As summer approaches and the mercury rises, a refreshing glass of rosé is a smooth and satisfying solution. When chilled properly, rosé wine is both invigorating and restorative. It’s also fresh and fruity, making it ideal for summertime sipping. Since it's made from red grapes, rosé offers a full body and rich texture – exceedingly so compared to most white wines. Hence, rosé wines pack a delicate and refined punch. Here we’ll review some rosé wine fundamentals while our SAVOUR Hospitality wine stewards offer pairings that will please the palette every time. Let’s start with some rosé basics:
Is rosé wine sweet or dry? Rosé wines run the gamut from syrupy sweet to bone dry. Old world rosé wines produced in France and Spain will generally be dry, while new world Rosé wines often have more sweetness. They’re all generally less sweet than a Moscato.
What makes rosé wine different from other wines? Rosé is made from red grapes, produced in a similar manner to red wine. During fermentation, the juice has less contact with the grape skins. This reduced skin contact gives rosé a pink hue and lighter flavor than red wine.Rosé wine is well-known as the wine of the summer, according to Marble Room General Manager, Kevin Kane. “Sparkling rose champagne is a particular favorite of mine.” A house favorite is the non-vintage Ruinart Rosé Champagne from France. "A blend of chardonnay mixes harmoniously with pinot noir to create an immensely beautiful wine. Tropical fruits and delicate roses on the nose are quickly followed by a refined structure with tastes of peppermint, toast, and nutmeg,” Kane notes. The Ruinart pairs beautifully with a fatty, rich, and succulent steak like Marble Room’s A5 Miyazaki Strip Loin. “The richness of the steak contrasts very well with the bright, bold, acidic, effervescent wine.” Marble Room also pours a beautiful 2022 Cuvée des Cendrés Rosé from Canard Vineyard in Sonoma, California. Cuvée des Cendrés (‘from the ashes’), according to the winemaker website, represents the unwavering resolve of the California farmers, vintners and winemakers who have faced so many devastating wildfires over the last few years. A portion of proceeds goes back to the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund to support Californians who lost so much in the wake of the fires. “This mission resonates very well with Team Marble Room, and we are proud to support this cause,” says Kane. Canard Rosé is crisp, bright, and tastes of hibiscus, strawberries, and tropical fruits. Both wines pair well with Marble Room’s Diver Sea Scallops with tri-color cauliflower, baby kale, marcona almond and dry currant gremolata, truffle-buttered Yukon potato puree and fresh black truffle.
Mike Gazdak, the sommelier at Il Venetian downtown, recommends Chateau Segries Tavel AOC Rosé. The Tavel AOC region is unique to the winemaking world in that it’s solely focused on the production of rosé wines. The vineyards in its southern Rhone plateau are chockfull of galets roulés, which are dense silica-rolled pebbles that absorb heat during the day, and then return it to the grapevines at night. Also, extended skin contact happens during the fermentation process, so these wines are darker in color, have more tannin, and are bolder than other rosés. Aesthetically, the appearance of this wine is brilliant with electric-pink and red hues that invoke the 80’s. With concentrated fruity flavors of cherry, rhubarb and pomegranate chutney, this wine pairs well with Il Venetian’s yellowfin tuna entrée. The ripe fruit character of the wine helps to tame the spiciness of the fish, which features pistachio crust, celery root puree and roasted cauliflower.
Il Venetian Yellowfin Tuna
Brian Woehrman, General Manager at LockKeepers, is pouring Rottensteiner Lagrein Rosato Rosé this summer. This wine is a “veritable Swiss Army knife” for food pairings, and a wonderful embodiment of the confluence of Mediterranean and Eastern European cultures. It features grapes grown in Suditrol, the northernmost region of Italy. Entirely located in the Alps, the province's landscape is dominated by mountains. Though the grapes are grown at high altitude, far from the equator, the mountains shield the cold air, creating a legitimate wine-growing oasis. “The Rottensteiner Lagrein Rosato is the perfect summer wine bursting with fresh and bright fruity flavor,” says Woehrman. “I suggest enjoying it in leisurely fashion on the LockKeepers patio with our Heirloom Tomato Salad.” The famous Heirloom Tomato Salad features fresh mozzarella, watermelon, cucumber, basil, and watermelon radish. Its clean, fresh, and lively flavors play nice with the delicate tomato salad. Also, it offers sufficient acidity to match the tartness of the tomato fruit and the salad’s white balsamic glaze.
LockKeepers Heirloom Tomato Salad
Whichever rosé you choose to imbibe, wine always tastes better when enjoyed in the company of friends! Cheers to the onset of summer and the memorable moments it provides us!