When my friends who represent Wines of Provence asked if I might be interested in some samples of Provence rosé, what do you think I said? I said, “Oui, merci! Bien sûr!” (Which means, “Yes, thank you. Of course!”) If you know me – you know I live a very pink lifestyle. It’s my favorite color in every way. I mean – just look at my blog – it’s got pink all over it! And today is Valentine’s Day, so no better day for a love letter to Provence rosé. (That’s me at the Vins de Provence stand at ProWein in Dusseldorf last year. I about lost my pinking mind.)
Now let me just drop some pink points of information for you:
- Rosé is not just for summer! Non! Rosé – beautiful, dry, Provence rosé – is delicious all year long. Why drink it only in summer? Yes, it is refreshing, is it fun, it reminds us of beaches, pools and picnics and the sultry, sweltering beaches of the South of France, but it is just as delightful on a cold winter’s night.
- Provençal Rosé is a dry wine. I know, I know … but I’ve encountered a number of people lately – sophisticated city people – who have poo-poo’ed the pink, saying, “Oh, no, I don’t like sweet wines.” WTP, people? (Uh huh … what the pink … I just made that up). Sure there are sweet pink wines – I mean, White Zinfandel from California is sweet (and gross … but hey, no judging … except maybe a little bit). But if you like wine – you need to know that dry rosé is a glass of happiness.
- Provence is the largest rosé-producing region on the planet! They make 5 percent of all the rosé in the world (which is a lot, considering all the places that make rosé). Americans started embracing Provence rosé in about 2012 and the U.S. is now the top export market for Provence rosé, with 50 percent of all Provence rosé wines exported to the U.S. Kind of amazing – but all you have to do is look at how the rosé section of your local wine store keeps growing year by year.
What Does Provençal Rosé Taste Like? Will I Like It?
These wines are bright, crisp and fresh, with red fruits and berries like strawberry, raspberry and watermelon notes, often with a subtle floral character. You might pick up some dried herbs, like thyme or rosemary in some of more complex Provence rosés.
And the texture can range from medium-weight or medium-bodied. And you might notice a soft, sexy powdery mouthfeel to them, which I quite like. If you like Pinot Grigio, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon other lighter-bodied, higher-acid white wines, I dare you not to like Provence rosé. If you like California Chardonnays that pack an oaky wallop with a stick of butter alongside? Maybe Provence rosé is not going to be your favorite. But there’s a time and a place for everything, right?
What Pairs Well with Rosé?
Oh for cry eye – tons of foods pair well with Provence rosé. Would I have it with a Boeuf Bourguignon? Probably not. I would have a red wine with that. But I would have it with roasted chicken. And here’s a list of other delicious pairing ideas:
- Chicken – roasted, piccata’ed, sautéed in lemon butter, fried, chicken pot pie.
- Pork – roasted pork roast with rosemary and thyme
- Roasted veg dishes like butternut squash and farro, any sort of broccoli or cauliflower dish
- Salads – big, green salads, tuna salad, chicken salad, shrimp salad
- Pastas – Carbonara, Cacio e Pepe, spaghetti with truffle butter or truffle salt – or actual shaved truffles if you’ve got big bucks!
- Burgers – heartier rosés made from red grapes from Cabernet Franc or Merlot can totally stand up to a burger
- Grilled cheese sandwich. So good. Even if you’re just using Kraft Singles!
- Chili – Yep – it works, as long as that chili is not too spicy/hot.
- Fondue! Yasssss…. all day long, with cheese fondue! Same goes for raclette, that crazy Swiss situation with the melted cheese and various vegetables and meats
- Cheeses – glorious cheeses like Brie and Camembert, Gouda, Parmesan. Honest to God, I can’t think of a cheese that would clash with dry rosé.
So – I say, celebrate Valentine’s Day whenever you want, with a glass of pretty, pretty Provence pink rosé. A votre santé and happy Valentine’s Day! (“A votre santé” means, “to your health,”en Francais.) And thank you very much to Vins de Provence for the samples!