For the past three decades, wine enthusiasts have shuddered when presented with American rosé.
The reason? Domestic rosé long has been associated with the cheap, sweet “blush” wines that became popular in the 1980s, like Sutter Home’s White Zinfandel. While these wines will always have fans, they’re quite different from the dry, refreshing Old World rosés that oenophiles crave when the weather warms.
In recent years, however, American vintners have started to produce rosés that easily can rival the Old World’s best offerings. With summer just around the corner, these wines are worth exploring — and stocking up on.
Rosé is made in one of two ways.
In the first method, the winemaker crushes red wine grapes and leaves the juice in contact with the skin for a brief period, typically one or two days. She then discards the skins, allowing the juice to finish fermentation on its own. Thanks to the short period of skin contact, the wine retains some color.
In the second method, rosé is a byproduct of red wine fermentation. Red wine obtains color, tannin, structure and flavors from grape skins. If a winemaker wants to increase the skin-to-juice ratio during fermentation, she can simply remove some juice at an early stage. This pink juice can be fermented separately to create rosé. This method is known as saignée.
Since rosé is the only goal with the first method, some oenophiles call such wine “true” rosé. These wines typically have more texture and higher acid than saignées, so can easily pair with a variety of foods.
True rosé has been a part of life in Europe for centuries. In Provence, France, residents and visitors alike long have recognized the brilliance of pairing rosé with warm weather and coastal cuisine.
The Old World remains the source of countless fantastic rosés. But many domestic producers are now making wines that are just as delicious.
One of my favorites comes from Arnot-Roberts, a small producer in California. Made from Touriga Nacional, a Portuguese variety best known for its large role in Port, the Arnot-Roberts rosé is delicate, crisp and structured, and packed with complexity.
Elsewhere in California, other favorites come from Copain, Peay and Radio-Coteau’s County Line, three producers that utilize Pinot Noir to make bright, brilliantly seductive wines. Another comes from Matthiasson, a Napa Valley producer that uses Syrah to produce a wine that’s stony, refreshing, and bursting with ripe, citrus flavors. All four are worth seeking out.
California isn’t the only source of top-notch domestic rosé.
In Oregon’s Willamette Valley, Paonzi Vineyards makes one that’s consistently delightful. In New York, Channing Daughters on Long Island has gained a cult following for its offerings — this year, the winery produced seven rosés! Many wineries in New York’s Finger Lakes are also gaining recognition for their bottlings. The list goes on.
Of course, America remains awash in cloyingly sweet pink wine. And it’s still too easy to accidently wind up with a bottle that tastes more like Kool-Aid than wine. But more and more producers are taking rosé seriously, so it’s easier than ever before to find a crisp, refreshing summertime quaffer that’s worth stocking up on.
David White, a wine writer, is the founder and editor of Terroirist.com. His columns are housed at Palate Press: The Online Wine Magazine (PalatePress.com).
For the past three decades, wine enthusiasts have shuddered when presented with American rosé.
Annual gingerbread house contest
Spread holiday cheer by making a gingerbread house this year. The Edmond Historical Society & Museum invites residents to enter into the fifth annual Gingerbread House Contest at 2 p.m. Dec. 14. Ages 5 and older are welcome to participate.
Gingerbread House Contest Rules:
• Ages 5-11, Ages 12-17, 18 and older
• Must be made out of edible materials
• Placed on 18-inch by 18-inch or smaller board
• No gingerbread kits (but you may use graham crackers)
• Participation is free, pre-registration is required
• Bring gingerbread house to the Edmond Historical Society & Museum between the dates of Dec. 10-13.
Judges will present first, second and third place awards in each age category. Judges will be looking for:
Edmond reminds residents of proper disposal of ‘FOG’
The City of Edmond’s FOG program helps homeowners learn to properly dispose of fats, oils and grease.
“These few simple tips will help you avoid a sewer back-up in your home. Not only is a sewer back-up unpleasant and unsanitary, the clean-up can cost thousands of dollars and your homeowner’s insurance may not cover the cost” said Casey Moore, public information officer.
Fats, oils and grease eventually become solid rather than liquid and the grease will stick to the sides of sewer pipes and clog them. This can cause a back-up and an overflow in your home, or into the streets and streams.
