Sonoma Rosé perfect for summer and the rest of the year too

Jeff Roberts 3/21/2021

Rosé wine used to get a bad wrap from serious wine drinkers. I am not sure if that is because of its pink color or because in the U.S. the rosé that was available was often not of the highest quality, but these days there are some amazing Rosé wines worth trying. Rosé, especially when made in the sangee method, can have delicious flavor and can pair well with many foods especially BBQ sushi or spicy Asian cuisines. Rosé is perfect to drink during the heat of summer and the rest of the year too

The color in Rosé wine comes from the grape skins that are left in contact with the juice. Unlike red wine, the skins for Rosé wine are discarded prior to fermentation. The length of time the skins are left in the juice, the varietal of the grape used and the style of the winemaker all impact the ultimate color which can range from a very pale pink to a medium orangey hue.

There are three methods used to make Rosé; maceration, saignée and blending. With maceration the skin of the grapes are left to sit on the juice in a tank from a few hours to a few days. The skins are then removed and the juice is transferred to another tank to ferment and then made into rose. For Saignée some of the juice used from red wine is pressed and bled off and then transferred to another tank to be made into Rosé wine. With this method, because the skins are left in the juice, the wine is pressed and bled so the tannins from the skins are macerated imparting more flavor and structure to the wine as opposed to just leaving them in the juice for skin contact. For blending a little red wine is added to white wine to give it color.

#WineStudio is an online twitter-based educational program hosted by @ProtocolWine where participants taste and discuss different wines. During the month of July, I had the opportunity to talk with the winemakers and taste and learn about three delicious Rosé wines from Sonoma. Each Rosé wine was made from different varietals, had different colors and a different flavor profile. The one thing that all the wines all had in common was that they were absolutely delicious!

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Ellipsis Wine Company Rosé of Pinot Meunier Sonoma County 2015 ($25) This rose is a beautiful pink color with flavors of tart strawberry raspberry and watermelon hard candy. It has a nice acidity and crispness and can be enjoyed alone but will also stand up to food such as sushi or spicy Asian cuisine


Pedroncelli Dry Rosé of Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley 2015 ($12) Dry Creek Valley is know for its Zinfandel and this dark pink colored Rose is made with100% Zinfandel grapes. Made using the maceration and saignée method, this wine is tart and fruity with nice structure complexity and a bit of spiciness. This would be great with barbeque meat or picnic fare

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Angels & Cowboys Rosé Sonoma County 2015 ($ 16.99) This wine is a blend of Grenache Rouge, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Grenache Blanc. It is made with the maceration and Saignée method in the Provence style and is pinky orange in hue. It has citrus flavors of grapefruit, some hints of spiciness and soft floral notes. This would pair well with salmon, tuna or spicy Asian cuisine

All of these wines can be enjoyed chilled on their own on a hot summer day but don’t just limit them to summer. Each of these wines can and should be enjoyed year round to stand up to spicy Asian food or BBQ or if in the midst of winter you just wantto be reminded of the long lazy days of summer, a glass or bottle of Rosé will do the trick.

Thank you to Protocol Wine, Ellipsis Wine Company, Pedroncelli Winery and Angels and Cowboys Wine for providing these wines for me to taste and learn about and thank you for the reminder to drink pink!

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