Dry Rosé is not a well-known wine in the United States. Maybe you remember the candy versions of the 70’s? Sweet Rosé was the norm, and along with White Zinfandel, we all came to think Rosé as sweet, too sweet to get serious attention.
Maggie and I discovered the variety of dry versions of Rosé available while touring France: complex Rhone valley blends, inexpensive picnic versions along the Canal de Midi, and varietal based wines in Bordeaux. Chilled, these crisp flavorful wines refreshed us after a day of bicycling the canal’s old tow paths and are a memory we carry like it was just yesterday. We have been seeking wines like those, with a richness of red grape flavors, a refreshing acidity and brightness of flavor. We found we would have to be the ones to make it if we were to find it at all.
So, we purposely set out to select grapes to make a wine like the ones we remember from France, selecting Syrah and Merlot from the Yakima Valley. These red grapes are crushed and fermented for a brief period with the skins, so as to draw out just a little color. This short skin contact time helps preserve the fruit flavor, because it is not then covered by tannin, oak or malo-lactic fermentation. These characteristics are then up front on the palate and incredibly pleasing.
The wine is a brilliant light red color, with intense red raspberry, watermelon, cherry and strawberry notes, followed by a nice smooth finish. While usually thought of as a summer sipper, Dry Rosé is the perfect match for holiday meals: pairing well with poultry such as your Thanksgiving turkey, it will also go well with sweet squash dishes, cranberry sauces and the rich symphony of holiday fair flavors.