Wine Talk with Alice Swift
Swap the Roses for Rosés this Valentine’s Day
With a blink of an eye, 2019 has come and gone, and we are well on our way into 2020. I have some friends that regularly ask me for wine recommendations, and recently have had a few asks for some good gifts for romantic loved ones. There have been so many great wine bottle designs out there in recent years that it becomes hard to choose the right ones … does the wine taste as good as it looks?
This Valentine’s Day, or even “just because,” consider these wines that happen to look good AND taste good too! The concept of unique Rosé wine bottles may have become popular in recent years, but places like Provence, France, have been doing it for decades. Instead of a bouquet of roses this year, what about a gift of Rosé wine? Below are a few recommendations that not only look great in design (even making for a great vase afterwards), but also are a great value.
JNSQ Rosé Cru
JNSQ gets its name from the famed French saying “je ne sais quoi,” creatively labeled as the acronym instead. The wine is made up of Grenache, Pinot Gris, Syrah and Viognier from the Central Coast, and the result is a fruit-forward crisp wine with hints of strawberries and cherries, and even white peaches and other floral aromas. The most unique thing about this wine would have to be the bottle shape, along with the beautiful rose-shaped glass stopper. Made by a French glass designer, the bottle is so elegant and special that you can keep it on the shelf as a vase or other display long after the wine has been consumed.
Fleurs de Prairie Côtes de Provence Rosé
Translated to “wildflowers” from French, Fleurs de Prairie Rosé (producer: Les Grands Chais de France) comes from the most well-known Rosé producing region in France: Provence. This wine is also a traditional blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah, with a beautiful pale salmon tone, and a wine that is full of aromas like strawberry and roses.
Gérard Bertrand’s Côte des Roses (Languedoc, France)
If you’re looking for another “rose-inspired” bottle of wine, here is another beautiful creation, from the other Rosé producing wine region in Southern France. Another great spring/summer wine if you’re looking for a refreshing wine with hints of roses along with crisp, freshly picked stone fruits and berries. The bottle itself is also crafted by a young designer from the École Boulle Paris Institute of Arts and Design, and is a unique sight to see with a base shaped like a rose.
Sofia Rosé, Francis Ford Coppola Winery
If you’re looking for a Rosé from the United States, here is another reasonably priced wine with yet another elegant bottle design. This particular Rosé is made of 70% Syrah, 20% Grenache, and 10% Pinot Noir grapes, which result in a hint of spice along with the juicy red fruit and fragrant potpourri aromas.
Rosés generally have a red fruit and floral profile, some with an additional layer of spices or herbaceous aromas and flavors. The tendency is to crave these wines when you are looking to cool down on a hot summer day, or just when you crave something refreshing. The same would go for foods that pair well with the wines. Lighter foods like a spicy arugula and light vinaigrette dressing, or lighter cheese like goat cheese and beet salad. Tomatoes would do well to balance out the high acid in the wine, with items like bruschetta, caprese salad, or even a wood-fired pizza (margherita or a prosciutto and arugula pizza come to mind).
Depending on your location, you should be able to find the aforementioned wines at your local wine-centric markets (Total Wine & More, BevMo, Lee’s Liquor, Whole Foods, etc.). This year, change it up or add on to your plans for a romantic dinner or getaway with a bottle (maybe two!) of “Rosés” with a twist!
Until next month, cheers~!