La Vie en Rose
By Hillary Latos
Even if you can't make it to St. Tropez this summer, it doesn't mean that you can't live like the Tropeziennes. Nothing resonates with summer more than a chilled bottle of dry Rose. While the different shades of blush tones are determined by the grape, climate, vinification temperature control and grape skin contact time, these refreshing Mediterranean "wines of terroir" pair so well with the delicate flavors of fresh summer fruits, vegetables or seafood. Here is a roundup of some of the best roses to beat the heat and truly indulge in the joys of summer whether you're in the city or the Hamptons.
If you happen to remain in the city over the weekend, popping into the Francocentric Bagatelle for a boozy brunch is the next best thing to being in St. Tropez. Enhance your experience with a bottle or magnum of Domaine Bertaud Belieu located in the heart of St. Tropez. Served in all of the most famous beach clubs on Ramatuelle like Club 55, Voile Rouge, and Nikki Beach- the crisp flavors of their 2013 Rose Prestige pairs well with the classic French bistro dishes like tuna tartare or paper thin chicken paillard.
Because of his deep personal love of rose wine, British businessman Stephen Cronk gave up his career in the UK to move his family to Provence in 2009 to produce the best rose he's ever consumed. Thus, Mirabeau was born. Though made in small batches he has scoured the region to source the best rose grapes and has created an outstanding rose which is a well balanced blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault garnering numerous accolades.
Franciacorta is Italy's equivalent to the France's fine champagne and was introduced to the world in 1957 by Guido Berlucchi. Hailing from the Brescia region in Italy the DOC maintains stringent standards amongst their producers using 100% Franciacorta grapes and is 100% made in the Champagnoise "metodo classico." Berlucchi is the original producer of this fine sparkling wine and their effervescent 2009 Franciacorta Rose pairs perfectly with summertime flavors.
Charles Heidsieck is one of France's top champagne producers dating back to 1851 and a household name amongst champagne connoisseurs. Their Rose Reserve NV has rich warm notes of gingerbread and cinnamon with luminous glints of wild rose, strawberry and blood peach.
For a budget friendly rose, try the full bodied dark rose from Chilean winery Concha y Toro that is robust enough to serve with a picnic or BBQ.