Blush, summer water, pink wine. It can be syrupy sweet, acidic and bright, fruity and vaguely effervescent, and bold but thin. It has become the omnipresent social accessory of summer for its refreshingly crisp taste that literally makes your mouth water and its ability to match summer outfits perfectly. Though often regarded as a “chick drink” because of its slightly effeminate tones ranging from pale pink to a translucent cherry red, there is no data to support that stereotype. It really depends on individual tastes, and with ten different styles of rosé, there is enough range to satisfy nearly every palate. Good rosés can be had for less than $10 a bottle and there are many great rosés priced below $30 a bottle.
This Saturday, June 13, is National Rosé Day, always the second Saturday in June, the perfect time for a cold, crisp mostly low alcohol wine to enjoy on a toasty day. In honor of rosé day and several Dallas area restaurants have created specials to honor the occasion, but first, a history lesson.
Rosé wine is thought to have been created around 8,000 years ago in Armenia where clay jars with wine residue were found. Back then, wines would have been lighter since the more advanced pressing and fermentation techniques that make red and white wines weren’t developed yet. Some rosé is produced when black-skinned grapes are crushed and the skin maintains contact with the juice for around 24 hours, versus the skins immediately being filtered out for white wine or left in contact with the juice for long periods of time as with red wines.
In the past three years at least, rosé sales have been increasing around 40% each year, with the main source of rosé wines coming to America from France, Spain and Italy, though American rosés compare very favorably to Old World wines. My favorite American rosé is from local gal Alison Smith Story, a Keller native and Baylor grad who started Smith Story wines with her husband, Eric. They make only one, a Rosé of Pinot Noir Rheingau Germany which is bright and delicately fruity. I also love La Vielle Ferme (also known as “chicken wine”) which is in the style of Provence, a combination of granache, syrah and cinsault grapes making it a little tart, a little sweet and a little fruity, a great blend and an exceptional value at around $9 per bottle.
How do you know which rosés you will like? Try them. Rebecca Murphy, Wine Writer, Professional Wine Judge and Founder of The Dallas Morning News and TexSom Wine Competition (and is also considered to be the first female Sommelier in Texas), offers this advice, “I love rosés from Provence, but they are so popular that winemakers from other regions are going to great lengths to get that Provence pale pink. So, my first thought is to avoid selecting a rosé just because of its color. Instead, pick a one from a grape you really like (like you). Or from a region or country that makes wines you like. It wasn’t that many years ago that a rosé drinker was considered an unsophisticated rube. Today, we are living in rosé heaven with a whole world to choose from. Have fun exploring.” You can explore with minimal financial risk at Central Market, World Market or Foxtrot Market which have abundant selections.
Whichever rosé makes your day, as always, drink responsibly. For a few unique approaches to National Rosé Day, check out these cocktails and frozen drinks made from rosé.
Happy National Rosé Day, here’s to your health!
National Rosé Day Specials in Dallas
Rise no. 1 has a beautiful selection of French rosés of different styles which are perfect to pair with savory and sweet dishes, including their seasonal Blueberry Soufflé.
Knife at The Highlands Dallas has created a refreshing rosé-based cocktail called the Young & Beautiful, named after the famous Lana Del Rey song from 2013. The drink combines Rose Gold Provençal Rosé Dashfire Hibiscus Bitters, Fever Tree Soda and a Hibiscus Flower which can and should be enjoyed on Knife’s patio.
JAXON Texas Kitchen & Beer Garden has created a summer-inspired twist on the traditional frosé cocktail with a Fresh Watermelon Frozé , the perfect pairing for JAXON’s massive patio.
Malibu Poke always has rosé and frosé on the menu but Saturday you can enjoy $1 rosé all day while you’re partaking poke.