This Valentine’s Day, treat that special someone to something different! Yes, rosé wine is the perfect choice for a romantic evening, but maybe it’s time to spice it up a bit, and try serving some rosés that make your partner think you want to keep the relationship exciting! We have found three amazing, wonderful, and unique rosé wines for you to choose from, each of which is made from a different grape and from a different part of the world. We’ll tell you why we think rosé is a great choice for Valentine’s Day, and what criteria we used to choose the special rosés we found for this episode. If you think you know rosé, or you think you don’t like rosé, we are here to change your mind. Each of these is versatile, tasty, and impressive and at least one of them could please any palate - we promise we won’t steer you wrong. Wines reviewed in this episode: 2021 Gaia 14-18h Agiorgitiko Rosé, 2021 Pedroncelli Rosé, and 2021 Tormaresca Calafuria Rosé.
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Episode 64: Exciting Rosés for Valentine’s Day! 00:00
Hello! And welcome to The Wine Pair Podcast. I’m Joe, your sommelier of reasonably priced wine, and this is my wife and my wine pairing partner in crime, Carmela. And we are The Wine Pair!
Ok, a quick orientation for those of you who may be new to the podcast - in each episode we learn about, taste and review three wines that are reasonably priced - meaning under $20 - and should be easy for you to find. Our goal is to have some fun, learn about some new wines, and talk about wines in a way that regular people like us can understand. And we are proud to say we are officially recommended by the editors of Decanter Magazine, who call us fun, irreverent, chatty, and entertaining.
All right, Carmela, as we record this, we are getting awfully close to Valentine’s Day, and so we thought it would be a good idea to do an episode on a wine that most people would say is a perfect fit for a romantic dinner with someone you love on that special day - and that, Carmela, is what kind of wine? That’s right, rosé, But because we are, you know, different, and unique, we wanted to choose some rosé wines that were a little off the beaten path to give you some new and fun and unique and exciting ideas for Valentine’s Day.
Now, just a quick editorial note in case you think I am nuts, we will talk about this more in a bit, but remember that rosé is a style of wine not a varietal which can be confusing for people, but more on that later.
Now what are some reasons you might think that a Rosé wine might be a good fit for Valentine’s Day, Carmela? And I tried to give you a headsup on this one so you can’t act like I didn’t warn you that I would be asking you questions.
- I think the most obvious one is that the color of the wine - which can vary from a light pink or salmon to a bright red - just feels like the right color for Valentine’s Day - super festive! And a sparkling rosé? Forgetaboutit! Pretty, bubbly, come one!
- They can also be, depending on the type of rosé, light and fruity and acidic enough to pair with many foods. Now, most of the time you would not have a rosé with anything really dense like red meat or a red pasta sauce, but they can go really nicely with things like fish, cream sauces, and things like that.
- They can be approachable, especially when they are served really cold - they are often refreshing and pleasant, and not overpowering. And many rosé wines can have a nice strawberry or watermelon flavor.
So, we totally agree with all of that, and we think for Valentine’s Day it is hard to go wrong with a nice rosé. And I will say, too, that we have started to really like certain types of rosé wines, which is something pretty new to us. I think we used to consider rosé to be kind of a cheap sweet wine, but most rosé wines are crisp, flavorful, delicious, and often quite dry.
And, there are a ton of rosé wines out there right now, and a lot of them are made in the Provence style, which is a lighter colored rosé that is crisp and light made with Grenache and Syrah, and Cinsault and that traditionally comes from the Provence region of France. And those are great. But, what if you want to try something new, something different, maybe something exotic this Valentine’s Day?!?
Well, that is what we are here to talk to you about in this episode. We think we have found three really unique, fun, and interesting rosé wines that are still relatively easy to find and reasonably priced and will be perfect for a romantic dinner, and we will share those with you . . .
But first . . . we have to do our shameless plug, right Carmela? First, we want you to know how much we appreciate you listening to us, and we would love it if you would support our podcast by subscribing - and we want to give a huge shout out of thanks to all of you who have subscribed, we appreciate you so much! And, another great way to support us for free is to leave a nice rating and review on our website or on Apple Podcasts or other podcast service so we can continue to grow our listeners. Anything you are willing to do to show your support helps us a ton!
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And, as we do every week, we’ll tell you someone we think you should tell about The Wine Pair Podcast - and we really do hope you are telling others about us, and this week we want you to tell anyone who loves the color pink. How ‘bout that?!?
ARTICLES and LINKS
Topic: What Defines an Exciting Rosé Wine? 09:44
Back to our exciting rosés for Valentine’s Day - we want to talk about what our criteria was for choosing our unique and fun and festive rosé wines, but first we wanted to talk about some of the most popular rosé wines out there today so you can also see how our choices are a little different.
Again, we will remind you that rosé is not a varietal. It is a style - by that we mean that rosé wines are made from all types of different grapes, which means that one rosé is not like another, depending on the grapes used, the amount of time the juice is in contact with the skins, etc.
