Rosé Reigns Supreme
BY OMAR SOMMEREYNS
The blush of rosé—how it glistens and entices in just the right light—makes it particularly seductive. That radiant hue, which alters depending on varietals used, is typically the result of a shorter maceration period (when the purplish skin of the fruit is in contact with the juice). However, there’s more to the beauty of rosés.
“I appreciate how versatile rosés can be,” says Ervin Machado, the head sommelier at La Gloutonnerie on South Beach. “I try to find wines that are suitable to different palates; rosés are like no other. I know people who don’t drink red or drink white, but a good rosé is impossible to deny.” Andrew McNamara, director of fine wine/master sommelier at Premier Beverage Company, and recently elected to the board of directors of the Court of Master Sommeliers, concurs: “The vibrant acidity of many rosés, coupled with their clean, [crisp] flavors, [creates wines that are] refreshing, easy to drink, and delicious all at once.”
Rosés are produced anywhere from California to Argentina and South Africa, but the best come from France, where winemakers have perfected time-tested techniques and winning combinations of red grape varieties. “I love the rosés from the Provence region—specifically, Bandol and Cassis,” says Jennifer Massolo, former executive director of the Miami International Wine Fair and founder of The Liquid Projects. “They’re noted for their pale salmon color and bone-dry palate, and should be enjoyed relatively young.”
Unlike deep, red wines that mature well, most rosés are better in their youth. Juan “JC” Restrepo, who owns the two diligently curated Happy Wine shops in Miami, says, “Older rosés tend to oxidate and aren’t too friendly on the palate. A common rule is to buy it and drink it now. Go for 2011 vintages and up.”
Many opine that rosés should be served chilled, at about 45 degrees. Yet, a slightly higher temperature can be more appropriate. “I prefer 55 degrees,” Machado says. “When you over-cool a rosé, the volatile compounds are harder to perceive. If it’s a bit warmer, you’ll have a more complete study of its complexity.”
Unlike its still counterpart, “rosé Champagne is made by blending red wine with white, primary-fermented Champagne, resulting in a richer, rounder, full-bodied drink,” Massolo says. “This can go with almost any food—it’s the nectar of the gods! It is great for special occasions.”
For an authentic South of France experience, visit La Piaggia in South Beach, sit alfresco, and savor its housemade rosé. “Have rosé anytime, anywhere,” Restrepo says. “Plus, there’s all the diversity of food and ingredients in Miami that people bring from all over the world—a delightful potpourri of flavors to accompany a nice glass of rosé.”
photography by thinkstock
Cover shoot: Behind the scenes with Pitbull for the October 2014 issue of Ocean Drive magazine.