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Rosé Until Labor Day!

But no more; the secret is out: there simply is no better drinking wine when the mercury has crossed the 90 degree threshold than a nice, cold glass of rosé.  At their best, rosé wines maintain some of the characteristics of the red grapes they are made from—grip, structure and fruit in particular—but combine them with the refreshing acidity and temperature of a crisp white.

Rosé Until Labor Day!

From today until Labor Day, we’re Drinking Pink at all Austin Alamo Drafthouse locations. 

Unlike, say Beaujolais Nouveau, almost all of which is exported from France, for a long time the best wine producing regions kept their rosé wines for themselves to drink during the hot summer months and left us with execrable, over sugared “Blush Chablis” and White Zin. 

But no more; the secret is out: there simply is no better drinking wine when the mercury has crossed the 90 degree threshold than a nice, cold glass of rosé.  At their best, rosé wines maintain some of the characteristics of the red grapes they are made from—grip, structure and fruit in particular—but combine them with the refreshing acidity and temperature of a crisp white.

There are three basic ways to produce rosé wines, two of them good and one bad.  The bad (and often illegal) method is to combine red and white wines to create a pink monster.  We’re not selling any of those. 

The two good methods work like this: either a bit of fresh, lightly colored juice is bled off from the first press of primarily red varietals and fermented separately to create rosé, or red grapes are crushed and the juice is left in contact with the red skins for a length of time (the longer the skin contact, the deeper the color of the finished wine and, usually, the more rich the flavors), but not as long as they would for a red wine. 

The chief virtue of rosé is that it provides versatile fun – it’ll happily hang out with burgers from the grill, BBQ chicken or a big honking bowl of fruit salad.  But it also doesn’t need anything else to make it sing.  These are wines that are designed to be drunk young, have a moderate alcohol content, but enough of a balance between fruit and acidity to make them almost gulpable.

That said, one of the very cool things about rosé is how different the finished wines can be from one another because of the winemaker’s method and their place of origin.  This pronounced terroir effect is not typically seen in wines this inexpensive or accessible, and we’ve decided to highlight four different wines, in four different styles, from four different places from now until we officially bid adieu to summer.

The wines are:
Segura Viudas Brut Rosé (Spain):
This is a bright strawberry sparkler with fine bubbles. It’s full of berries and red currants on the nose, but has a refreshing acidity and light cherry fruit in the mouth, leading to a soft finish.  I like this so much, I served it at my wedding.

Finca Malbec Rosé El Origen (Argentina): This is the darkest pink of any of our selections.  Its deep color comes from long skin contact with the Malbec grapes.  It smells like a wild strawberry patch, with a mouth full of lush, full bodied berry fruit, but with enough acidity to still be refreshing.  It finishes round and full.

Chateau Lamargue les Grandes Cabanes Rosé (France): This pale pink wine is stunning, a great example of classic French rosé.  The wine from a mixture of Syrah and Grenache from the Rhone Valley has black currants and raspberries leaping from the glass, but is still bone dry and refreshing.  An incredible value.

Alexander Valley Vineyards Sangiovese Rosé (Sonoma): This  wine is a lovely deep salmon color and bursts with the smell of ripe watermelon, red berries and a hint  of mint.  It tastes of juicy peaches up front, with lingering berry fruit and a dry, mineral and herb kissed finish.  This is all Sangiovese and in terms of body and flavor, neatly splits the difference between the offerings from Argentina and France.

So, enjoy a glass or two of rosé with your summer movies.  Crack a bottle with a friend at Glass Half Full or 400 Rabbits

Who knows – if you keep ordering them, we might keep them around even after Labor Day.  It stays hot here for a long while after all... 

 

** Photo from www.thediningroom.ie

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