Vineyards in Provence are blessed by nature to produce a variety of unique wines from Red to White. Due to the climate, the main production of the Provence region is Rosé wine. From the French Riviera to the Hamptons, Rosé wine is the it wine of the hottest summer parties!
Having recently been invited to a Rosé wine tasting held by Wines of Provence, I had such a great time learning interesting facts about the pink drink in the presence of Marie-Hélène Boisvert (founder of L’Apprentie Sommelière). Let me share with you 5 things you should know about Rosé wine…
1. temperature matters
Warm or chilled? The optimal temperature to serve Rosé is between 8°C and 12°C. Rosé from Provence is light yet rich in aroma which is explained by the diversity of vines used in its making. The assembly of Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah grapes gives scents of small red berries, black fruits, citrus fruits, flowers, and spices with mineral and saline notes.
If you have left Rosé in the fridge for many days, do not panic! 20 minutes before serving, put your bottle on the counter so the wine will slowly reach 8°C to 12°C.
2. the newest vintage, the freshest wine
Unlike Red or White, most Rosé wines do not improve over the years so it’s totally fine to drink a bottle from 2015 or 2016. The grapes are picked early to preserve a nice acidity, and the fermentation at low temperature is practiced in order to increase the fruity and floral aromas in the wine. To really experience these flavours, it is recommended to opt for a recent vintage.
3. Drink Rosé with food
Rosé is not reserved only for cocktail hours! Thanks to its versatility you can definitely bring your bottle to the table. With the crisp side of some dry White, and delicate tannin aftertaste of light Red, Rosé pairs well with Mediterranean dishes including fish and spicy Asian foods. Moreover, due to its acidity, Rosé will balance out the taste of tomato sauce which means you can drink Rosé with pizza.
4. Drink rosé All Year Long
Even if Rosé is your favorite wine for picnics, be aware that Rosé season is year-long! According to SAQ Cellier blog, sales of Rosé slow down in August. That being said, this situation seems to be changing as exports of Provence wines to Canada increased by 38% in 2016. So why not break the gloom of winter with a sunny glass of Rosé?
5. Cook with Rosé
Did you know that you can cook with Rosé? Here are 2 recipes to try this summer:
- Strawberry salad, kiwi, spinach and Rosé vinaigrette
List of ingredients: local fresh strawberries, fresh kiwis, baby spinach and soft goat cheese.
Rosé vinaigrette: 1/3 cup of olive oil, 1/3 cup of Provence Rosé, 1 pressed lemon, half of a pink grapefruit (pressed), finely chopped shallots, 1 tsp. sugar, salt and pepper.
Preparation: cut strawberries, kiwis, and cheese. Put all ingredients in a bowl, add the Rosé vinaigrette, and mix. Leave the salad in the fridge and serve at your convenience.
2. Rosé popsicle
List of ingredients: 1 ½ cups of ripe strawberries and/or raspberries, juice from half of a lemon, white sugar (dissolved in hot water), and 500 mL of Provence Rosé.
Preparation: mix all the ingredients in a food processor. Sieve to remove seeds. Add more sugar if needed. Fill your popsicle molds and leave at least 6 to 8 hours in the freezer. This recipe gives about 8 to 10 popsicles (depending on the size of the molds).
More than 40 wines of Provence are available at SAQ but if you are not able to find THE Rosé, proceed with a private import. Journalist Ève Dumas explains the 3 easy steps to follow in an article published in La Presse.