For today’s Food section I asked a number of area sommeliers and wine-shop owners or managers for their recommendations for dry rosé wines at three price points — $10 or less, about $15 and $20 or more — for spring and summer drinking. Here’s the story: Rosé has shrugged off the stigma of white zinfandel, the Hawaiian Punch of wines. Today’s rosés, especially dry versions inspired by the classic rosés from Provence, continue to enjoy a popularity growth that began a few years back.
“I have been saying for years that this will be the year that everyone gets into rosé. For many years, I had to drink the remainder well into the winter, as it did not catch on,” says Dominick Purnomo, wine director and co-owner of Yono’s and DP: An American Brasserie in Albany. He says, “I am happy to report that … our rosé sales have now exceeded my wildest dreams.”
“The rosé trend is in line with uptick in interest in food, craft beverages and lighter-style wines,” says Adam Morey, general manager of Empire Wine & Spirits in Colonie. Jonathan Stewart, wine director at the restaurant 15 Church in Saratoga Springs, says, “Rosé is red wine, just made in a lighter style and served chilled. So for a summertime wine, you get the best of both worlds.” Stewart associates rosé with summer. However, “I usually refuse to stop drinking rosé, not wanting to admit that winter is on its way.” Craig Allen, owner of All-Star Wine & Spirits in Latham, serves dry rosés with grilled fare. It also works well with sushi or a shellfish raw bar.
One of Allen’s picks is bold: a white zinfandel. But it’s from Turley, a legendary California maker of red zins, and it is dry and full-bodied enough to pair well with grilled red meat. Says Allen, “White zinfandel has a good heart, but a bad reputation. Hopefully (the Turley) helps change that.”