Holiday season is quickly approaching.  While always a great time to be with friends and family, it can also be the most stressful time of year.  Amidst this stress, who wants to fret about pairing the proper wine with the complicated dishes being planned.  If you subscribe to the KISS method like me, you may want a single wine choice that can go with virtually any food you throw at it.  Some say impossible!  I say grab a rose!

When speaking of rose, I’m talking of the deliciously crisp, fruity and dry gems that are made throughout the world.  Wines such as White Zinfandel, while they serve a purpose, are not nearly as food friendly as their dry rose counterparts.

The primary way rose is made is to make the wine from red grapes such as Syrah, Cab or Merlot.  You start by crushing the grapes but you remove the juice from the skins much sooner than you would for a typical red wine.  Typically, 1-3 days.  This imparts only a hint of the red color and also only imparts only a hint of the bitter tannins that can get into typical reds.  What’s left is a pink, dry, fruity yet crisp wine that revitalizes the senses!

Rose wines are perhaps the earliest style of wine making.  Many of the techniques used to produce hearty dark red wines were not in practice in ancient times.  In the Middle Ages, even though there was the know how to make red wines, rose wines were still preferred and considered of higher quality.  Red wines were considered harsh and of lower quality.  According to wine historian Hugh Johnson, “To the powerful English market the most prized clarets were the vin d’une nuit or “wine of one night” which were pale-rosé colored wines made from juice that was allowed only a single night of skin contact. The darker wine produced from must that had longer skin contact were known as the vin vermeilh (or pinpin to the English) was considered to be of much lesser quality”.

Rosy for RoseWhile pretty much any region that makes quality red wine also makes quality rose, my favorites tend to come from France.  A couple regions that stand out are Tavel in the Rhone, and Anjou in the Loire Valley.  These two regions have a very long history of specializing in this style. Through hundreds of years of practice and trial and error they have seemingly perfected the art!

With holiday parties on the horizon, it is always a good idea to be well stocked in a wine that can pair with virtually any type of food you can throw at it.  Rose wines are also sure to please nearly every drinker from the novice to even the most hardened connoisseur.