|Have a Turkey Day Rosé|
|Written by Bill Citara -- BT Contributor|
Red, white, and you: Agreeable wine for $12 or less
We have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Day 2013.
We’re thankful we live in a country where a bunch of raving nimrods can’t shut down the government and hold its citizens hostage to…. Oh, wait. Never mind.
Perhaps our thanks should be more narrowly drawn. We’re thankful for Thanksgiving Day itself, for the chance to gorge ourselves on a fat, slow, stupid bird that is invariably overcooked and dry as Saharan dust, but we like it just the same.
We’re thankful for mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes, stuffing and gravy, because they help cover up the deficiencies of our poor desiccated turkey. We’re thankful for pumpkin pie, even though we only eat it once a year; and we’re thankful for cranberry sauce -- that we only have to eat it once a year.
We’re even thankful for Mom’s green-bean casserole, which reminds us how bad American food used to be and how good we have it now.
And for us residents of Cork Dorkistan, we’re thankful for rosé because it’s the wine that goes with just about everything -- also that Thanksgiving comes only once a year, because it’s a bitch pairing wine with a meal that includes just about everything.
We should also be very thankful indeed for the French, who, despite their stinky cigarettes and rattletrap cars, make some excellent and affordable rosé.
For example, the lovely Tranquillité 2012 Grenache Rosé from Bernard Magrez. At an exceedingly reasonable ten bucks a bottle, this is a wine to buy a case of, as it’s a shame to confine its pleasures to only the Thanksgiving table. It opens slowly, shyly, with delicate raspberry and citrus aromas that gain richness with time.
Its flavor palette is delicate as well -- fresh berries with a hint of orange, a seductive floral bouquet, and soft Meyer lemon finish. If your Thanksgiving meal includes seafood, this would be an ideal complement, though it’s just hefty enough to play well with turkey and trimmings.
A bit sturdier is the 2012 La Vieille Ferme Vin Rosé, a refreshing blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault. In the glass it offers aromas of ripe strawberries and raspberries, with a clean, citrus acidity. Flip those aromas, and that’s basically the way it tastes, the citrus in the forefront and the fruit as supporting cast. It’s another good seafood wine, and perhaps a better accompaniment to turkey than the Tranquillité.
The odd, woody 2011 Rosé des Acanthes, on the other hand, we’ll lump in with Gauloises and Renaults as French products most of us could do without.
There are a lot more Spanish rosés on the market nowadays, and they’re not too shabby either. I liked both the Nostrada 2012 Rosé and the Cune 2011 Rioja Rosada. The Nostrada, which touts itself as an example of “Spain’s new age rosé winemaking,” is more in the ripe, fruity “international style” than a hugely terroir-driven wine. But it does offer clean, bright, berry fruit that should appeal to even the wine-adverse, and is a pretty good deal at $8.99.
The Cune tastes more typically “Spanish,” being made from 100 percent Tempranillo, with a slight dusky edge to its vivacious cherry-berry fruit and orange flower-water back notes. Fuller bodied than most, it has an almost creamy texture and can stand up to the heartiest Thanksgiving fare.
Argentina’s Maipe winery is usually a reliable source of modestly priced, good-quality wine, but there was something a funky going on with its 2012 Malbec Rosé. An off bottle, or just a not-so-great year? I don’t know. But it opened with musty, sour aromas competing with strawberry and raspberry scents; while in the mouth, the fruit tasted under-ripe, with an unpleasant sour orange acidity. It got a little better over time but, hey, time is short.
Where goats do roam -- South Africa -- they make a rather interesting rosé, the 2012 Goats Do Roam. It’s an intriguing blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Gamay Noir that comes off as rather green and disjointed at first but gradually evolves into a more cohesive wine that will probably become even better a few months down the road -- where, of course, the goats do roam, thankful that they are not the ones being complemented by rosés on Thanksgiving Day 2013.
Volume 12, Issue 8. October 2014
The Smithsonian honors a local documentary photographer
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