Friday, July 20, 2012

Rosé Madness

I have gotten a little carried away with this rosé wine thing...I now have four different selections in the storeroom, only one of which is intended for by-the-glass consumption.  That means three for the wine list, in a restaurant where red wine by-the-bottle sales probably out performs white three-to-one...not very smart purchasing, eh?  But, it is so hot and red wine has definitely fallen out of favor for the moment, so, strike while the iron is also hot, so to speak?  Maybe I'm on to something.  We'll see, when I put out a twelve bottle wine list with four rosés on it, won't we?

We've been pouring the King Estate Acrobat rosé of pinot noir for a few weeks now, to popular acclaim.  It is one of those rosés that you can have a doubting customer taste - usually a man who doesn't think he can "drink pink" - and it will convince them that their idea of rosé is not what is in the glass in front of them.  We have years of white zinfandel to battle before we can get some wine drinkers to try a current rosé, but we are winning the war, as the style gets more and more popular each year.  This past year, for the first time, I had a rosé available by the glass all through the fall and winter, so things are definitely looking up.

The three selections headed for the wine list begin with the Hendry, from Napa.  This is a blend of  Zinfandel, Cabernet and Primitivo.  I think of Hendry mostly for their zinfandels, so it's no surprise that their rosé is a zin blend.  I feel lucky to get a case, seeing as there were only 532  produced...I can't wait to try it!  (Yes, I know, it's a crime, but I have yet to taste all of these rosé wines...they are purchases resulting from research, not salesmen, so I am trusting the more wine savvy media to steer me in the right direction, once again.)

The next wine in the line-up is one we've had at BT before, the Soter Vineyards North Valley Highland rosé, from Oregon. This unusual blend is a mix-up of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and a small percentage of Gewurztraminer.  I have already served a bottle to a guest whom I know to appreciate rosés, the Soter from past vintages in particular.  He was quite pleased with it, commenting mostly on the back-of-the-palate strawberry that popped out in his mouth at the finish. 

And finally - at least for the moment! - there is the Blackbird Vineyards Arriviste rosé.  The blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Cabernet Franc from Napa has some fine company at Blackbird. If I'd looked more carefully at their section in the Beverage Journal, I might have asked Pat, the Bacchus salesman, how much this rosé was before I ordered it, since it was not listed among the varietals available from the vineyard.  I didn't.  I just left my order book for him, as usual, with the question "Blackbird rose?" on the page.  Pat jotted back "Yes, just two cases left", and I felt fortunate to get one of them.  It is the most expensive of the quartet, and while it might be a hard sell even with my $12 mark-up, it will be a bargain for those who know the winery's reputation.

 To quote Charles&Charles:
"YES!  You can drink rosé and still be a Bad*ss!"

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