Raise a Glass to Summer
It’s time to move those powerful red wines to the cellar and bring up lighter, easier drinking ones. Summer will soon be here and with it al fresco nights on the patio with friends and family. When you think summer, think wine because it is crisp and refreshing and can be paired with many types of food.
Rosés have been around since the ancient Greeks mixed white and red grapes during harvest season. It wasn’t until the Greeks brought grape vines to southern France in the 6th century B.C., however, that they came into their own.
France is still very much the epicenter of rosé wine, but nowadays it’s made with only red grapes. The hue is dependent upon how long the grapes have skin contact, which can vary from a few hours to a full day; the outcome also varies from shades of pale salmon to deep magenta.
The 2018 Chêne Bleu from the southern Rhone is a blend of five different grapes, but mostly Grenache & Syrah. Chêne Bleu is known for their beautiful pale-pink colored rosé and is a delicious representation of the style. The use of Grenache and Syrah in the blend gives the wine a strong structure with rich and powerful aromas of raspberry, red currant, grapefruit, and floral notes. It is not your typical rosé, but smooth and elegant with a level of fruitiness that is not overwhelming.
Chêne Bleu Rosé is delicious served with roasted beet salad with goat cheese and pistachios, rosemary flatbread, melon wrapped in prosciutto.
Our second summer selection is a white wine from Rioja, Spain. While Rioja is known for its complex age-worthy reds, the white wine production from the area should not be overlooked. The 2015 Monopole Blanco Seco Classico is only the second vintage from the CVNE Vineyard. They stopped making this wine for 35 years before re-launching six years ago.
Rioja Blancos are a rarity in Spain and make up only a small percentage of white wine production. Once you get your hands on a bottle, you’ll understand why. The Monopole is extremely complex while still refreshing. For your first few swirls, aromas of apple, pear, and white flowers are present. On a second go-around, the wine shows its complexity by showing additional aromas of dried fruits and spices that were hidden underneath the fruity qualities. The wine is dry, with a medium body and lingering acidity. It pairs well with baked lemon chicken, garlic prawns, grilled fish, and aged manchego chese.
Our two wines to kick off summer are available locally. You can find the 2018 Chene Bleu Rosé at G. Griffin Wine’s on Forest Avenue. The CVNE 2015 Monopole Blanco Seco Classico is available at Wine at Five in downtown Rye.