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WWBG: Rosé Time

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Editor’s Note: This biweekly column is sponsored by Dominion Wine and Beer (107 Rowell Court, Falls Church). This column is written by Dominion owner Arash Tafakor.

Rosé wine sales in the U.S are increasing year after year. Why this change? Simply put: quality and affordability.

After decades of Americans categorizing any pink colored wine with the sweet White Zinfandel variety, the U.S wine consumer has discovered the light, dry, crisp, and perfectly fruity rosé wine. Winemakers, instead of using excess red wine grapes to make Rose, they are now growing those quality grapes specifically for rosé wines. As winemakers start off with the intention of making rosé from the beginning, the quality of these wines has improved dramatically.

What makes rosés pink? A true rosé is not a blend of white and red wine. Instead, like red wine, rosé wine is made from red wine grapes. But instead of leaving the wine in contact with the pressed grape skin to ferment with the juice for an extensive period, rosé producers keep the skins in contact with the juice for only a brief period of time.

Then the pinkish juice is drained from the skins, resulting in a color ranging from a pale pink to a deep salmon or coral. Winemakers make rosé from the red grape varieties traditionally grown in their particular region, grapes best suited to the local soil and climate.

Rosés from the entire world typically display a range of colors, textures, and flavors. Yet all rosés have some common characteristics: they tend to be bright with great acidity, fresh, crisp and dry.

The most popular rosé producing region in the world is Provence, France. There, rosé is a part of everyday life, widely embraced as the best lunchtime, seaside, and all-occasion wine. This spirit of Provence lifestyle has started to catch on.

Wine makers from around the world are making more rosés than ever before as part of their wineries. Amazing dry style rosés are also being made from California to Virginia, and all at a great affordable price. With the spring and summer here, this is a great time to come in and try a fresh 2014 vintage dry rosé for any occasion. Here are a few we are carrying right now.

Rosé food pairings: Rosé’s versatility really comes out when it comes to food pairings. You can almost drink a dry rosé with any meal. For international cuisines, rosé pairs well with spicy Asian dishes, Mexican, Italian pizza, sushi and even Indian curries.

American fare, rosé’s go well with burgers, salads and even soups and stews. With meat you can pair a rosé with any BBQ as well as ham, steak, turkey and veal. Fish and seafood, grilled fish goes extremely well with rosé as well as steamed fish and lobster. 

Megali roséSignature Magali Rose 2014 Provence, France

Magali is a classic example of a Provence Rosé with a blend of 25 percent Cinsault, 25 percent Cabernet, 25 percent Syrah and 25 percent Grenache. This wine is complex and has a delicious layering of fresh watermelon, citrus, pears and basil. A great wine as an aperitif while sharing with friends.

Belle GlosBelle Glos Oeil De Perdrix 2014 Sonoma County, California

From the same family of winemakers as Caymus, Belle Glos is known for their superb Pinot Noirs. A few years back they decided to jump on trend and started to produce a high quality rosé with the same grapes as their delicious Pinot Noirs. This rosé uses 100 percent high-quality Pinot Noir grapes and is a great example of California style winemaking. Belle Glos Rosé contains a vibrant salmon color and has rich flavors for strawberry, cranberry and green apple. A fuller bodied style rosé, which produces a lush mouth feel that is balanced with acidity. Pairs perfectly by itself or with a variety of summer foods.

Rose3DMZ Cabernet Rose 2014, South Africa

One of my favorite value rosés, DMZ retails for $10 and is the perfect summer BBQ wine. Using 100 percent Cabernet grapes, this rose is more full-bodied than your average rosé. Drinks fresh with tastes of juicy fruit, watermelon strawberry and a touch of sweetness and minerality. Perfect companion to take to a friend or family’s BBQ.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of

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