Downtown Drink Shrink | Adam Stemmler
Valentine’s Day is observed in honor of St. Valentine as a day for the exchange of valentines and other tokens of affection. Simply put, we all are reminded to show affection in one way or another to our significant other. Although gifts are a great gesture, creating amazing memories based on shared experience is a timeless act that will outlive the lifespan of any flower.
Therefore, in addition to the standard dozen red roses, try celebrating this year with something that many misunderstand as much as love itself: rosé or blush wines. This is the Drink Shrink’s Valentine’s Day rosé wine guide.
To some, the mere sight of a blush wine conjures up images of grandmothers playing bridge while simultaneously ingesting large amounts of cigarette smoke and white zinfandel, the bastardized version of rosé wine. This image is wrong, however, because believe it or not, Sommeliers and wine enthusiasts around the globe marvel at a proper rosé wine.
So what is considered a proper rosé wine and why is it important? To answer, we must first cross the Atlantic to Provence in the South of France, the birthplace of the French vineyard. It was in this region that Greek traders from the city of Phocaea brought vines and their cultural customs of wine making. Centuries ago, wines were customarily pale in color and relatively analogous to the rosé wines of today. It wasn’t until the rise of the Romans— with heavily macerated and deep colored red wines—that rosé wines were introduced.
Rosé wine is achieved by doing a very brief flash fermentation with skin contact of red or black grapes. Then, just as white wine is made, the process is finished with no skin interaction. Because all color from red wine comes from interaction with the skins during the fermentation process, the resulting wine is a bright pink hue that combines aromas and flavor notes of red wine with the drinkable ease of a white wine.
Here’s a quick rosé wine guide to what and where to drink this Valentine’s Day:
What: Lorenza Rosé, made from a combination of old vine fruit from Northern California, including mourvedre, carignane, cinsault, grenache and syrah grapes. This rose showcases deep layers of flavor with big acidity
Where: Neighborhood, 777 G St.
What: Breton Avis de Vin Fort, produced in the Loire Valley region of France. This organic and biodynamic rosé wine is made from the cabernet franc grape, making it bright and vegetal.
Where: Starlite, 3175 India St.
What: Barth Sparkling Rosé, made from 100 percent pinot noir, or spatburgunder grapes as it’s known locally in Germany. This slightly off, dry sparkling wine showcases notes of ripe cantaloupe and freshly cut white button mushrooms.
Where: Top of the Market, 750 North Harbor Dr.
What: Sophia Rosé; this wine, made from the grenache grape, is cold soaked for 48 hours before the skins are removed. Part of the Francis Ford Coppola series of wines, this rosé is a perfect food wine and has bright aromas of strawberry and lavender.
Where: Vin de Syrah, 901 5th St.