Stop and Sip the Rosés

Try these rosé offerings from local wineries.
May 6, 2019
Kevin Marshaus

As the weather warms up, we turn to lighter fare with fewer rich sauces and less comfort food. Our beverage choices also trend toward the lighter side. Many of us choose fewer big bold Cabernets and rich, heavily oaked Chardonnays. We move toward lighter, more refreshing wines like Sauvignon Blanc and fizzy Prosecco in the whites. Less astringent reds like Pinot Noir shift to the center stage. We drink more South American wines and classic, modest Mediterranean wines which are more food-friendly being slightly more acidic. These wines are fixtures in their home regions’ classic cultures and daily lifestyles — as necessary on their dinner tables as a napkin and fork. With the whites and reds, rosé is often on those table as well, made from the traditional red grape varietals of their region.

Thankfully, the majority of Americans no longer automatically associate pink hues in wine with sweetness, because of the recent awareness (and boom in consumption) of dry rosés. The concept of dry rosé wine is no longer mind-boggling. I have long been a fan of the style, though it was rarely found in our area. I used to search diligently, and now, they are (thankfully) everywhere. 

Local wineries have long made pink wine as well. In the past, it was usually made in sweeter styles that our public expected and understood, and has always been a necessary piece in their portfolios. Some tried producing dry styles, and while the wines were very good, they never really were a big success. That is, not until now. The Fort Wayne area’s three biggest players have all come forward with quality entries primarily made from or completely comprised of grapes grown right here in northeast Indiana. Those are:

Country Heritage Winery & Vineyard’s Marechal Foch Rose 2018, Estate Grown – Rose-gold in hue with bright aromas of strawberry and delicate hints of red raspberry and green apple. With tart flavors of strawberry, green apple and fresh lemon juice, this is a tasty, vibrant and refreshing surprise! ($18)

Two EE’s Dry Rosé – Comprised of locally grown Marquette along with the Italian varietal Dolcetto and the French Taanat (both California grown), this wine has an almost magenta depth to its pink and purple robe. A whiff of lavender and red berries lead into flavors of black currant, Delicious apple and delicate black cherry. This wine craves simply marinated grilled meats and vegetables without a heavy or sharp sauce, but will also shine with pizza or evening popcorn! Modestly assertive, yet complex, elegant and versatile! ($12)

Satek Winery Kreibaum Bay Dry Rosé, 2018 – Deep pink. Whole-cluster fermented Corot Noir from Steuben County, This wine is a burst of lavender, red berries and rose petals in the nose with strawberry, and orange peel flavors and a lingering floral finish. In a cool, beer-y sling-top bottle with a crown cap, this is pure fun! ($18)

One for the ages – and semi-sweet – Satek Winery Steuben, 2016 – the first rosé ever produced in our area from a single variety is still going strong. Aromas and flavors of strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, melon and citrus come together. Adult strawberry-lemonade for the ages! ($9)

So, the drought is over, thanks to public awareness fueling the supply and demand chain. While the boom will wane, it is doubtful that dry rosé here will ever burgeon on extinction again. Additionally, our local producers have captured the trend and made it their own, earning their place once again in our hearts and refrigerators with their quality entries. Stay cool and drink pink! Cheers!

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