Summer is here, and that can only mean one thing for wine drinkers: Rosé season has arrived. This pretty, pink-hued wine is a favorite for many. Its color is developed at the beginning of the winemaking process, when crushed red grapes are left with the skins for a short amount of time before the juice […]
Summer is here, and that can only mean one thing for wine drinkers: Rosé season has arrived.
This pretty, pink-hued wine is a favorite for many. Its color is developed at the beginning of the winemaking process, when crushed red grapes are left with the skins for a short amount of time before the juice is strained and fermented.
We asked George Miliotes, the former food and beverage director for Seasons 52 and The Capital Grille, to weigh in on Rosé and other white wines that are ideal for summertime. One of just 236 master sommeliers worldwide, Miliotes is working toward the opening his own place, called Wine Bar George, at Disney Springs later this year.
Here’s what he had to say.
Describe the Rosé flavor profile for someone who has never tried it.
Rosé is almost always fruit forward with flavors and aromas of raspberry, cherry and strawberry. The body, or mouth feel, of the wine is more like white wine, with a crispness that makes it so refreshing in the hot summer and a versatile food wine. Many have just a hint of tannin (the color comes from red grape skin, after all) to keep them interesting.
Is there anything that we might not know about rosé but should?
Rosé has many iterations. It can be lightly sweet to bone dry, dark to barely red-gold in color, and crisp and clean or round with some richness. This wide range of styles is what makes it so much fun and keeps us coming back for more (or gravitating toward our favorites).
Do you have any food pairing suggestions for rosé wine?
The beauty of Rosé is that it is very facile with food. It makes for perfect outdoor BBQ wine because it goes equally as well with hamburgers as it would with fajitas off the grill. The small amount of tannin that comes with the color also makes it palate cleansing. Pizza, fried chicken or all types of fish and shellfish make great pairings.
What are some other white wines that are perfect for summertime?
I am a huge fan of Vinho Verde from Portugal. It is the perfect summer white wine: crisp and clean, low in alcohol, neither sweet nor dry and just the slightest hint of sparkle. Rutherford (Napa) Sauvignon Blanc is also a favorite. The crisp pink grapefruit finish and bright fruit flavors make it an excellent summer choice.
Do you have any food pairing suggestions for these white wines?
I love Vinho Verde on its own by the pool or with white creamy cheeses. It is also spectacular with shellfish, especially crab and shrimp. Sauvignon Blanc is another spectacular shellfish wine but also generally has the richness to go with main courses.
3 Refreshing Summer Wines
Little Black Dress winemaker, Margaret Leonardi, transports you straight to the Mendocino County, California winery as you sip on these classic summer varietals in the comfort of your own home.
LBD Chardonnay: Medium-bodied wine featuring a crisp, fruit-forward bouquet full of citrus-lemon, pear and green apple with touches of vanilla and oak spice.
- Grape Variety: 100% Chardonnay
- Pair it with: Spicy food such as Greek, Chinese, Thai and Spanish cuisine
Pinot Grigio: Balanced and fruity on the palate with bright aromas of apple, pear and lemongrass up front, followed by zesty notes of orange citrus and tangerine.
- Grape Variety: Predominantly Pinto Grigio with small amounts of Chardonnay, Muscat and Viognier.
- Pair it with: Acidic foods such as salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing, dishes with soy sauce bases, and fish served with lemon
Rosé: Pretty in pink with aromas of strawberry and grapefruit and flavors of ripe berries with just a dash of sweetness and a dazzling, clean finish.
- Grape Variety: 54% Gewurztraminer, 23% Muscat, 14% Chardonnay, 5% Zinfandel, 4% other complementary white varietals.
- Pair it with: Light summer dishes, especially salads, fish, grilled meats and fresh cheese