There is no question that Rose wines have captured the hearts and minds of wine lovers, especially younger generations who don't remember the sweetness of Sutter Home White Zinfandel.
Yesterday, the wine industry association of Provence (France) hosted a wonderful and informative walk around tasting of about 60 different roses produced in this region of France most noted for it's culinary achievements. The event was held at SEPIA - one of the best restaurants in Chicago also known for its award winning somm Arthur Hon who curates an extensive wine list.
There was a variety of roses made from familiar red grape varietals including grenache, syrah, pinot noir, and cabernet savignon. The color (pink tint), taste, and mouthfeel of the wines depends on the amount of time that the juice is in contact with the skins before the pressing occurs. Most roses tend to have about 6-12 hours of maceration time before the pressing that creates the juice that is used for primary fermentation.
Arthur gave a brief presentation on the wines that were being served and some of the points I took away were:
> There are several sub regions of Provence that need to be explored to understand the variety of roses that are produced in the area.
> Roses embrace acidity which is why they are so popular during summer months and why they are so easy to pair with a wide variety of food offerings.
> Roses from Provence work especially well with local produce from the Midwest such as root vegetables like beets and carrots. Sepia served two excellent salads that I would like to prepare at home if I can get the recipe!
All in all, it was a wonderful way to spend a wet Monday morning and I look forward to learning more about Provence roses and to eventually visit the area in person sometime in the future!