Head First Into the Pink
An All-Rosé Dinner For Two
Bugey Cerdon, Méthode ancestrale, Raphael Bartucci ($30..importation)
What’s a dinner without, well, pre-dinner drinks while basking in the late afternoon sun. This rare and magnificent bubbly is a mix of Gamay and Poulsard and the method ancestrale implies a double fermentation which is closer to that of a cider than that of champagne. The end result is demi-sec bliss. The color approaches that of raspberry but the fruit is a mix of strawberry and black cherry. Just enough sweetness to make it go down a little too easy and with fine, soft bubbles that are reminiscent more of a fine bubbly than those of a cheap mousseux. At 7.5% alchohol, a bottle for two is just enough to put a smile on your face.
Coteaux-du-languedoc 2004, Pic St-Loup, Château de Lancyre ($15..saq)
Buy two bottles and pour most of the first one into a pan, add some shallotts and herbs and boil it up. Next, down to a simmer and poach up some salmon. This Syrah-Grenache blend is Rosé elegance. Very dry with a wonderful mix of summer berries and pepper, it is the consummate dinner rosé with more fruit in the nose than in the mouth. A crisp acidity keeps it fresh but is does have an almost creamy finish that worked wonders with the yoghurt hollandaise which accompanied the salmon.
Zweigelt Rosé 1998, TBA, Nouvelle Vague, Kracher ($65…importation..375ml)
Expensive, but what is too much when pink is on the menu? Austrian sweet wine master Alois Kracher takes it a step beyond with his French oaked sweet zweigelt. Kracher makes his ‘traditional’ bottlings in Accacia wood while his ‘nouvelle vague’ bottlings tend to be slightly higher in alchohol and in French oak. A truly bizarre wine, it combines intense notes of strawberries, candied raspberries and a hint of burnt bar-b-q chicken. A nice acidity combined with an unctuous texture, it struck me that it had a bit of botrytis which added to the lingering complexity. Interesting and reminded me of a Banyuls but with brighter fruit. Try it with all things chocolate.