer weather in spite of the below freezing temperatures that evening. We were all welcomed into the warmth of Bin 905 in the Mission neighbourhood of Calgary, Alberta, greeted with a glass of Chateau Roubine sparkling rosé, then settled into our seats for a delicious guided tasting.
Cheese & Rosé Wine: Pink Pairings
Each tasting event I go to has a small selection of something to nibble on to compliment the beverage flight. There are a few places in the city that use Peasant Cheese Shop and I’m always delighted when I see their logo on the butcher’s block. If you haven’t experienced Peasant Cheese Shop, stop reading this article and go there. Now.
What is Rosé Wine? Not Your Mother’s White Zinfandel
For anyone who might think rosé is only enjoyed by women under 20 or over 40, in the heat of summer with a couple of ice cubes and tastes like bubble gum, then… well, you need to get out more. If your idea of rosé is the super sweet taste of California White Zinfandel, I’m going to burst your bubble: there is no such grape as a White Zinfandel. If you see that on a label, it indicates a style of wine that is produced in a way that is not just fruity, but also quite sweet. Another common word for this style of wine is Blush and you can count on it tasting like cotton candy. However, the majority of rosé produced around the world is dry. That means little to no residual sugar. There is such a great variety of flavours found in rosé wines that depend on the grape variety, method of production, the region where it comes from and what style the winemaker is going for. Just like red wine, no two rosé will look or taste exactly the same.
#Brosé, #DrinkPink, #RoséAllDay
It’s not just women who are drinking rosé, either. In the last few years, rosé wine sales have continued to increase, with 2017 sales almost doubling over the year before and part of that is the #brosé movement, reassuring men that it’s okay to #drinkpink. Although why anyone would need that kind of assurance is beyond me. With greater consumer understanding of what’s in the bottle as well as producers dedicating more time and effort into quality rosé offerings, people have caught on to the fact that rosé is versatile, food friendly and delicious. New world wine drinkers are also discovering the old world premium rosé category. Brands like Whispering Angel from Provence as well as regions like Tavel and Bandol are becoming more recognized by wine enthusiasts who are willing to shell out top dollar for well-made rosé.
Flight of the Rosés
Nine rosé wines were sampled that evening, which is only a fraction of the pink juice offered at Bin 905. Rosé is my go-to wine, so I anticipated that I would have already tried at least a couple of the wines in the evening’s line up. I was wrong! I had only ever tried one, but not the current vintage, so technically I hadn’t previously sampled a single wine in the flight. A very pleasant surprise and nothing short of a miracle.
Intense salmon colour with intense aroma. All the pasty, biscuit, yeasty notes you expect – and want – in Champagne with bright cherry, jolly rancher, orange blossom, orange rind, rhubarb, underripe strawberry and mineral through to the lengthy finish. Complex and delicious. Primarily Pinot Noir with about 27% Chardonnay and only 10% Pinot Meunier. Contains about 40 million bubbles. Go ahead, count them. Chill and enjoy.
This is a family-owned winery established in 1497 that produces traditional method Spanish sparkling wine using only indigenous grape varieties. 42% Macabeo, 37% Xarello, 14% Parrellada and 7% Monastrell. It’s super dry with white peach flavours, melon and mineral. A whiff of rubber and rocks on the nose and plenty of structure provided by the Parrellada. A very well-made sparkling rosé.
This organic wine is very expressive of the grape variety. The colour is bright cherry pink, with a cherry aroma and very cherry on the palate. Hints of pomegranate and citrus carry through to the end of that dominate cherry palate. A fantastic wine especially considering its price point. The bottle label is very artistic with drawings of little “critters” representing wild bacteria strains – which is a nod to its organic practices.
Huber Zweigelt Rosé
Pale peach in colour with a light blossom aroma. Mineral on the palate with light melon and a hint of citrus. Very focused with great acidity. Delicate and restrained. A wonderful example of Austrian rosé.
I love this grape variety in every style it’s made. Aglianico produces long lived, complex wines with high acid and high tannin. The rich, volcanic soil offers up a bright, vibrant rosé with red citrus and savoury notes. Because of its structure and complexity, Aglianico is often called the Barolo of the South and this grape makes a lovely rosé. Next to the Champagne, this was my favourite of the flight and I did go home with a bottle!
Jasci & Marchesani Montepulciano Rosé
The winery was established in 1974 by Lucia Marchesani and Sebastian Jasci and was one of the first organic wineries in Italy. 100% Montepulciano, which is the second most planted grape variety in Italy, give the wine it’s intense aromatics and bold fruit. Very floral on the nose and a weighty palate of red liquorice and red fruit. An interesting, complex wine that quickly became a favourite around the table.
Bandol produces arguably the best rosé on the planet. The region certainly produces very high quality at a premium price point. The Domaine Tempier was started in the 1300s and is completely dedicated to rosé production. This wine is made up of 51% Mourvedre and about 27% Grenache with Syrah, Cinsault and Carignan making up the rest. It’s earthy, with notes of river rocks, steel, blood orange and red grapefruit. Suitable for ageing if you have the patience and enjoy tertiary flavours.
A Grenache based rosé with Cinsault and Mouvedre. A fruit focused rosé with bright, fresh raspberries, ripe strawberries, tart cranberries and some citrus acidity. All three grape varieties blend well together for a balanced, juicy, refreshing, intensely flavoured wine.
Overall, it was an outstanding event in a beautiful space. The flight of rosé wine was spectacular. I’m looking forward to attending another event at Bin 905 Wines & Spirits in the future.