By The Glass
Roses quench the thirst on summer days
The days are getting hotter and longer, with many days of high humidity and very little tradewinds. It is during this kind of weather that I recommend people think and drink pink.
When made well, dry, delicious, fruit-driven roses can be the thirst-quenching answer to a long, hard day, especially when they are served well-chilled.
This is not a recent trend. Cafes and bistros along the Mediterranean have been serving these roses to summer customers for a very long time.
And quaffing dry, pink wines has been a wonderful tradition in the Mediterranean for even longer. The concept is, in fact, a way of life there. It is an attitude.
Really good roses work wonders with the plentiful summer bounty of fresh seafood, caught, cooked and served in cafes along the coasts. I often wonder which came first -- the frisky, regional, delicious roses, or the region's style of cooking of seafood. It couldn't have happened arbitrarily.
SO Bust out your coolers and stock them well with pink wines. For the next few months, you'll be thankful you did.
Here are some to consider:
2007 Uvaggio Barbera Rosato ($12): I've been an avid follower of owner-winemaker Jim Moore for quite some time, so I was concerned about the Uvaggio wines when Jim took off and did a stint as winemaker at Bonny Doon Vineyard. You know how it is when you have too many balls to keep in the air.
Well, as you will see with this 2007 rose, his wines are as delicious, fruit-driven, food-friendly and gulpable as ever. This rose will work especially well with barbecue. I can tell you how thankful I am when someone hands me a glass of this wine while I'm at the grill.
You will be surprised at the wide range of foods this rose pairs well with.
2007 Scherrer Dry Rose ($17): Fred Scherrer is one of my all-time favorite winemakers. His wines epitomize elegance, fine balance and deliciousness.
His 2006 Dry Rose was the best I'd had from him, until, that is, the 2007. Much more European in firmness and structure, it works amazingly well with many foods. This wine is just coming into the market and as only 226 cases were produced, I suggest you act quickly. The 2006 sold out way too fast.
2007 Terry Hoage Grenache Rose "Bam Bam" ($22): Here is a rose that has a very unusual salmon color with copper edges. This pink wine comes from Terry and Jennifer Hoage's Paso Robles estate and their rolling limestone hillsides.
I love the sheer elegance, refinement and class of this bottling and the fact that it is not overdone. It has a real deliciousness. This is a wine one could sip, swirl, sip again, swirl, on and on.
Monistrol Cava Rose ($12): Not only is this Spanish sparkling rose delicious and thirst-quenching, but the bubbles enhance the wine's refreshing personality.
This is the perfect antidote for a scorching, hot day and a dry throat, without hurting the wallet too much.
Chuck Furuya is a master sommelier and a partner in the Sansei restaurants. This column is a weekly lesson in wine pairing written by a rotating panel of wine professionals.
This column is a weekly lesson in wine pairing written by a rotating panel of wine professionals. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org