hot child in the city: time for rosé

Let’s celebrate this week of hot days by thinking about how creepy this song about child prostitution is drinking pink.  In a drunken frenzy, I somehow ended up with a mixed case of rosés after the recent Think Pink rosé party at Provisions.  If I remember correctly, there were 37 or so bottles for tasting, so I must have thought I was getting off light.

My goal was to buy rosés that were worth sipping on their own: very dry, cherry/strawberry/candy with flowers on the nose, enough acid and body to bring a party to my mouth, and some garish color that would alarm friends used to drinking summer whites.

This is what I ended up with.  A difficult choice, really, and I don’t necessarily recommend these wines over others.  You just need to go for dry.  There was an Argyle sparkling rosé, for example, that was a bit out of my price range but would have been mine in a red hot child in the city second if I had had the means.  And yes, more Bandol goes without saying.  And Chateau Trinquevedel Tavel.  Secco is a good bet for those effervescent youngsters without much cash.  Ermitage du Pic Saint Loup.  Domaine Sorin.  And anything in those ridiculous giant bottles that Ryan insists on brandishing about, taunting us pauvres.

Each of these wines from 2010 are quite different, and almost all are under $20, some significantly so. They were all at Provisions a couple of weeks ago, but I can’t make any promises now.

Front to back:

  • Gurru Txaga Txakoli Rosé, Bizkaiko.  A Basque wine, it sounds like you’re choking to say it, but smells and tastes faintly of strawberry candy and the sea, without sweetness.  Slightly fizzy.  Drink from a porrón.
  • La Galantin Bandol Rosé. Anything from Provence that’s pink is ok by me, but this is a relatively affordable, lovely Bandol with intense apricot and raspberry flavors.
  • Zull Rosé, Lust & Laune, Niederösterreich.  As Ryan said on last week’s Food for Thought on KLCC, the label looks like a Target house brand.  He also said:

Austere and minerally with a taut, nerve energy, yet somehow so dense with ethereal red berry essence that it comes off as concentrated. One of the most fascinating, compelling and delicious pink wines of the vintage.

In other words, quite nice and it has a screw top.  Take camping.  I did.

  • Le Cirque Rosé, Pays des Côtes Catalanes. Weird, weird, weird.  Slightly viscous mouthfeel.  Sour cherry and limestone. “A proven perfect match for roquefort and olives,” says the wine guy, and who are we to argue?
  • Villa Wolf Pinot Noir Rosé, Pfalz.  I took a taste and thought “Riesling?”  And sure enough, Dr. Loosen’s hand was in the manufacture of this wine — he owns this in addition to his properties in Mosel.  Slightly less dry than the others I chose, it has enough acid and clay to carry it off like a pro.  Raspberry jam.
  • Spangler Vineyards Southern Oregon Rosé.  Huh?  A man of genius makes no mistakes; this wine is a portal of discovery to the land of bone-dry sweet-tarts with a caper back and acid up the wazoo.  Please, Sir, may I have another?

Which rosés would you recommend?

in which she sings of rosé

I’m sad you missed the Kermit Lynch rosé tasting at Provisions yesterday afternoon.  You are too.  Most of the wines were from Langedoc, and worlds apart from the boxed White Zin your mom used to drink over ice.  They’re also quite different from the cheaper, quaffable, fruit-forward rosés one sees coming out of Oregon and California.  Instead of bright cherry or strawberry dominating, these show more of the terroir with more complex flavors and a noticeable minerality. Not a jot of sweetness — dry and crisp like an Oregon summer morning.  And the colors range from a pale apricot to an amber to a deep cerise.

I bought a Spanish Ameztoi Rubentis Getariako Txakolina (back) earlier in the spring, when they were available.  The pale salmon color and happy, tingly frizzante is also nothing like these later, Frenchier rosés. This time, I picked up a few bottles of Chateau Trinquevedel Tavel from the exclusively rosé-growing region of Tavel in the Rhône Valley, and a peppery Ermitage Pic St. Loup from Langedoc.

It’s very worthwhile to check out Provisions’ wine tasting events: the free tastings, the classes, and the dinners.  I don’t consider myself any kind of expert on wine — not even an educated amateur — but I feel more confident each time Ryan guides me through his tastings.  The next class is July 22, and features the wines of Spain.  Be there!

I plan to drink these rosés with grilled fish, or a juicy mound of grilled vegetable couscous, perhaps with a lamb sausage or perhaps not…Willamette Valley chickpeas, garden mint, and golden raisins as a garnish.   Or maybe a sour cherry claufoutis.  Ah, summer.