Looking at the World through a Glass of Rosé
Looking around this place, it has characteristics like many places on the Texas Gulf Coast: Wind-blown palm trees, blooming bougainvillea, and cadres of dogs on leash and bikini-clad beach goers. However, it has its differences, too. There are ocean-going yachts and sleek cruisers bigger than can be comprehended, and high mountain vistas looking out over azure Mediterranean waters. I am talking about the southern coast of France and, obviously, not Galveston, Corpus Christi or Port Aransas.
One of the most obvious differences discernible to wineophiles visiting the French Côte d’Azur is the flow of dry pink wine. This rosé is produced by a multitude of local wine producers in surrounding Provence. It is made from sun-loving Grenache, Cinsault and Mourvedre grapes. At street side cafés, it is chilled and served by the glass complete with an outer coating of condensed moist air. Rosé hits the local palates like a blast of tart nectar of red berries quenching the sun-baked body and psyche, alike.
If pink wine works on the French Riviera, why does it not work on the Texas Gulf Coast? Why not? Well, in the USA, most wine drinkers think that pink wines can’t be serious wines. The mistaken leap of mind is that pink wine must be silly sweet blush wine. In actuality, the good news is that pink wine can be a dry and serious quaff. It works well satisfying the palate in hot and/or humid locales as found on the French Riviera or, for a matter of fact, all around Texas, especially on our own Côte d’Gulf.
Wait, there is more good news. Several Texas wineries are making Provence-style dry Rosés. The most notable Texas efforts thus far are Becker Vineyard Provence Provençal (Grenache from Tallent Vineyards) and McPherson Cellars Rosé of Grenache-Syrah. These dry wines are made with slight skin contact from the red Grenache and Syrah grapes, giving them their pink color with delicate pear, violet, and red berry aromas and flavor qualities. Both wines are economically prices at $10-12 a bottle and go well with lobster, turkey, salmon, sushi, salads or can be wonderfully pleasant just to slip while quenching the Texas heat.
New Texas wines are popping up faster than I can follow them. If I have missed other serious pink Texas wines, I apologize. Please send me your comments and advise regarding your favorites.