Fruity and lighter in color and body, rosé wines are usually delegated to summer time. Being so versatile and food friendly, a rosé might make an appearance at the Thanksgiving table but usually you don’t see a rosé until the lawn furniture comes out of storage. That is a shame because Washington rosé can be so affordable and food friendly. One of my favorite conversations at last fall’s 20 Something was with Virginie Bourgue of Lullaby Wines about year around rosé wines. I love to talk to wine maker and about their visions for food pairing with their wines.
I didn’t have any Lullaby rosé in my cellar but I looked in the basement for a fuller bodied and darker rosé for tonight’s dinner. Silver Lake Winery ‘s Roza Rosé from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes is deeply colored, almost ruby in color. The nose is fruity with lots of raspberry, watermelon and faintly of pomegranate. The flavor is reminiscent of Jolly Ranger watermelon candies but the sweetness isn’t cloying. It has some tart cherry and pomegranate flavors that temper the sweetness, especially on the finish. It has a moderate acidity that balances out the sweetness and makes this a food friendly wine. The residual sugar is 2.7. Although it normally retails for $10, I can often find it for about $6 and I stock up.
I usually enjoy this wine as a summer picnic wine but a rainy play off weekend called for football food! I slow cooked a pork shoulder and made a spicy mustard BBQ sauce for pulled pork sandwiches. The rosé was a nice accompaniment to the sweet and spice of the pulled pork. I make my pulled pork more spicy than sweet, so this rosé was perfect. This Washington rosé has the acid necessary to work with the vinegar in the BBQ sauce. I also made potatoes au gratin with kale. This gooey cheesey casserole was just what I needed on this rainy Sunday evening. Hearty and rich, the potatoes complimented the spicy pork and the bright and fruity rosé. The potatoes really smoothed out the finish on rose, I don’t usually describe the finish of a rosé as luxurious but when paired with cheesy potatoes this one was. Far from classic football food, this was a tasty alternative.
Most people equate football with beer, I usually do. But tonight, I wanted to do something different for my football food. Don’t worry I will probably be munching on buffalo wings, pizza and beer come Super bowl time. Our standard ranking may say “Bring it to the company picnic” but I say serve this one at a tailgate party!