By Mar Paulson, CSW, Savour Napa by Mar
Summer is here. You will be drinking Rose, probably one of the most misunderstood wines in history. As with most wonderful things we enjoy in life there is a history of pre-game and post- game, Rose of California. I may be getting ahead of myself thinking about football season. And yes, you and I will be drinking Rose during the games, having foodgasims while eating Bbq, Guacamole and Paella.
The hiccup, so to speak for Rose, was the White Zinfandel. A table wine with a taste like eating cotton candy at the state fair. The pre-game over 30 years ago, Provence and the Loire Valley of France provided the world with true Rose. Taking nothing away from France and post-game now, if you are on this side of the Big Pond and in Napa Valley…well we’ve got this!
Listening to Emilio Tedeschi describe the Rose of the Tedeschi Family Winery with aromas of strawberry, pomegranate, watermelon and hints of cherry will bring a tear to your eye. Made with Gamay, an ancient Burgundian grape, the Tedeschi family has one of few vineyards left in the Napa Valley with vines aging 70 years old.
Rose still comes in all sizes, names aka Spanish Rosado or Italian Rosato, and textures: sweet, semi-sweet or dry, light to full bodied, still or in bubbles. Rose is a bit of fashion wine, and as with fashion, it is made with the intent of the artist, the winemaker. The winemaker usually will use the most preferred technique for making Rose-first choosing a grape, Gamay, Sangiovese,
Pinot Noir, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, maybe a Cabernet Sauvignon. Then there is a short period of time from a few hours to maybe 12 hours that the skins of the chosen grape are left in contact with the juice until the winemaker decides just the right amount of extraction of flavor from the skins. The juice is separated from the skins and you have Rose, which fortunately never goes out of style.
Miner Family Vineyards chooses the the Sangiovese grape and makes only a few hundred cases. The Miner Family Rosato uses the traditional Saignee method of bleeding off the juice from freshly crushed grapes. Who can resist their magnum which sufficiently takes four hands to wrap around this beauty.
Now that there is a longing of thirst for Rose, let’s talk about the Paella previously mentioned in the story. Amelia Ceja, President and Founder of Ceja Vineyards will take you through the making of Paella Mixta, a free-style combination of meat, seafood, vegetables and beans. And yes, to be paired deliciously with the Ceja Vineyards crisp dry Bella Flor Rose made with Syrah grapes.
Raise a glass of Rose, celebrate summer 2016, and share food with family and friends, Napa Valley Style.