The Wine Panel Picks Their Favorites
Summer means Barbecuing and a lot of people think beer is the best beverage for those outdoor meals. But wine, especially red wine, goes extremely well with all meats cooked on your grill or smoker.
So with Barbecue and outdoor fun in mind, our wine panel decided to have a Rosé tasting. Now if you’re a red wine drinker, they are the perfect wine for outdoor events and barbecues. Now I’m not talking about Blush wines, like the ones my brother-in-law “Pinky” drinks. No. Rosés are dry, light and refreshing. And they’re a red wine you drink chilled.
The reason why they are light colored is that the wine maker did not leave the skins in the juice very long, sometimes only for a few hours. The longer the skins are in the juice, the darker the wine. You can safely say the Rosés somewhat fall between white wines and red wines. They’re made with red wine grapes, but can be chilled like a white wine.
Rosés come in all styles and flavors. Winemakers are working hard to make Rosés that are very refined, elegant, semi-dry and dry.
Rosés are made using all types of grapes, from Rhone varietals to Merlots, Cabernets and yes, Zinfandels. And increasingly, California winemakers are using Syrah grapes to make excellent Rosés that are among my favorites. And for you Pinot lovers, Sparking wines and Champagnes made with the Pinot grape should fit nicely with your summer wine tastes.
For our wine tasting everyone one on the wine panel brought a Rosé to be tasted, which gave us eight wines to try.
We had all styles of Rosés from French to Italian to California and Spanish. And they were all very good. But what was fun was that the most expensive ones were not the favorites.
The wine panel’s favorite Rosé was Piano Piano from Jimmy’s.
It’s an Italian Rosé that pretty well hit on what everyone looks for in a Rosé. From Tuscany the Piano Piano is a blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet. It’s light and crisp with nice fruit, especially strawberry and raspberry. It would go well with food, especially during the summer.
Another of the panel’s favorites was the 2012 Eye of the Diamond Rosé from Von Strasser.
The Napa Valley Rosé is a cabernet dominate blend with a lot going on. It was a very fruit forward wine with a good backend. The panel thought it was semi-sweet and crisp with dark fruit and a taste of strawberries and plums. And for you red wine drinkers this Napa Rosé was closer to a red wine than what is often thought as a Rosé and it would go well with a burger, making it a great substitute for a red wine on a hot summer day.
The Las Rocas Rosé was a favorite for red wine drinkers and is a Rosé meant for food cooked outdoors.
From Spain, the Las Rocas Rosé is made with 100% Granacha grapes and it’s very dark in color. The Los Rocas is full bodiedwine with a long finish and the panel thought it was spicy and had tannins like a red wine. With nice fruit and the aromas of raspberries and strawberries this Rosé was meant for barbecuing and would go well with heavy foods. And if you’re a red wine lover this is a Rosé after your heart.
The Mulderbosch was another Rosé with a dark red color.
This cabernet Rosé from the coast of South Africa surprised many of us with its big fruit flavors of raspberry and Plum. And all of us red wine drinkers loved its long finish. This would be a great choice for any cookout.
The best value wine we found was the Eguren Tempranillo Rosé
This Spanish Rosé had a good nose, even taste and because it’s a Tempranillo it was earthier than most Rosés and would go well with food, especially those cooked on your grill or smoker. And at $7.00 a bottle this was a real value at Total Wine. However look around, the Eguren Rosé maybe at your local grocery store.
If you’re looking for a light Rosé, the Centine by Banfi is a wine for you.
From the Tuscany region of Italy, the Centine is a Sangiovese Rosé that’s well balanced and dry. Although it’s a very light Rosé, it did have body and flavors of berries, especially blackberry as well as plum. And like most Italian wines it’ll go well with food.
The Chateau Saint Pierre is an off dry Rosé that still had good color and a long finish.
From France this Rosé has a pleasant aroma of melons, with big fruit flavors of Raspberry and Plum. And the panel thought this was a Rosé that needed food, especially turkey, pork or fish. So you might remember to drink this Rosé at Thanksgiving as well as at your summer barbecue.
The Domaine de la Laidière is a Rosé from Bandol, which is a key appellation in the Provence wine region of France.
The Bandol appellation is noted for its red wines, which are required to have at least 50% Mourvedre, which is a powerful spicy grape. Our panel thought this was a very drinkable Rosé that would go very well by itself or with light salads. The La Laidière Rosé has a very light peachy color with flavors of strawberries, melons and berries. This is a great wine to drink while sitting out by the pool or your smoker on a hot day.
So there you have it, eight Rosés to make those hot afternoons even more pleasurable.
And remember barbecue meats and seafood, whether cooked on a grill or a smoker, deserve a good wine. And when it’s hot outside, that wine should be a Rosé. So go ahead, try one of our wine panels picks or find a great one on your own, either way they make the perfect summer wine.
And when you’re cooking out, don’t forget the Bentley’s Batch 5 Barbecue sauce.
Cheers!! H. Bentley