Real Men Drink Pink

Spring continued to bite and claw and soak with an incessant wintry chill when all of summer kicked the door in, the sun showed its face, my seeds broke clear of my magnificent soil preparations and voila, I knew I would not be wearing pants again for at least another three months.  My back was sore from hucking manure, my hands were dirt-bound and my palate wanted lightness before I took root.  I went to my fridge and there it was, a chilly bottle of pink satisfaction a cork pull away.  Right then and there I knew that real men drink pink.

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).

Alois Lageder Lagrein Rose

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.

 

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