SPRING 2017 – If you’re anything like us, you could drink rosé not just all day, but all year. Some people think rosé, a.k.a. summer water, should only be popped, poured and sipped during the hot summer months. But seeing as rosé can be made from pretty much any grape, you’ll naturally have lighter and heavier varieties and wines with very different flavor profiles depending on what grapes comprise the bottle.
Sterling Knight, the sommelier and assistant general manager at Cindy’s up on the roof of the Chicago Athletic Association hotel, gave us her thoughts on what goes into a great bottle of rosé — and what she was thinking about when she created Cindy’s rosé wine list. She feels that rosé is far more complex than what people generally think and also makes sure the different varietals in each bottle really come into play.
“A rosé from the South of France in Rousillion that comprises Mourvèdre and Grenache can have the soft elements of candied raspberries and wild strawberries,” she said, “while a rosé from the heart of Tuscany made from the Sangiovese grape can be an elegant melange of Mediterranean herbs and fresh red cherries.” Knight also likes to remind us — no matter if you’re a man or woman — that rosé works well for everyone.
Here, Knight shares some favorite rosé picks and pairs each with a dish she feels works perfectly.
Wine: Castello di Bossi Sangiovese, Tuscany 2016
Flavors: fresh cherry, tart cranberry, Mediterranean herbs, dusty earth
Pairs well with: arugula salad with fin herbs; duck confit
Wine: Pico Maccario Barbera, Piedmont 2016
Flavors: watermelon, cranberry, fresh-cut grass, river stone
Pairs well with: heirloom tomato salad; burrata and pickled watermelon’ salt baked snapper
Wine: Domaine Famille Lefage ‘Miraflors’ Mourvèdre & Grenache, Rousillon 2016
Flavors: candied raspberries, wild strawberries, light minerality
Pairs well with: oysters with mignonette; butter-poached prawns; bibb lettuce in green goddess dressing
Wine: J. Lassalle, Brut Rosé Pinot Noir-Chardonnay, Champagne NV
Flavors: strawberry, dried cherry, spun honey, candied lemon zest
Pairs well with: crème brulee; grilled peaches; fried chicken
Wine: Louis Roederer ‘Brut Rose’ Pinot Noir, Champagne NV
Flavors: raspberry, bilberry, warm pink macaroons, pithy citrus, warm spice, cocoa
Pairs well with: Everything!
Cheers to that!