Rosés For The Last Day Of Summer

Food & Drink

But, there’s no reason to stop drinking pink today. Many rosés are sturdy enough for fall drinking.

There are those of you who still believe all rosé drinking stops at Labor Day, and then there are those of you (savvy) drinkers who know better.

“In American we view rosé largely as a seasonal wine,” writes Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, MW, in her 2017 book, Rosé Wine (Sterling Epicure). “It generally hits shelves in late May or early June and leaves them by mid-September, but that’s also changing. Now you can find and buy delicious roses year-round.”

And there’s no reason not to do so. Renowned importer Kermit Lynch called rosé “red wine without the tannins,” suggesting that some have enough structure and fruit concentration to carry into the cooler months. But there’s also the idea that in these transitional days between summer and fall, we might still be eating warm-weather foods that are not compatible with the more tannic wines of fall. Enter rosé, which easily straddles the seasons and transitional cuisines.

Personally speaking, I still have a fridge full of varying shades of pink wine, some of which I’m saving for Thanksgiving. But here are a few I drank not to lament the end of summer, but to celebrate the beginning of fall.

Attems Pinot Grigio Ramato 2019, Fruili DOC. Ramato is a coppery-pink style specific to the Fruili region and this one features a fruit bowl of cherry, wild strawberry and stone orchard fruit. Dry and a bit savory, this erases your preconceptions of Pinot Grigio once it’s in the hands of an intentional winemaker. Super with salmon with spicy mango coulis.

Calafuria Tormaresca Rosato, Salento IGT, 2020. Darker hued like the color of wild-farmed salmon, this is a medium-bodied wine from southern Italy. A little glycerol on the palate, it features raspberry and red currant flavors elevated by a clementine-tangerine tang. Burrata salad with super-ripe late-summer tomatoes or with a tomato saffron marmalade and goat cheese (not to be too specific).

Castello Monaci Kreos Rosé, Salento IGT. Named for Eos, the goddess of the dawn—Homer called her the rosy-fingered goddess inspired by the sky’s palette at dawn—this 100% Negroamaro rosé from Puglia is vivid and darker-hued with fleshy red-berry flavors. A bit of tannic structure and spice give this a good sturdiness for fall. This cries for sausage on the grill (and so do I!).

Herdade de Sao Miguel Colheita Sececcionada 2020 Alentejo. Tropical and summer fruits—strawberry and watermelon—anchor this wine, a blend of mostly Portuguese native grapes—50% Touriga Nacional, 20% Aragonez and then 30% Syrah. With its fresh profile and excellent minerality, it’s a great earlier summer wine, but alas, it was at the back of my fridge—discovered just in time for tomorrow’s 80-degree temperatures. If you’re in Maine, it’s a good one with that last lobster roll of the summer.

Lamberti Prosecco Rose Extra Dry 2020. Finally, rosé Prosecco is an official designation, new to the market this year. This very light pink version is a pleasing low-fizz style. Super dry, perfect late-afternoon weekend wine (or Tuesday, if you can day-drink during the week). Perfect with shrimp tacos.  

San Felice “Perolla” Rosato Toscana, IGT 2020. A blend of 65% Sangiovese and 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, this rosé leans more towards SanG’s strawberry profile than that of Cab’s pyrazine character. Light-copper colored, a little spicy and with a creamy, almost glycerol mouthfeel, this has tropical undertones and tangy red berries. A hit with grilled turkey burgers and mango salad.

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