This (vintage) year has been a stellar one for rose lovers. Across the board the quality has been phenomenal - and after a so-so season last year, where the fun was in the find, this year (2012's) you basically haven't been able to go wrong. Talking last week amongst ourselves, we realized also that we tend to drink more rose this time of year - at summer's end - than any other. In part it is because we are in the final throes of the season, when you realize it's a final feeding frenzy when you have to stock up on what's left in the market NOW. And in part it is because September in New England has got to be one of the most glorious times of the year for drinking this limited commodity. Days are warm (and sunny?!) and evenings are cooler.
It's warm enough to drink something with a chill without feeling it throughout your entire body. And it's cool enough to fire up the grill.
Rose and grill fare?
When it comes to grill fare and rose, one of our favorite styles is Pinot Noir. More often than not roses (from all over the world, no less) are a blend of varietals. But when it comes to Pinot Noir, we can't think of a time when a winemaker has blended it for their rose wine. The magic is in the purity. (Granted, not many winemakers dare give up this hard-earned juice for rose, but when they do? Watch out.)
This year's stand out fav, among ALL rose in the market, has been Joseph Mellot's Sincerite Rose - 100% Pinot Noir. The extra bit of body to the wine delivered with pristine limestone/flinty minerality makes it this magical balanced vin you can't help but love. AND IT IS PERFECT WITH GRILL FARE. Skewered, Cajun dry-rubbed shrimp? Done. Pork tenderloin grilled to juicy perfection? Done and done. Mama's BBQ chicken? Yep! That's a slamdunk, too.
Long story short, 'tis the end of rose season as far as what's available in the market goes. Those limited resources have largely been consumed. So gather up your remaining rose resources and stock up. We still have the best rose drinking weather in front of us, but getting your hands on the stuff only gets trickier here on out.
TRAVEL ALERT: If you're lucky to have ever visited (or are planning to, hint hint) Heinemann's property in Baden, Germany you also know his Spatburgunder (Pinot Noir) Kabinett Trocken Rose is to die for. We recently cracked his 2011 offering having saved one bottle last year (remember, the harder to find rose gems vintage) and it couldn't have been better - as a stand-alone delight, let alone with a year of bottle age under its belt. (Yes, there are rose wines that can do so! Ask your local Wine Buyer for his/her pick to get you through the colder days of winter to come....)