Rosé season is here, but it’s also all-year! Rosé wines come in a variety of styles that make them fantastic options for food and wine pairing. Read on for a quick rosé refresher and a few of food and wine ideas just in time for summer.
How is Rosé Wine Made
The most common style of rosé is made by pressing red grapes and leaving them for a short time on the skins. This allows them to pick up some color, aroma, flavor, and texture, but keep their light color.
Another method of making rosé is to simply blend white and red wine.
Saignée comes from the French word ‘saigner’ (bloodletting). It refers to when winemakers drain off some of the juice after crushing red grapes, in order to increase the skin to juice ratio. This results in bigger, bolder red wines. The drained-off juice can be fermented into rosé. It’s usually darker in color and fuller flavored.
Rosé and Food
The first that comes to mind with rosé is often a beach view or a poolside lounger. That’s perfectly cool. And you can even call it “à la piscine” and put ice in it. But rosé, with it’s myriad flavor profiles goes great with a number of dishes.
Moules Frites (sautéed mussels and fries) is a classic French dish, and traditionally served with rosé. When it comes to the sauté, your options are endless. You can keep it simple, and just add parsley and a little lemon, or you can add some depth of flavor with tomatoes, bay leaf, oregano, sage, rosemary, curry… it’s truly up to you.
Match the intensity of your dish with the intensity of your rosé. Deeper-colored rosé will always have a bolder quality and ripe red fruit, whereas the pale, salmon-pink ones are more likely to have delicate aromas of raspberry, strawberry tops, and sea salt.
Tuna has a delicate flavor but a texture that requires something a little chewier in the glass. A bright and fruity rosé will soften and round out the sensation on your palate, and uplift and uphold any interesting ingredients, like olives, capers, and tomatoes.
Try my recipe for Sicilian-style couscous with tuna.
As long as it’s not too slathered in rich and smoky sauce, grilled chicken goes well with rosé for the same reason tuna does. Grilling can also leave behind a bitter flavor, and a fruitier rosé helps to soften that.
You might be tempted to pair Moroccan spice blends like cumin, ginger, coriander, black pepper and cinnamon with a complex and layered red wine, but you’d risk covering them up. A full-bodied rosé made from red grapes like Grenache or Syrah that have some natural spice to them are wonderful option.
Sparkling Rosé Wine And Food
Sparkling wine has its own brand of pairing rules, namely that the bubbles work like tiny scrubbing brushes for the palate, which makes the wines very refreshing but can also be abrasive. Sparkling rosé is no different, except that it brings some extra fruit and floral qualities to the nose and some silkiness on the palate.
Falafel, the deep-fried chickpea patties are a wonderful match for a sparkling rosé. The bubbles balance out the fatty sheen from frying and the fruity quality matches the intensity of the spice blend.
It’s a free country. If you love frosé, I’m not here to judge. What I would recommend instead of a plain pink slushy is pink popsicles! There a lot of recipes out there, but my favorite is simple. Two parts rosé wine, one part puréed ripe strawberries and or raspberries. This combination will freeze just fine, and the flavors stay true the rosé you’re using. Enjoy!