Sunday, June 30, 2013

BRAMBLES: Simply Summer Quenching

It's warm outside and these bright days are long.  Summer has arrived to the vineyard, and in its heat you can almost see the vines grow, the berries develop every day.  I've noticed that my beer consumption increases these days, mostly because it is refreshing to have something cool in a chilled bottle.  It quenches a thirst, it hydrates, and it goes with the foods that we enjoy eating outdoors.  Grillin' and chillin' are for many of us the way to get thru these long, lazy days.

Inspiring, insightful contributing wine editor, Matt Kramer, noted in a recent Wine Spectator issue that the wines of summer typically are for our simple drinking pleasure.  It certainly helps if they are chilled, and perhaps even if they are uncomplicated.  For me it is the season of Rose' from the Mediterranean and cru Beaujolais, these are the months of aromatic Torrantes and lusciously tart Albarinos, as well as chillingly dry Rieslings from Alsace and the Rhine.  They sit in the cooler, quite patiently, next to the bottles of beer.
Rhone vineyard with gallet(stones)

In recent years, Rose' wines have begun to shed their consumer image of being too sweet, or too feminine. Supporting this wave, contemporary marketing strategies continue to billow the sales, with programs such as the successful  'Real Men Drink Pink'.   Consistent market indicators showing sustained volume growth across all sales categories, reflects pink wines to be on the coat tails of this very positive trend which is aided by new packaging, such as the improved wine box or pouches. With sunny Spain and the Mediterranean producers leading the Rose' way, there are many great pink values, such as Falesco's Vitiano Rosato from Umbria. And most of them are aromatic, vibrant and refreshingly dry.

Domestic producers, too, are catching the Rose' wave.  Many of these bottles efficiently give producers another wine product from the same fruit source as their more costly premium label. In practice, you can produce a Grenache and a Grenache-rose' all grown in the same vineyard. I have found the James Family Cellars Rose' of Pinot Noir, as well as the Robert Hall Rose de Robles to be consistent, excellent values, filled with bright red fruits and dancing with acidity.

These, and many more, make simple summer sipping easy.  They pair cheerfully with many of our favorite summer foods and many of these bottlings have easy to access screw-caps.  Plus, if your cooler is tall enough, they fit nicely chilled right next to those bottles of beer.

For me, a ball game on the radio, a fresh taco in my hand, and a glass of Rose' nearby easily echo the best of the summer.  Cheers!

No comments:

Post a Comment