Wine

This Valentine’s Day, make it rosé

Valentine’s Day is Sunday, so it seems appropriate for my annual appeal for wine lovers to drop their outmoded reluctance and drink rosé wine.

For starters, it’s delicious. The 1970s era when white zinfandel was born as an often-sugary, low-alcohol soda pop of a wine are long behind us.

Today it comes in a wide range of styles — sweet and spicy to crisp and tart, sometimes even with a hint of tannin.

The millennial generation, budding wine fans from 21 to 36, are catching on. Rosé’s old reputation as a “girly” wine is gone.

Wine bloggers say hip young men are drinking it not only when on a romantic dinner date with a girlfriend, but even in groups of male buddies.

“Make way for brosé,” says a headline in Details magazine.

U.S. retail sales of premium imported rosé wines grew by more than 40 percent in 2014, a Nielsen study says.

For young wine fans who started with white wine or sweet red wines, rosé is a nice step up. It can be bone-dry, but fruity enough to seem slightly sweet.

Being partway between white and red wines, it probably goes with a wider range of foods than any other quaff except sparkling wine.

Light, dry rosés go with sushi, light salads and pasta dishes, raw seafood and other delicate dishes.

Sturdier rosés have the fruitiness to go with ham (pink wine with pink food; why not?) grilled chicken, even egg salad sandwiches.

Sparkling rosés are great as aperitifs or with not-too-sweet desserts such as cookies, fruit tarts, fresh fruit.

Highly Recommended

▪ 2014 Sofia Rosé, Monterey County, California (73 percent syrah, 17 percent grenache, 10 percent pinot noir): floral aroma, flavors of red raspberries and spice, light, crisp and dry; $19.

▪ Nonvintage J Vineyards & Winery Brut Rosé sparkling wine, Russian River Valley, California (66 percent pinot noir, 33 percent chardonnay, 1 percent pinot meunier): rose petal aromas, flavors of ripe red apples and raspberries, medium body, crisp; $40.

Recommended

▪ 2014 Pedroncelli Dry Rosé of Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, California: floral aromas, flavors of black cherries and strawberries, dry finish; $12.

▪ 2011 Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Rosé, by M. Chapoutier, Pays d’Oc (cinsault, grenache): floral aromas, flavors of watermelon, light and dry and soft; $15.

▪ 2013 Les Dauphins Réserve Rosé, Côtes du Rhône (75 percent grenache, 15 percent cinsault, 10 percent syrah): aromas and flavors of ripe cherries and strawberries, light and dry; $13.

▪ 2014 Blair Vineyards Rosé of Pinot Noir, Arroyo Seco, Monterey County (100 percent pinot noir): floral aromas, intensely fruity, flavors of melons and strawberries, dry and crisp; $22.

▪ Nonvintage Schramsberg Mirabelle Brut Rosé sparkling wine, California (53 percent chardonnay, 47 percent pinot noir): aroma of cranberries and strawberries, slightly sweet, crisp and light; $28.

▪ Nonvintage Mumm Napa Brut Rosé sparkling wine, Napa Valley, California (80 percent pinot noir, 20 percent chardonnay): lots of tiny bubbles, aromas and flavors of red plums and spice; $24.

Fred Tasker: fredtaskerwine@gmail.com

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