Monday, April 9, 2007

Views of a Wine Dream Through Rosé-Colored Glasses

During the last few days, encouraging but somewhat scary progress has been made towards my "quest". I wonder if Don Quixote felt both rosily optomistic and nauseous at the same time? There might be a real kinship between that gentle dreamer who tilted at windmills and myself. Time will tell. I submitted three "rough" wine columns to the editor of our local paper, contacted the adult education coordinator regarding teaching a class in the fall and set up a meeting with the one local beverage retailer that is not owned by the city. Where is the barf bag?

It also made me think about looking at life through rose colored glasses, which led me to rosé wine. And we are not talking Mateus, people.

If you haven't tried a rosé lately, you don't know what your picnics or grill are missing. Served chilled, they are delicate and dry like those from the Loire in France or big and bolder like those from the warmer climates of Spain or Australia.

There are different ways to produce a rosé. The first involves the use of red-skinned grapes that are crushed and the skins are allowed to remain in contact with the juice for a short time. The grapes are then pressed, and the skins are discarded before fermentation. Because the skins contain tannins, the finished wine drinks more like a white than a red.

The second method occurs when the winemaker removes some pink juice from red grapes at an early stage, in a process known as bleeding the vats. The removed juice is then fermented separately, producing the rosé and as a by-product, the red wine becomes more intense and concentrated because the volume of juice is reduced.

The wine chilling for our next grilled pork loin is a 2005 Chateau du Donjon from the apellation Minervois. It has 13% alcohol by volume which should mean it is medium to light bodied with enough acidity to make it very food friendly.

So, don (or down) those rosé-colored glasses. Remember, tulip shaped are best!