Rosé wines generally come from red wine grapes, although every once in a while winemakers may combine red and white wine, but that is much less common. And, all grape juice is basically clear, so it is the contact with the red grape skins that makes rosé wines that pink color. For a rosé wine, the grape juice is in contact with the skins for just a couple of hours up to 24 hours, and then the contact with the grape skins ends.
Now, there are some very popular rosé wines out there which many of you may be familiar with out there in listening land if you are rosé wine fans. Some of the most popular are Miraval which Brad Pitt still owns, and that is a Provence rosé. Another is Whispering Angel by Château d'Esclans which is also a Provence rosé - so you can see that the Provence style is very popular, and probably what a lot of people think of when they think of rosé wine.
Some others include Gérard Bertrand Côte Des Rosés which we have had - it comes in a very pretty bottle - and is also a French wine but from the Languedoc region but is made from the same grapes as Provence rosé, also La Vieille Ferme Rosé which is also made from the same grapes but comes from the southern Rhône valley of France and has chickens on the label. Another popular one is the sparkling rosé Prosecco which is made from Glera and Pinot Noir, and some of our favorite rosés come from Pinot Noir.
However, like we said, we wanted to blaze a different trail in this episode, and so here is the criteria we used to choose these really cool, different, and unique rosé wines.
- Less common grapes for rosé
- Rather than focusing on Grenache or Syrah or Pinot Noir, we wanted to choose grapes that may even be something unusual as a varietal - something new and different and exciting.
- Variety of flavor styles
- So many of the most popular rosés right now are using the same grapes and made in the same style, so we also wanted to taste some wines that would be different than expected.
- Less well-known areas either in general or for rosé
- We are very used to rosé wines from France, and probably from California, but how about places like Greece, or Southern Italy? Those are probably not on people’s lists.
- Vibrancy of color
- We wanted to choose rosé wines that would really make an impression and really stand out on the table and in the glass. The wine itself should be part of the evening or meal in more ways than just taste - it should be about the whole experience!
On a side note, Carmela, what would you say if I gave you a bottle or rosé for Valentine’s Day? I know you like chocolate, too, but if I gave you a rosé, we’d have to have dark chocolate. Is that ok? That’s the kind I like!
So what do you say? I think we should start to really explore the wines we chose.
ARTICLES and LINKS
Exciting Rosé Valentine’s Day Wines We Chose for This Episode 17:40
As usual, all the wines we have chosen for this episode are under $20, and all should at least be reasonably easy to find because we got all of them on wine.com. Now, I am not going to pretend that you are going to find most of these specific wines in your local grocery store or wine shop,but they are common enough that you should be able to find them online or you can special order them, and you can find reasonable substitutes, too. You just have to do a little research so that you are finding rosé wines that are unique.
And, as a couple of extra bonuses, all of these wines have been rated 89 points or higher, and by reviewers that are not James Suckling, which is cool, and two of them are screw caps!!!
The first rosé wine we are going to taste and review is the Gaia 14-18h Agiorgitiko Rosé. This is a super interesting wine. First, the 14-18H in the name indicates how long the grape juice stays in contact with the skin, which is something I have really not seen before. The length of time on the skins really impacts the color, which is a bright and intense red, super cool looking!
They also have a version of this wine called 4-6H which means that it was only on the skins for 4-6 hours, and the color is definitely lighter.
Now, the Agiorgitiko grape is not one that you may be familiar with - although we did taste a red wine made from the grape in episode 21 called Wines at a Greek Restaurant, and we liked it pretty well. It is sometimes called St. George, is rarely grown outside of Greece, and is often compared to Merlot.
This wine comes from the area of Nemea in Greece, which is close to the city of Corinth, and is a well regarded wine growing region, especially for this Agiorgitiko grape which is most often created into a red wine. And if you get the chance to look up the grape, it is a very dark purple.
Ok, our next wine is called Pedroncelli Rosé, and it comes from Sonoma, California and is made from Zinfandel. So, you may be asking yourself - wait a minute, Sonoma is very well known, and Zinfandel is really well known, so how did this wine make the cut?
First, I wanted to find a wine from the US that was relatively easy to find. Second, while the Zinfandel grape is used to make rosé wine, the most common version of it is called White Zinfandel, but this is simply called rosé - and it is, according to the winery, distinct from White Zinfandel.
I have links and information in our show notes, but the short story is this: they used to make both a Zinfandel rosé and a White Zinfandel, but moved away from White Zinfandel which tends to be a sweeter style. They have also changed the method of how they make their Zinfandel rosé.
They used to use a method called the Saignée method (which means “to bleed”) where the winemaker draws takes juice from fully ripened Zinfandel and separates it into its own tank to create a rosé wine separate from the red wine - both using the same grapes, the same juice, etc.
Now, they actually pick the Zinfandel grapes they are going to use for their a couple of weeks early - which is called intentional rosé - and this creates a wine that is lower in alcohol, higher in acid, and brighter in color. And they call it a family favorite, by the way.
