By Kim Fuller
A rosé tasting is summer in the making, even on a snowy April afternoon in the mountains.
“I think rosé drinkers are a very broad breed,” shared Mark Vlossak at the Debut of Rosé kickoff event at the 2015 Taste of Vail on Wednesday evening, April 8.
Vlossak is the president and winemaker at St. Innocent Ltd. out of Salem, Oregon.
“Some of them want something that is a little bit sweet,” he went on, “and some to them want something that is pretending to be a red wine so they can enjoy it chilled in the summer.”
One recommendation when it comes to a rosé tasting (and any kind of wine tasting, for that matter): ask questions and take notes. Once your cheeks start to get pink, your going to forget your favorite tastes.
St. Innocent’s Oeil de Perdrix 2014 white rosé is the perfect wine for summer dining, al fresco — as Vlossak explained.
“It’s picked young, and fermented cold, and the idea was to make a really fun, picnic wine,” he said. “So it has a little acid, but a much lower alcohol content than a normal rosé. I think it’s a perfect match for a hot summer day, laying out on a blanket, having chicken, potato salad and coleslaw — that’s what this wine is all about.”
This wine, with a name that means “Eye of the Partridge,” has enough acidity to cut through fat and richness, but it’s really bright and fun.
“Yet at 11%,” Vlossak said. “You could drink the whole bottle and they’re not going to bust you on the way home.”
Colorado winery, Colterris, has made a 100% cabernet sauvignon rosé for two years now. It’s called the “Coral” — a white cabernet sauvignon.
“The only reason we are making this is because we grow five red varietals: cabernet sauvignon, cab franc, merlot, malbec and petit verdot,” said Scott High, proprietor of Colterris Wines in Palisade. “I needed to have something to dinner in the summertime when it was 100 degrees out. So I made this really, so I could drink it.”
The wine has light floral notes of rose and honeysuckle, but stays bright and fresh with refined acidity and a medium-long finish.
Most summer appetizers and dishes will pair well with the rosé; it’s light enough for soft and young cheeses, but also could stand up to grilled pork or chicken renditions. The wine is balance, with a dry overtone but smooth throughout.
“I think people are missing out on dry rosés,” shared High. “They are such great, food friendly wines.”
Italy’s Machesi Incisa della Rocchetta has a beautiful 2014 rose: the Futurosa Piemonte Rosato. It’s a blend of 50% barbera and 50% merlot, from the vineyeards of Piemonte, Italy.
“Futurosa (rosy future) is our rosé wine showing an impressive structure and an uncommon food-pairing vocation for a wine of its kind,” said it’s description at the tasting. “It gets the structure and the bright acidity from barbera, the strength and smoothness from merlot.
Fruit notes of wild strawberries and other red berries make the medium-bodied wine bright, and the silky structure creates an elegance on the palate.
The wine is to be paired with summer pasta dishes and even pizza, as well as ocean-inspired cuisine.
“This unusual blend makes this rose wine ideal for food pairing with grilled fish or shellfish, as well as a great aperitif wine.”