Rosé wine and I have had a bit of a difficult relationship. First off, I had to get over that pink color. Because I think that, like most people, when I see pink wine, I think "sweet" or "lightweight" or "the only wine I can get my mother to drink". But no no no no. Rosé wine, to put it simply, starts out as red grapes, complete with red grape skins. The skins give the wine its pretty color, but they don't hang around long enough during the wine making process to make the wine a red wine.
My next problem with Rosé was due to the fact that the first true Rosé I had tried was, well, icky. I did not like it at all. No aromas, no flavor. It scared me off of Rosés for a while. (check it out: The Crusher Rose of Pinot Noir.) But then I saw a recommendation for a Rosé hanging from the shelf in one of my favorite wine stores. I trust the folks there, so I decided to give it a try. The wine in question is La Playa's Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé (2012, 13.5%, Chile). And yes, it was a very pretty pinky-salmon color. The bouquet was a lively strawberry and minerals. The first flavors were the strawberry, along with cranberry. Then came a bit of stony, mineral flavor. There was a hint of flowers at the edge of it all. (The wine is 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Viognier, which explains the flowers.) The finishing taste was tart fruit and minerals. Well, put my suspicions to rest here! This Rosé had aroma and layers of flavors and was pretty generally an amazing taste. I even wrote the word "amazing" down in my notes. I was that pleasantly surprised.
A bit later, I received another Rosé from Banfi wines to sample. So now I was about to taste an Italian Rosé instead of a Chilean one. This one was Centine Rose (2012, 12.55, Italy). This time, the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are blended with Merlot and Sangiovese, instead of Viogner. Again, a very lively nose of cranberry, with some strawberry on top of it. The taste was juicy strawberry, lime and kiwi and it finished off with crisp minerals and citrus rind - perfectly tart! And there it was, another good reason to like a dry Rosé wine. As far as Italian wines are concerned, this could easily become one of my favorites. I will have to try more..yeah..that's it. More.
Buy these wines if you like a tart, lively flavorful wine. If tannins and oak scare your taste buds, these are perfect for you.
Now, as we are coming up on Valentine's Day, many Winey people will be turning their eyes toward a bottle of vino to celebrate. And what better color to celebrate with than a pretty pink? Both these wines can be readily found in all areas of the country for under $15 - and many times for under $10. So that will leave you with plenty of cash on hand to buy some chocolate for your Valentine. And since wine and chocolate are a hotly debated pairing - opinions all over the place on this topic - I'll be publishing a review of a wine and chocolate pairing in a few days. Plenty of time to make your decisions for the 14th!
I received Centine Rose for review purposes. The opinions are all my own.