- 2017 Reserve des Chastelles Rosé, Tavel, France ($8.99 @Trader Joe’s; California)
It has been an unusually cold and wet winter here in California (I am not looking for any sympathy from those of you that get “real” winter weather, but it’s relative, right?) and thus the past two months of wine recommendation on this site have been for big, sturdy reds.
So, with the return of Daylight Savings Time this weekend, I thought it was time to start at least thinking about what we will be drinking in a few short months when the weather begins to turn. That is why I chose to use the backdrop of a (cold) swimming pool and patio furniture to accompany this really nice rosé from Trader Joe’s.
But first, about the question posed in the photo caption above…
No, it’s not that the photo is too dark or poorly composed. (It is both, however, my bad.) If you guessed: the bottle is full but there should be a glass missing, you would be correct. This sleight of hand is achieved by having a second bottle on hand. Clever, eh?
Tavel is the only appellation in the Rhone Valley which specializes in rosé wine only. Wines from this region of the southern Rhone tend to straddle the styles we associate with rosés. They typically are salmon colored – not pale, but not overly red hued. They are dry, but the Cinsault grapes suggests sweetness. The best versions also strike a nice balance between being refreshing and having enough concentration of flavor to be interesting. As is typical in Tavel, Grenache (Garnacha to some in Europe) is the dominant grape. This particular cuvee is 60% Grenache, 25% Cinsault and 15% Syrah.
This lovely medium bodied wine should be served well-chilled. It features a veritable fruit bowl of flavors: strawberry, raspberry, watermelon and citrus.
Food pairing: light meats and poultry, rich fish dishes, shellfish, and soft cheeses. If your menu calls for something that might not pair well with this wine, consider serving it as a pre-meal aperitif wine to tee your guest’s palates up for the main event.
Spring is coming people, hang in there!