Rosé All Day, in the Ohio Way

by Gary Twining

Fresh and fruity, crisp and bright; rosé is a deliciously flexible, food-friendly wine that should be served chilled. It’s produced in a range of lovely pink hues and styles.

Rosés pair perfectly with salads and cold grilled vegetables. They enhance the flavor of paella and rice dishes, seafood and fish, chicken, pork and veal. With spice, rosés maintain their character, so try them with Indian curries, Thai dishes, spicy sausage and peppers. One particularly fine pairing is with charcuterie boards (sausages, pates, terrines, galantines, confit, pickles, mustards) that can really test some dry whites and reds.

Winemakers use various methods to produce rosé. Each method is elemental to the style and color of the wine being produced.

Blending: White wine is blended with red wine to achieve the desired flavor and pink hue.

Direct Press: After the fruit is crushed, the skins are immediately separated from the juice. The result is a very light-colored, pale pink (Vin Gris) rosé.

Maceration: After the fruit is crushed, skin/juice contact is extended, producing a darker pink, more richly flavored rosé.

Saignée: After the fruit is crushed, both the juice and the skins are placed in tanks for an extended period of time. The first juice drawn from the tank yields a high-quality, pink-tinged juice used to produce rosé.

Rosé can also be made by fermenting white wine in a barrel that previously held red wine.

When buying rosé, seek the youngest vintage on the market. 2021 vintages are currently being depleted and 2022 bottlings are just being released. Select rosés with fresh pink hues and brilliance in the bottle. Color and flavor intensity will vary based on grape varietal(s) and production techniques, but expect delicate red berry scents (cherry, strawberry, raspberry, cranberry), crisp, citrusy flavors and varying dryness levels, depending on the winemaker.

Kosicek Vineyards Rhapsody in Pink Carbonated Rosé 2022 (Grand River Valley) $23 – (blend of Pinot Noir and Riesling) – Lovely pink hue with strawberry notes and a light sweetness, balanced acidity and mouthwatering finish.

Ferrante Winery Pinot Noir Rosé 2022 (Grand River Valley) $20 (tasted from tank, 6.5 hours of skin contact) – Brilliant color with a lovely pink hue, dark cherry aromas and flavors. A really pretty, dry rosé that is quite long, lingering and mouthwatering.

M Cellars Dry Rosé 2022 (Grand River Valley) $21 – (saignée with additional skin contact) – A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Pinot Noir. Bright pink hue. Fresh, softly dry, clean, long, fruity and very appealing.

Kosicek Vineyards Anthony Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé 2022 (Grand River Valley) $21 (tasted from tank, 24 hours of skin contact) – Cabernet’s pigmentation gives a darker hue. More full-bodied, elegant, with dark cherry flavors and balanced acidity.

Laurello Rosé of Pinot Noir 2022 (Grand River Valley) $16 – Pretty salmon hue. Softly dry and persistent with ripe red apple/strawberry fruit, moderate-plus acidity. A lovely rosé that is elegant and stylish.

Lincoln Way Vineyards – One Fifty-Five Rose 2022 (Ohio) $20 (36 hours of skin contact) – Chambourcin, Cabernet Franc and Seyval blend. Bright cherry blossoms/red apple fruit, crisp flavors, moderately dry and elegant.

Buccia Vineyards North Coast Cellars Rosé 2021 (Lake Erie/Conneaut) $21 – a 100% single-vineyard Cabernet Franc rosé. Dark fruit, ripe strawberry notes, moderate acidity and a stylish, pleasantly-dry finish.

Vermilion Valley Vineyards Blush Riesling 2020 (Lake Erie) $19 – (aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels).  Light copper hue with hints of toasty oak. Creamy vanilla/cherry overtones. Finishes attractively lightly sweet.

Prices and vintages may vary.

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