Worry no more about which wines to serve with your turkey, ham, or
whatever tasty food you offer this holiday season. We have a plan.
But you have to be willing to think out of the box. Not the Bota box or taking the easy way out by going with cheap Champagne, French Beaujolais or just plunking a red and white on the table and standing back. The last one was my old approach.
The new way, the perfect solution for this annual wine dilemma at Thanksgiving and other holiday celebrations, is Rose. You heard me …that neither red nor white wine.
But not White Zinfandel or any old cheap, sweet-ish Rose, but dry, full throttle Roses made from Grenache and its Rhone siblings, Mourvedre, Syrah, and Cinsault.
This Epiphany came to me when checking out several wines from Epiphany, Fess Parker’s brand for Grenache Rose and a bevy of other Rhones. Earlier that week, three other Rose wines completely changed my thinking about Rose as a pleasant light, summertime sipper, sometimes silly and sweetish wine.
First was a stunning Grenache Rose from Sarah’s Vineyard, followed by Bonny Doon’s Vin Gris de Cigare, and then the Patelin Rose from Tablas Creek. Each came across as full flavored with lively fruit, touches of floral and spice with good acid balance, leading to a palate cleansing finish.
Yes, persistent and versatile enough to present itself as the best wine for family gatherings when the big bird was on the table.
Here’s a little background that might help you see the potential of these pink or salmon-pink wines. Provence and Bandol are the two French regions known for distinctive Roses. Bandol, best represented by Domaine Tempier, is made from Mourvedre. Roses from Provence vary widely but the star brand is Domaine Ott. It offers several dry roses but all rely heavily on Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. I have to break it to you that both standard bearers are expensive.
While so many other Rose wines are light with varying levels of sweetness, my favorite Grenache Roses listed below have depth and complexity. Lacking both, most Pinot Noir Roses won’t hold up to the challenge of the typical holiday fare.
Best of all, these Grenache based Roses won’t break the budget as most are well below $20 a bottle. Check the winery website or an e-commerce site for the best deal. I found both the Bonny Doon and Sobon Estate Roses nicely priced on www.wine.com.
But look at the Rose section on the other e-commerce sites reviewed on my website, www.robywine.com. Also see The New Pink Wine, the definitive book on the subject by Ann and Larry Walker.
Ten Wines to Change Your Thinking of Rose
2018 Sobon Estate Rose, Amador County $9.99
2018 Bonny Doon Vineyards Vin Gris de Cigare, Central Coast $13.99
2018 Chateau Routas Coteaux Varois $14.99
2017 Sarah’s Vineyard Grenache Rose, Santa Clara, $17.00
2018 Quady North GSM Rose, Rogue Valley $18.00
2018 Margerum Riviera Rose, Santa Barbara, $18.99
2018 Stolpman Vineyards Rose, Santa Barbara $18.99
2018 P’Tit Paysan Rose, Central Coast $18.99
2018 Tablas Creek Patelin Rose, Paso Robles, $24.99
2018 Curren Vineyards Grenache Rose, Santa Barbara, $28.00