The winters in Illinois, although milder due to global warming (or the impression of an old wine guy), always make me long for an early spring. Warmer weather, baseball, flowers blooming, green grass and trees. But, most of all ... rosé!
Yes, glorious rosé! There’s nothing like a big glass of vibrant rosé shimmering on the deck, with the sun shining in the background and a gentle, warm breeze to celebrate the arrival of spring. And rosés, not the overly sweet white zinfandels, pair beautifully with fruit, salad, cheese and crackers on the deck. And I’ll tell you my secret for these occasions – I chill the wine a little extra and add a frozen strawberry or raspberry as a garnish on top. As it melts, it’s delightful.
Rosés are usually made from syrah, grenache or cinsault grapes. There are even a few wineries making rosé from malbec and pinot noir, although, in general, these blends tend to be drier. The best rosés, for my money, are pale in color with tastes of fresh fruit that have good acidity and aromas of apricots, watermelon or strawberries (depending on the rosé, of course). The better rosés usually come from Cotes de Provence, France, as you might expect. Although I recently tasted an interesting rosé blend of grenache and malbec from Cardinal Rule in Sonoma that I would recommend.
I’m looking forward to Anthony Rizzo blasting another home run at the first Cubs game at Wrigley Field on April 10 while I’m enjoying a great rosé. Let’s all hope it’s a warm spring.
Tom Minnerick is an Elgin resident who has spent 35 years working in the wine industry. “The Wine Detectives” column will run sporadically in the Kane County Chronicle over the next few months. Feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.