A Passion for Pink


©2012 Ron Scherl

Nothing says summer like a glass of pink wine.  Even here in the cool San Francisco Bay Area, a glass of rosé can drive the fog away.  Truth to tell, rosé is a good wine choice year around. It just seems  to make the party go better, whatever the season.   And wine consumers are beginning to get the message.

Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare is one of California’s top rosés.  Bonny Doon owner and winemaker Randall Grahm has been a rosé freak for decades and his passion is finally beginning to pay off.

“We have seen an explosion of interest in fine pink wines,” he said, adding that California winemakers are getting the message and producing rosé of outstanding quality—dry wines with good acidity to carry the bright fruit flavors.

That step up in quality has been important in moving the wine consumer away from the image of the sticky sweet White Zinfandels that ruined so many picnics a few years ago.

At Ann Walker Catering, we do take an active role in recommending wines to go with out food and rosé is a delicious favorite.

Here are a few recommendations of rosé from California and elsewhere to add a pink glow to your party.  All wines are priced under $20.

Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare 2011 Central Coast Rosé.  Paint It Pink! This may be Randall Grahm’s best rosé ever. It is rich on the palate without being overwhelming with intense fruit and a pleasing minerality.  This wine has the strength to match with pork, lamb, almost anything from the grill.

Casal Garcia 2011 Rosé Vinho Verde. An old favorite from Portugal. The wine is Crisp and lively with engaging aromas and a bright finish. Makes a perfect aperitif but also a treat with spicy southeast Asian dishes.  And at only 10% alcohol you can have a third glass. Who’s counting?

Crios 2011 Rosé of Malbec. Susana Balbo makes exceptional wines, some of the best in Argentina, and she takes rosé seriously. It shows. There is deep fruit with a silky texture and a long finish.  Don’t rush this wine. Sip and savor. This is what good rosé is all about.

Domaine de Fontsainte 2011 Gris de Gris Corbieres Rosé.  You can count on Kermit Lynch, the Berkeley-based retailer and importer, to offer outstanding French rosé.  This is a blend of several grapes from the Languedoc region of southern France. It is full-tilt pleasure in the glass with intense fruit and a bright acidity that keeps you reaching for another glass.

Donkey & Goat 2011 Isabel’s Cuvée Mendocino Grenache Rosé.  A fairly complex rosé with ripe berry flavors and a long finish from the East Bay urban winery. This would pair well with grilled lamb or chicken and is the perfect match for salmon.

Mont Marcal NV Cava Brut Rosado.  No tasting of pink wines would be complete without a bubbly. This Spanish Cava offers distinctive flavors with bright acidity and lingering fruit flavors and at a quality point equal to most non-vintage Champagnes.  Splendid as an aperitif or serve with nuts, olives, cheese.

—-Larry Walker

(Ann Walker Catering will be glad to help with the wine choices for your event. We will also source the wine and arrange for its delivery to your event.  Also, ask us about our complete wine program, involving wine selected to match your menu.)