Red, White and Brew: Rose wines and beer — a spring state of mind
Editor’s note: The Red, White and Brew weekly feature will highlight drinks from local liquor stores.
Spring is in the air, the snow is melting but the spring skiing is fantastic. The sap is rising in the trees and plants and indeed in us as well.
Spring is a state of mind and nothing celebrates it better than a dry refreshing rose in your glass. Roses are also great accompaniments to the fresh salads, fish and barbeque that heralds spring. Rose releases coincide with spring and the Taste of Vail “Debut to Rose” event, which took place on Wednesday, where new releases are shown every year.
Avon Liquor is stocked up with roses with more and more arriving every day.
Roses are made from red wine grapes, which give you the complexity of a red wine combined with the crispness of a white wine. There are three major ways to produce rose wine: skin contact, saignee (or bleed method) and blending. Rose wines can be made still, semi-sparkling or sparkling. The most popular styles are the dry roses made popular around the world. In the Untied States, it took many years for people to disassociate themselves from the pink, sweet White Zinfandel that used to flood the U.S. market.
Roses are made in virtually every corner of the world. Provence in France is one of the most famous areas in the world for dry, expressive roses. Roses account for a vast majority of Provence’s wine production, ranging from half to two thirds of all the wine produced in this region. The dominant grape varietals for rose in Provence are Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cariagnan, Tibouren, Counoise and Cabernet. The roses of Provence are known for their food and wine pairings, as it matches so well with the local Mediterranean cuisine of the region, particularly spicy food and tangy sauces.
Like France, roses are made throughout Italy with the style and grape varieties used changing, depending on the region and local climate. The Italians have several terms for rose style wines; Rosato wines tend to be very pale in color, Chiaretto which is darker, Ramato from the Veneto are copper colored roses and Cerasuolo (meaning “cherry red”) from the Abruzzo region.
The long history of popularity of Italian and Provencal roses, is due to the proximity to the tourist rich regions in the southern parts of these countries, where to sip a dry rose while overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in an outside cafe is so chic and popular.
In Spain, roses are know as rosado and are produced throughout the country, using Garnacha (Grenache), Tempranillo, Graciano, Cabernet and Merlot as well as Carignan. More than half the Navarra’s region in Spain is dedicated to rosados made primarily from Garnacha.
To keep the rose theme going, let’s talk about Cooked Staves’ Sour Rose Ale. This is a wild ale that’s fermented in oak barrels with raspberries and blueberries and is the perfect beer for springtime in the Rockies. This beer is funky, effervescent and has almost a Champagne-like mouth feel, then finishes so perfectly with notes of those raspberries and blueberries. It’s a great introduction to sour beers if you’ve never tried one or if you already love them you are guaranteed to love this perfect expression of a true sour from Crooked Stave.
So come in to Avon Liquor and immerse yourself in the world of roses. A rose tasting takes place in the store on Thursday, April 4, from 4 to 6 p.m. 15% will be deducted from the prices of the rose wines tasted.