Springtime is upon us in Montana. Many of us are waking up from the winter cold and shifting our activities and diets to better match the warmer weather ahead. What better way to brighten up “mud season” in Montana than with a bottle of bright crisp rosé. It is sure to change your outlook on things and brighten your day.
Traditionally, this is the time of year when many wineries in the northern hemisphere release their fresh new rosé wines from the year’s previous harvest. Rosé is typically consumed within a year or two of release, when the vibrancy and youthfulness of the wines are at their peak. While some consumers may wait for the new releases, this should not deter you away from choosing a bottle that may be two or even three years old. The wines are crisp, acid forward and vibrant. Sometimes a rosé with a year of aging can be the way to go. That extra time in the bottle helps soften the acids and makes the wine more approachable to have by itself.
Rosé is produced primarily utilizing red grape varieties, which are harvested, pressed off and left in contact with the skins to produce the pinkish rosé hue. The variety and length of skin contact will deepen or lighten the color and also add a touch of tannins to help give the wine added structure. Traditional rosé is also produced in a dry style with very little residual sugar. Bottles start at about $10 and top out around the mid to upper $30s. The jump in quality is evident as you pay more, but sometimes the middle of the road is just what you are looking for. Just say “no” to sweet rosé!
The youthfulness and angular character of the wines are perfect when accompanied with an assorted meat, cheese and fruit tray. With the acid forward nature of the wine, it can be a heavenly match with grilled foods that the season also brings. Braised short ribs, BBQ chicken or any kind of grilled flesh will be a delightful pair. The acid helps cut the richness of dish, refreshes and wakes up your palate and gets you ready for that next bite of food. Rosés are also great as an aperitif to get your taste buds livened up for a meal. If you are just looking for a refreshing glass of wine to enjoy on the deck in the sunshine, hot tub, or on the couch, this can be the perfect choice.
Are you new to the rosé game, wanting to dip your toes into a new wine selection or just looking to try a different wine path? Need help with your selection? A rosé will surely fit the bill. I look at it as the multitool wine that should be in the fridge or pantry at all times. Now go grab yourself one or two for the week. Cheers!
Raymond Dickinson is the owner of Brix Bottleshop, a certified sommelier and a wine educator with decades of experience in the food and beverage industry. Brix Bottleshop, located at 115 S. Main St. in downtown Kalispell, can be found online at www.brixbottleshop.com.
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