Kermit Lynch’s journey of wine discovery
“When I wrote the book,” explained wine merchant Kermit Lynch, “I thought the oenologists were going to take over.”
We were chatting about Adventures on the Wine Route, Lynch’s seminal tour of France that can be found on every wine enthusiast’s bookshelf. When the book was released in 1988, Lynch feared that “old-style wines” — artisanal projects that expressed a sense of place — were on their way out, so he launched a crusade to educate his “clients to the diversity and virtue of those wines.”
Enjoy season-long holiday flavor
After waiting so long to taste the distinctive flavors that make the holiday season so special, McCormick, a global leader in flavor, is here to make sure each moment is filled with them – every day leading up to Thanksgiving and every day after. With simple tips from the McCormick Kitchens on enjoying the season’s top seven flavors — pumpkin spice, ginger, vanilla, peppermint, sage, cinnamon and nutmeg — everything from breakfast to dessert can have the best holiday taste.
Sweeten the season with delicious holiday desserts
Show your friends and family just how much you care with delicious homemade holiday desserts. The combination of seasonal flavors and time-honored traditions are sure to give holiday party guests a sweet memory to savor long after gatherings and get-togethers are over.
Wondering what to drink? Ask a winemaker
Imagine if BMW’s design chief admitted that Ford produces some of his favorite cars. Or if the CEO of Coca-Cola confessed that every now and then, he craves a Pepsi.
A new take on traditional foods for Day of the Dead
Food will no doubt be a focal point for families celebrating the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead this November 1 and 2. What has become one of the most popular holidays in Mexico — and is becoming more common in the U.S.— is the custom of honoring and remembering deceased loved ones. Gathering with friends and family over delicious traditional dishes is sure to be a highlight of celebrations.
Preparing pumpkins for fall cooking
Most of us have a good eye for a pumpkin that might make a good-looking jack-o-lantern. But when it comes to pumpkins for cooking, the same rules simply don’t apply.
“When you’re choosing a pie pumpkin,” advises Amanda Horn, Family and Consumer Science Educator at Oklahoma County OSU Extension Service and registered dietitian, “you need a sweeter pumpkin usually the smaller they are the sweeter and the less watery.”
Also, it is important to look for pie pumpkins with a 1- to 2-inch stem. If the stem is cut down too low, the pumpkin will decay quickly and already may have started to decay when you buy it. Pumpkins that are going to be used for cooking also need to be free of blemishes and soft spots, but shape is unimportant.
Make baby’s first birthday a smash with playful pint-sized cakes
More than 374,000 babies are born in September and 367,000 in October every year, according to the Center for Disease Control and National Center for Health Statistics 2010. That’s a lot of cake. According to a recent Betty Crocker survey of moms conducted by KRC Research, the cake is one of the most important elements of a first birthday. In fact, 58 percent of moms shared that watching their one-year-olds explore, taste, smash, smear and dive in to their first birthday cake is the most memorable moment of the party, far exceeding opening gifts and singing “Happy Birthday” to their little one.
OSU Cooperative Extension offers ‘Soup Up Your Fall’ class
As we enter into the fall season and the weather begins to cool off many of us turn to those hearty comfort foods we grew up loving to keep us warm and full. One staple meal during the cool season is soup.
“Soups are fairly easy to make and if properly prepared they can be healthy and save you money” said Amanda Horn, a registered dietitian and family and consumer sciences educator for the Oklahoma County OSU Cooperative Extension. “In this class we discuss how homemade soups can be healthier than canned, how to prepare them in advance to save you time, and discover some fun and fresh ingredients you can use to add a little pizzazz to your bowl.”
“Soup Up Your Fall” is scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, Oct. 16, at the Northeast Regional Health & Wellness Campus located at 2600 N.E. 63rd St. Oklahoma City. This will be an interactive cooking class with many demonstrations of soup dishes. The participants will have the opportunity to sample all the foods prepared during the workshop and take home a “Soup Up Your Fall” cookbook with some great soup recipes.
Cost of the workshop is $10 and pre-registration is required before Oct.14. For more information, contact the Oklahoma County OSU Cooperative Extension Service located at 930 N. Portland at 713-1125 or access the Extension website at http://oces.okstate.edu/oklahoma.
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