This morning’s NYC weather serves as a reminder of the influence of weather upon our appetites. Cooler than it has been (for July especially) our cheese cravings may be greater today than they were a couple days ago when it was much hotter and more humid. We might even allow ourselves a glass of chilled white wine later in the day, or for those of us that only drink reds, perhaps a lighter red wine, slightly chilled perhaps. I can’t say that rosé wines serve as gateways from red wines to whites, especially since many die-hard red drinkers would never drink a pink-colored wine regardless.
I recall a warm and humid afternoon in Catalunya a few years ago when almost everyone was drinking red wines, except for some of the women who were choosing chilled whites. There was a bottle of rosé that no one else was trying, made from Garnacha (known as Grenache across the border in France) a rosé that I recall enjoying in Madrid the year before. It was as though this rosé was an uninvited guest that slipped into the cooler.
In this part of the world (as well as most parts) the few guys who do drink rosés drink them with a certain confidence, with aplomb. I chose it not only because I recall how much I enjoyed an almost identical Garnacha in Madrid, but also because the white wines were less appealing (can’t recall which ones they were) and the weather being what it was, the reds were even less appealing, especially without any food around.
There are similar wines produced in southern France that are made from Grenache, or from a blend of Grenache and other varietals. These wines, from either side of the border, can be enjoyed on their own. This is often the case: these rosés are unaccompanied. This is not to say that many foods (cheeses included) do not complement these wines.
It is only July, so next week’s temperatures will likely reach back up into the 90′s; our appetites may subside. But doesn’t a glass of rosé sound nice? Next Tuesday we will be tasting a Grenache-based Minervois rosé in our first Cheese & Wine 101 of the season. The weather forecast is partly cloudy with a high of 92. Chilled rosé sounds great. Among the seven cheeses we will be tasting, which ones will pair best with it?
Tune in Wednesday and we’ll let you know.