It doesn’t seem so long ago when the word “Rosé” was mentioned, it conjured up warm days and slippery Jacuzzis. It was the heralding cry of summer weather. Then… it became popular. Holy flamingos, we all started to drink pink. Since we all know the French drink a third of the pink produced on the planet, I am guessing the rest of us just came to the party a bit late.
Almost every Rosé begins with a strawberry nose, and then leans toward some combo of citrus, raspberry, and violet. Rosés come in a wide variety of colors. Some are like budding roses and others look like the last rays of a beautiful sunset. Some Rosés appear in a fabulous salmon color while others lean toward a pale garnet or coppery red. And some rosés look just like strawberry soda. Move beyond deciding with your eyes, think dry and delightful.
Since Rosé is now chic it deserves a place at the holiday table. It’s actually quite grand and regal looking and no longer reminds us of a Barbie drink. The new Rosés are perfect for Christmas. It’s a super-smart choice but can be super-expensive if you’re not looking in the right places.
If I look at the availability of Rosé’s around town, I’d opt for Coppola Winery’s Sofia Rosé as a sure bet for quality, consistency and affordability. I had a glass or two… or three at Thanksgiving and it seemed to go with just about everything. If you just can’t see yourself with a Rosé then switch it out for a Coppola Pinot.
The Basic Food Groups of Christmas
Turkey is an easy food to pair with. It makes friends with just about any lighter wine – from Rosés to Pinot. The Rosé’s and whites (like Sauvignon Blanc) go well with the white meat, but if you like the dark meat which can be a bit gamey in taste, pair it with a wine that has more body like a Pinot.
Ham, another Christmas favorite walks the line between red and white meat, making it an excellent candidate for a good pairing with a Rosé. A quality Rosé is a great wine to pair with tricky foods because it is light and not overpowering. It shakes hands with it’s dining companions, instead of shouting throughout the meal for attention.
And finally Rosé is killer with pumpkin and pecan pie. Yup. Some things just have to be tasted to understand how the chemistry all works. The key here is choosing a premium dry Rosé.
Coppola Winery’s Sofia Rosé (About $19) from Monterey County will remind you of the popular dry Rosés served in France. Quite a bit of care and thought went into this wine. According to the winemaker, “We typically harvest the grapes for our Sofia Rosé at a lower brix to ensure we get a light wine that pairs elegantly with food. For color extractions, the grapes are cold-soaked for 48 hours before the juice is separated from the skins.” Basically this means you get a nice dry wine that plays well with many foods both summer and winter. Expect fresh strawberries up front with a hint of lavender leading to juicy flavors of cherry, raspberry, citrus peel ending with a delightful kiss of spice on the finish. Available at most wine shops, there’s nothing stopping you from serving this wine.
Coppola’s Director’s Pinot Noir (About $16) is a grand second choice or second offering for your holiday table. Winemaker Corey Beck explains it backstory, “Our Diamond Collection Pinot Noir is sourced from a vineyard just east of the Santa Lucia Highlands in Monterey Country. This vineyard was originally planted with Merlot vines – however, after a few years of working with it, we realized its Bay-influenced cool temperatures and abundant afternoon sunshine created potential for producing great Pinot Noir. This inspired our first pre-plant contract with the grower in preparation for the wine’s introduction in 2001, well before the rise of Pinot Noir popularity. This long-standing relationship allows us to deliver exceptional Pinot Noir from a prime growing region.” This wine offers a sensual experience of raspberries and cherries with a hint of soft rose petals. As you swirl and sip, see if you can catch the orange peel and tea leaf properties with a hint of oak and vanilla. Overall an excellent wine with the flavors and spices present on Christmas Day.