The Summer Rosé You Should Sip Year-Round


Grapes: Grenache/Cinsault/Syrah

Location: Provence, France

Approximate Retail Price: $19


Tasting Notes

Color: Hues of carnation pink; bright and reflective

Aroma: Tantalizing light red fruits of raspberry, strawberry and cherry laced with floral notes and minerality

Taste: Fruity yet light, dancing on the tongue with hints of flavors that only the second taste might reveal and beautifully balanced acidity

Let’s face it – rosé’s in. It has been for some time. At long last, U.S. oenophiles have embraced blush wines. After the fiasco of white zinfandel – a sweet, easy-drinking pink wine – who could blame oenophiles for hesitation? But now, rosés are available left and right, from here, from there, from everywhere.

Unknown to some, rosés come not from pink grapes but from red grapes. The difference involves maceration, one of the most popular methods for making rosé. Maceration involves how long the grape juice, which is usually clear, sit with the skins. The longer it does so, the darker and more flavorful and tannic the wine becomes. Conversely, the less the clear grape juice sits with the skins, it only will pick up so much color – yielding lighter, easier flavors. Hence, rosé.

Rosé goes glass-in-hand with patios, porches, pools and similar summertime pleasures. Actually, rosé cannot be denied all year round. Imagine a snowy December night, nearing Christmas, with big flakes swirling beyond the frosted windowpane as you enjoy a hearty dose of delicious rosé from your glass.

By this time, nearly every region or winery has tried its hand at a rosé. Some grow and harvest their grapes with the notion of making rosé; some just consume leftover grapes and produce a rosé as an afterthought. The latter course doesn’t necessarily produce an inferior product. Assessing the quality of a fantastic rosé as yet involves an element of inexactitude.

The Croix de Peyrassol Rosé comes from the Provence region of Southern France. Among all the rosés made in all the world, something in my palate seems to continually favor that region. Made from any hodgepodge of Rhône varietals like grenache, syrah, mourvèdre and cinsault, to name a few, Provence rosés continue to have a silky texture, an alluring nose and a give-no-care light pink color that should seal the deal for you to blow off the rest of the day and sit alone or with friends while soaking up sun.

The Croix de Peyrassol Rosé ranks as a particular favorite hereabouts, a proper example of Provence rosé in particular and rosé in general; among area vintners, it generally stays on shelves for as long as it can be kept – but, sad but true, it does inevitably run out.

Food Pairings: Atmospherically? Porches. Patios. Swings. Sunlight. Snow. Summer dresses or winter parkas. But also, gustatorily, this wine pairs nicely with medium to soft cheeses, grilled vegetables, cold shrimp, and tuna or beef carpaccio.

Certified Sommelier Stanley Browne owns Robust Wine Bar in Webster Groves.