Pink wine gets a bad rap from the wine illiterati among us. Blame Sutter Home and the accidental origins of White Zinfandel, but there is such a thing as fine pink wine among us, and where the puerile comfort of sugar and booze is not to be found, great pink wine is dry AND aromatic AND magnificently textured stuff with finish and grip.
Pink wine is generally made one of three ways; a winemaker bleeds juice from a primary fermentation (we don’t like this stuff and it invariably makes a pointless flabby sweet beverage) or our heroic winemaker presses it directly, allowing some skin contact (juice and grape skins soaking together) creating a bone-dry perfumy bit of elegance. Either way, since the juice gets minimal skin contact, the resulting wine gets minimal color.
Three phenomenal examples of quenching pink freshness are arriving in Utah this month offering a perfect complement to summer garden appetites (and dirty fingernails).
Soter North Valley Rose 2010 / $14.99, hails from the Williamette Valley of Oregon. It’s a blend of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris that balances the perfume of Pinot Noir with the plumpness of Pinot Gris. The Alois Lageder Lagrein Rose 2010 / $17.99, is a direct pressing of Lagrein (a grape that usually makes a plummy jammy wine) as pink wine it keeps its astringent charm with lovely acidity. The La Valentina Cerasuolo Rose 2010/ $12.99 frames its sunny Montepulciano D’Abruzzo fruit with bright fresh cherry tones and hints of sweet herbs.