Food & Drink

Rose wines are your best bet for summer drinking

Charles and Charles rose is one of a wide display at the Harris Teeter location in Cotswold.
Charles and Charles rose is one of a wide display at the Harris Teeter location in Cotswold. Catherine Rabb

Rose wine is the perfect grown-up summer drink. This style of wine has got it all – refreshment, interesting flavors, a fun selection and affordability – making them a lovely and easy way to celebrate the season. If rose hasn’t yet made it into heavy rotation in your summer wine lineup, here are a few reasons to drink pink.

1. Roses are delicious and pretty. Heavy red wines don’t seem appealing in the late-summer Carolina heat. Crisp, fresh roses have the refreshing and thirst-quenching qualities of a white wine, with some of the appealing cherry-berry fruitiness of a red wine. Roses can be made from just about any red-skinned grape, so there is an array of flavors and styles, and the colors range from the palest onion-skin to vibrant fuchsia.

2. The selection has never been better. In the last two years, the popularity of rose has skyrocketed, and we are the lucky winners. The Harris Teeter at Cotswold has an entire wall of rose on display, a veritable rose garden. Try Charles and Charles Rose ($11.99), a predominately Syrah blend from the Columbia Valley in Washington, with cherry flavors and a little bit of minerality.

3. Roses are affordable. Rose wines are not made to cellar and collect; they are made to drink young. Prices generally reflect the style of easy drinking and everyday consumption. While there are roses over $30, the majority are $20 and under, making them great weeknight wines. The nicely curated selection at the Vintner Wine Market at the Arboretum has Domaine Houchart 2014, Cotes de Provence, for $13.99. It’s delicate with tart red-fruit flavors.

4. With a bit of refreshing acidity, roses are terrific with food. The crisp flavors partner with all types of food. They are lovely with salads and seafood, and are especially nice with egg dishes at brunch. Try a rose with anything from pizza to burgers. Corkbuzz Restaurant and Wine Bar offers several roses by the glass. Nigl Zweigelt ($13) from Kremstal, Austria, is lovely with the charcuterie platter.

5. Roses are interesting. With the variety of grapes and the wide range of flavors and styles, you could sample a different rose every night this summer and still not explore them all. From Argentinean Malbec to Italian Sangiovese, rose styles reflect a bit of the character of both the grape and the winemaking style, and often have interesting back stories. A perennial favorite at Foxcroft Wine Shop, Commanderie de Peyrassol 2014, Cotes de Provence ($22), has a history that dates to the Knights Templar.

Catherine Rabb is co-owner of Fenwick’s and a senior instructor at Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte. Email: Catherine.rabb@jwu.edu.

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