Spring is finally here and Summer is fast approaching. For most seasonal wine drinkers, like myself, that means getting excited about the lighter wines perfect for drinking in the heat. I tend to gravitate towards a chardonnay or a sauvignon blanc, but when Wines of Provence announced that New York City will be included in their exclusive Provence in the City event, I was thrilled to get the chance to learn about and taste wines from Provence –especially Rosé.
Held at the charming French restaurant, Claudette in the West village, Provence in the City was a brunch-themed event pairing French cuisine with a stellar flight of wine. Wines of Provence’s Eric Dufavet lead the seminar, with the Ritz Carlton’s Wine Director, Marika Vida-Arnold, leading the wine tasting.
Thanks to you wine loving millennials and a few other factors, the U.S. surpassed France to become the world’s top wine market by volume, although not per capita. According to the Impact Databank research, Americans consumed 893 millions of gallons of wine in 2014! While that number might be surprising to some, it’s not that surprising to me. I’ve consumed at least 1 million by myself that year. But that’s not all. Rosé exported from Provence has increased for the 12th straight year by double digits. That tells us that not only are Americans drinking wine, they’re branching out and trying other wines besides Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. Don’t get me wrong, there’s absolutely nothing wrong a great Pinot. But it’s nice to refresh your palette with something new.
Provence winemakers craft rosé by producing single-variety wine in small batches. The batches are expertly blended to create a cuvée, that has the desired body, flavor, profile and bouquet. Traditional Provence rosé grape varieties include Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Carignan and Cabernet Sauvignon. Approximately 10% of the world’s wine production is rosé and Provence is the largest region in France producing AOP Rosé
A Crostini Trio that included truffle hummus, basil pistounade and an olive tapenade, as well as Grilled Sardines and a Roasted Vegetable Aioli were the start of our French cuisine tour. They were deliciously paired with a lovely Grande Recolte Rosé 2015, Roseé D’ Aurore Rose and Chateau Barbanau. Created with Cinsault, Syrah and Grenache, the Barbanau was my absolute favorite rosé. With a bright pink color, fresh palette, and an aroma of white flowers and grapefruit, it won me over. My main course choice was a slow braised pork cheek. While rosé was the star of the show, we had the opportunity to taste a red from Provence. Chateau Paradis Red 2012 was the pairing option for the pork cheeks. A blend of cabernet sauvignon and syrah, the red was robust and had intense fruit and spicy aromas. No brunch is complete without dessert. We were served Tarte Au Citron, a lemon tart with charred marshmallows. Délicieux!
Yes, summer in on the way, but rosé is a wine that can be enjoyed all year long. So drink up millennials! Keep showing the world that the U.S. knows the difference between Provence rosé wines and those high-sugar blush wines. For more information about Provence rosé, visit winesofprovence.com.
Twisted Talk: Are you a rosé drinker? Have you ever tried a Provence wine before? Discuss below!