So, that is why I chose this rosé - because it is using a less common grape, and is made in a more unique style. Ok?!?
The last rosé wine we are going to taste and review is from Italy, and even better yet, from where your family originated from, Carmela, in Puglia. The wine is called Tormaresca Calafuria Rosé, and it is made from a red wine grape called Negroamaro. It is a beautiful light pink color, and comes from a region that people are less familiar with, and a grape that people are less familiar with, and that is the reason why we felt this was a great third choice to taste and review and hopefully recommend for something fun and unique in a rosé for Valentine’s Day.
Negroamaro is one of those red wine grapes from Europe where the more well-known version of the wine it is made from is not known by the varietal, but rather by the region, in this case, the red wine is called Salice Salentino, and we will do an episode on that wine pretty soon.
Negroamaro is also a dark skinned grape, and the Rosatos made from it - and by the way, rosé in Italy is called Rosato - and Rosatos can include other types of grapes, but in this case, the wine we are trying today is 100% Negroamaro.
So, there you go - three fun, festive, exciting, and unique rosé wines for Valentine’s Day. Woo Hoo!
All right, enough of this talking - I think it’s time to get drinking! Whaddya say?!?
ARTICLES and LINKS
Agiorgitiko Rosé, Zinfandel Rosé, and Negroamaro Rosé Wines Pairing Tasting and Reviews 26:05
Wine: Gaia 14-18h Agiorgitiko Rosé
Region: Greece, Nemea
Professional Rating: (2019 WE 90)
What we tasted and smelled in this Agiorgitiko Rosé:
- On the nose: Raspberry strawberry, creamy, watermelon, citrus,
- In the mouth: Fruity, grapefruit, very dry, just under ripe berry, crunchy red fruit. Strawberry. Cream.
Food to pair with this Agiorgitiko Rosé: Greek food. Fried food. Shellfish. Gyro. Souvlaki, Greek Pizza. Can stand up to a red sauce. Olives. Greek salad. Sausage. Spicier meats. Charcuterie. Dark chocolate. Chocolate torte or cake. Very versatile.
As a reminder on our rating scale, we rate on a scale of 1-10, where 7 and above means that we would buy it, and 4 and below means that we are likely to pour it down the sink, and a 5 or 6 means we are likely to drink it and finish it, but we are probably not going to buy it.
- Joe: 8/10
- Carmela: 8/10
Wine: Pedroncelli Rosé
Region: California, Sonoma
Professional Rating: WS 89
What we tasted and smelled in this Zinfandel Rosé:
- On the nose: Pomegranate, cranberry, crunchy red fruit. Strawberry.
- In the mouth: Strawberry, grapefruit, cranberry. Orange cranberry. Citrus. Some tannin. Good for a red wine lover. Orange rind.
Food to pair with this Zinfandel Rosé: Versatile. Almost anything. Steak, burger, and other red meats.
- Joe: 8/10
- Carmela: 8/10
Wine: Tormaresca Calafuria Rosé
Region: Italy, Puglia
Professional Rating: V 91
What we tasted and smelled in this Negroamaro Rosé:
- On the nose: Watermelon, Jolly Rancher, strawberry watermelon, Strawberry Starburst.
- In the mouth: Almost effervescent, citrus, candy, sweet, easy drinking, watermelon lemonade.
Food to pair with this Negroamaro Rosé: Flaky fish, tomato, caprese salad, bruschetta, summer foods, fresh cheese, focaccia with tomatoes. Pizza bianco. Paste with cream sauce.
- Joe: 7/10
- Carmela: 8/10
Which one of these are you finishing tonight?
- Carmela: Tormaresca Calafuria Rosé
- Joe: Pedroncelli Rosé (but easily could have chosen the Gaia)
Taste profiles expected from Agiorgitiko Rosé, Zinfandel Rosé, and Negroamaro Rosé 46:50
- Agiorgitiko Rosé
- Winery: a fresh and fruity character, dominated by the flavors of cherry and gooseberry
- WE: Savory and fruity aromas are followed by mouthwatering, spicy strawberry and vanilla flavors. The wine has a an herbal touch
- strawberry, raspberry, melon, mango, a whiff of bitterness
- Zinfandel Rosé
- WS: A fun quaff, this is jammed with fresh, bright cherry and raspberry flavors that linger on the spicy finish
- Winery: The aromas of rose petals and fresh strawberries are followed by flavors of strawberry and watermelon with a touch of spice
- Negroamaro Rosé
- V: ripe melon, hints of mango, banana and sweet smoke. This is soft and round in texture, creamy even, with a lively twang of citrus-tinged acidity enlivening its ripe apple fruit and mineral underpinnings
- Winery: On the nose, Calafuria offers fruity notes of pink grapefruit, peaches and pomegranate that merge with delicate lavender floral sensations
Outro and how to find The Wine Pair Podcast 48:56
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