Posts tagged Rose

When You Don’t Want to Give up Summer Whites: Wines of Alsace for Dinner

When it has cooled off enough to go back into the kitchen, we’re thinking about cooking again. Maybe grilling sausages, roasting meats, even putting potato gratin back on the menu. But we don’t want to give up our white wines just yet…So here is the third of three suggestions about how to extend summer in your glass, during dinner.Alsace cork
We’re looking toward Alsace for the answer. A hilly region in the northeastern part of France, this area specializes in fine country-style cooking, with an emphasis on “fine,” from hearty meats to dishes with mushrooms and eggs, and even some freshwater fish occasionally.
Start out with a delectable sparkling Cremant d’Alsace – this region is near Champagne, after all – like the nicely balanced Albert Mann Cremant d’Alsace Brut 2011 or the pale rose NV Willm Cremant D’Alsace Blanc de Noirs Brut.
With eggs, mushrooms, grilled meat and fish, move on to two more whites like the light but complex 2012 Willy Gisselbrecht Pinot Blanc or the earthy 2011 Sipp Mack Pinot Gris. And if you can’t find these, go for a dry Alsace Riesling; I recently sampled the lovely, fresh 2012 Mader Riesling and the nicely developed 2007 Becker Riesling Grand Cru Froehn.
With a very light cheese in your cheese course, you might even stray into the classic rose-aromas of the 2011 Hugel Gewurtztraminer; stronger cheese can pair with a late harvest wine like 2001 Trimbach Riesling Cuvee Frederic Emile Vendanges Tardives –as can a light tarte or cake if you prefer a sweeter dessert course.Alscace in mist

Do you want Rose Vodka or Rosé Vodka?

20130628_165828Ever since my friend Beni made me some vodka flavored with rose petals from her flower garden, I’ve been a big fan of rose vodka. Shakers used to make a great one; haven’t seen it for a while though. So I was interested when I recently ran into Paul Kozub who produces V-One, a wonderfully smooth spelt vodka made in Poland. I sample the original flavor, liked the mild, bright flavor, and bought a bottle.

Then Paul told me he was branching out into rose flavor. Out in the parking lot, he gave me a bottle. I took it home and sampled it. And I tried it on everyone who visited for a week or so. We all agreed: it’s vanilla flavored — and it looks vanilla colored, too. If you didn’t know there was rose in it, you wouldn’t think of it. Once you’re told, you can detect a tiny amount of rose aroma.
Easy fix: rename it Vanilla Rose.

Then a couple bottles of Exclusiv vodka arrived: original and rosé flavored. Yes, they call it rosé, like the wine, and it is pink. Exclusiv is made in Moldova with winter wheat, and is moderately light and smooth. It has a pleasant floral aroma but producer Serge Chirstov writes that it’s made with rosé Moscato wine and a bit of raspberry vodka. Still, it smells like flowers, and has a nice, moderate amount of sweetness.
On its own, over ice, Exclusive Rosé is a charming, simple summer cocktail.

Champagnes of Barons de Rothschild arrive lightly in Boston

Have to admit I have been curious about the new Barons de Rothschild Champagnes for the last few months. They’re being rolled out like a (slow-motion) feature film release: first in 2 locations in NY and LA, and now into secondary markets. Don’t you hate to be called that? But that’s what we are, here in Boston.

A Rothschild did come to introduce the champagnes: Philippe. This charming 40-something has a longer name but I won’t go into that here. The other important thing to know about him is he went to grad school here – HBS, of course. And he did invite a bunch of us to lunch with him at another high-toned Boston location– L’Espalier – where we nibbled light dishes with the Champagnes at lunch this week.

For the past few years, Philippe has been heading the Barons de Rothschild champagne venture, a rare innovation that aligns three branches of the family together in business.
The family’s expansion from Bordeaux into Champagne has been undertaken with care: choosing an experienced winemaker, courting suppliers, stockpiling years of vintages for blending – and for possible future single vintage release. At the moment, there are three non-vintage champagnes in current release.

The champagnes themselves had a light complexity that could feel understated if you weren’t paying attention. When I tasted them, they had been traveling on and off for a few weeks, and the NV Rosé was least accessible; its most impressive feature was its surprisingly deep apricot color.
The Brut NV had apricot, rich plum, lemon and chalky minerality running through it in both scents and flavors.
And the NV Blanc de Blancs had a nice wafting of chalk and minerals, somewhat bigger apple-y tasting flavors on the palate and fruit in the finish with a final dry bitterness, not sweetness; overall it was pretty light, and could easily be overwhelmed by hearty foods.
All three champagnes retail for around $100-$125.

Malbec Rosés with Carlos’ Empanadas

On a cold winter night in New England, we warmed up at the historic home of Argentine natives Vera and Carlos, with Carlos’ empanadas accompanied by Malbec Rosés. Carlos made low fat empanadas, which some people (son Marcel) quibbled with – though the rest of us were pleased, given the amount of holiday cookies we’d already started consuming.
There were three roses, all different, and we were equally divided on our favorites. With the beef empanadas, I liked the simple 2011 Michel Torino, young and even a bit spicy in flavor. The 2010 Gauchezco was more layered, with citrus and minerality, and was an overall favorite of about a third of us.
Then came the 2010 Crios, with a thicker mouthfeel and raspberry notes. Once we saw the name of the legendary Susana Balbo, we knew we were in for a treat. But the most interesting element came during the dessert course: peel a tangerine, and its scent on your skin enhances each sip of her rosé.

Provence with a dynamic blonde – and wine, of course

Just caught up with Chateau Roubine’s Valerie Rousselle today at the “Provence in the City” aka Rosé wines tasting in Boston. In addition to her “new name” (as she describes her divorce) she has several new wines and a charmingly renovated, rentable house on the property, “in the midst of the vines,” she says. And there are cooking classes on Tuesdays.
Or if you only have a day in the area, feel free to bring your own picnic and spend a few hours on a self-guided tour of the vineyard, including the ancient Roman road that runs through the property.
I recall a wonderful dinner there some years ago, with guests as charming as the wine. The vineyards are sustainable, and to further cut down on the necessity for sulfites, they harvest at night, beginning at 2am in order to finish before the early fall heat of Provence takes over during the day.
Valerie is also planting more of the indigenous Tibourin grape, which is featured in her 2010 “Inspire” Cru Classé Côtes de Provence – 80% Tibourin, 10% Clairette, 10% Rolle — a touch smoky, deepening garden aromas, and plenty of body with lemony finish, a good food wine.

Pol Roger twitter tasting

This week, #PalatePress participated in the #Pol Roger twitter tasting. We tasted four: NV Reserve Brut “white foil,’ NV “Pure” Brut (non-dosage), Blanc de Blancs Brut vintage 1999, Brut Rose vintage 2002. (From Frederick Wildman, I should add.)
The house style is pretty light and crisp, which is why I was surprised to find that both now and historically, UK is their top market. Yet, this is also a very American style – that’s how I think of “light and crisp.” The style is consistent, throughout the range of wines we tasted this week.
Pol Roger is a house with its own long history: family-owned since it was founded in 1849.
And the only major house to continue hand-riddling.
Also, they use only indigenous yeast, according to Pol Roger’s Laurent d’Harcourt.
The next day invited a couple friends for “leftovers” – that was fun, too.