Some give credit to the Egyptians for its creation, others to the Greeks but most agree that France, especially Provence, has been the capital of rosé production for centuries. By the time that the Romans reached the area in 125 BC, the rosé wine produced there had a reputation across the Mediterranean for its high quality. From the delicate, dry rosé of the Anjou in the Loire valley and pale style clairets of Bordeaux, the popularity of rosé swept over all of Europe and have historically been a part of everyday life.
Pretty much every winemaking region in the world produces some sort of rosé whether it be a sparkling, still or dessert style. While European rosé has usually been produced in a dry style, it was the US that began the "blush", sweet style wines that became popular in the late 1970's. As a result, many Americans unfortunately still associate "white zinfandel" with all rosé wine and are missing out on a whole world of fabulously dry, flavorful and incredibly diverse wines.
Rosé is basically a lighter style red wine, made with red wine grape varieties, served cold. Red wine gets its color from the dark grape skins being in contact with the juice, so if you remove the skins early and shorten the time of contact, you'll get pink wine. And those same skins also give red wine its tannins, so by removing them early you get a pink wine that is structurally more similar to white.
We've always been huge fans of rosé and over the years have made a concentrated effort to educate our customers on the value of rosé for food pairing and quaffing. A good supply of them is in the shop no matter what the season, but the number of offerings increases in the summertime and our Friday tastings almost always include a rosé. Well something seemed to click last summer as New Orleanians, and the rest of the US, are finally embracing it and giving rosé its due. According to Nielsen Company, rosé sales in the US market grew 26.1% in 2011 and I excpect 2012 will see an even bigger jump.
Our efforts, combined with Bacchanal and their very popular rosé fest, WINO and other fine wine shops in the city, have paid off and people are coming to the shop in droves wanting to experiment with rosé. In fact our best selling wine over the past two weeks has been the 2011 Charles & Charles Syrah Rosé with 10 cases sold in less than 2 weeks!
Monday, April 16, 2012
Monday, April 9, 2012
|From Covey Rise Farms in Husser|
Lucky for us, we've always had a strong and unique local food culture primarily based on our seafood industry. Chefs like John Besh, Emeril Lagasse and John Folse and culinary activist Poppy Tooker helped put New Orleans on the map as a unique destination for local food and flavors. Their longtime support of our fishermen and local farmers markets put meaning to farm to table well before the term was coined.
|Mike Fabianski, HGMF|
Maurepas Foods in the Marigny - Chef Michael Doyle, formerly of Dante's Kitchen, has been a Swirl supporter for years. It's been great to hear about the progress of the project and his dreams brought to life in this renovated corner store on Burgundy Street. We've visited a few times now and have had great experiences. From the carefully selected wine list, artfully crafted and affordable cocktails and fresh, creative twists on local food favorites presented in an energetic, comfortable atmosphere, Maurepas Foods should be high on your list of places to try. Maurepas Food, 3200 Burgundy St., at Louisa, 504.267.0072, is open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Sweet Olive in the Saint Hotel - We were looking for a new spot to celebrate a few birthdays with friends and Mike Fabianski (of swirl and HGMF fame) recommended we try Sweet Olive. Beautiful presentations, a wine list that offers 3 or 6oz pours which makes it perfect for pairing with different dishes, and a list of local farmers and ingredients are shown on the menu. Nice atmosphere for hotel dining with a great combination of hip yet elegant and comfortable decor, we will definitely return! Sweet Olive, 931 Canal Street • New Orleans, LA 70112 • Tel: 504.522.5400
Monday, April 2, 2012
So onto our two gems of the week...Jared Breaux showed up at our weekly tasting and social hour on Tuesday with a little beauty from Argentina, the Fabre Montmayou. Yet another Bordeaux producer who found a home in the mountains of Argentina, Hevré Joyaux Fabre makes this Malbec/Merlot blend with all estate grown, hand harvested fruit from vineyards at 3800 feet. Bright strawberry and juicy red cherries, nicely balanced acidity and a dry finish, it screams for light fare from the grill. At $13.50, you gotta try it!
Gina Warren promises to bring the Librandi from Calabria later this week, so stay tuned, I'm doing quick Facebook posts when we try something we like. And while my quest is focused on the fresh 2011's, don't discount some of the 2010's that are in the market and drinking beautifully like the 2010 Ferraton Cotes du Rhone Rosé, 2010 Puzelet KO Rosé and the 2010 Chateau d' Aqueria Tavel Rosé.