Resident Wino Spills: Picking the Love Juice

February 8, 2012 | 1:30 PM | Eat & Drink | By Staff

Our Resident Wino Derek Lewis of Taggia inside Kimpton’s FireSky Resort & Spa in Scottsdale is back. Growing up, Derek had a mother who was a great cook and a father who was a wine collector, the combination of which fueled his passion to enter the wining and dining business in 1997 – where he’s been ever since. This month, Derek gives love to the sparkling rosé, the perfect pick for Valentine’s Day. 

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, love is in the air. And let’s be honest, so is a little bit of panic. But fret not because it is possible to uncork romance in the eleventh hour; and to that end, we would like to spotlight the too-often-overlooked sparkling rosé. Here are several good reasons you should open your wallet, wine cabinet and heart to this lovely wine to celebrate the upcoming holiday.

Good Looks:
The first thing that makes the sparking rosé so attractive for Valentine’s Day is its packaging. Beyond the fact the wine itself gives off the soft glow of the flower for which it is named, most wineries choose more ornate and colorful labels for their sparkling rosés. Therefore, pairing a blush bottle or two with a few roses makes for a beautiful gift presentation.

Since these wines do get some contact with the grape skins (which is how they get the pink color), they have a little bit more body than their white counterparts and can be very versatile when it comes to food pairings. Sparkling rosé wines are delicate enough to pair with gentle seafood dishes, but they also hold up to some bolder pork and poultry dishes as well. And don’t forget about the chocolate. The effervescence, bright acidity and red fruit characteristics of this wine create a nice contrast with light- to medium-bodied chocolates.

The Price is (Always) Right:
Of course, just like all sparkling wines you can spend as much or as little as you would like. If you have the budget to select a rosé from one of the traditional Champagne houses like Perrier-Jouët, you could be looking at spending upwards of $250 for the higher-end stuff or $60 to $120 for more basic offerings. There are also some great sparkling rosé producers in California, such as Gloria Ferrer ($46) and Domaine Carneros ($36). Oregon also has a nice selection, an Argyle ($60) is worth checking out. If you want something fun without breaking the bank, you can also check out New Mexico’s Gruet ($15), which is affectionately called “love juice” by some in the industry.




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