Summertime is wonderfully well-suited for enjoying a nice glass of Rosé outdoors with some fresh, seasonal food. There is something very harmonious about the warm weather and long days being enhanced by a glass of perfectly chilled, beautifully colored wine. Of course a fine Rosé can be enjoyed year-round, but the sales trends conclusively illustrate that most wine consumers prefer to sip their pink wines in the Spring and Summer.
Rosé wines have been steadily gaining in popularity in the United States over the past few years. There were several years following the White Zinfandel craze in which many thought of all pink wines as overly sweet and of low quality. Fortunately for many Europeans, they were not subject to the same prejudice. In fact, Rosé has been a regular treat of everyday life in the South of France and parts of Spain, Greece and Italy for generations. The new enthusiasm for fine Rosé in the United States has provided those of us in Northern California with some world-class local offerings produced from a variety of different grapes, including lighter-bodied Pinot Noir, medium-bodied Grenache and Sangiovese and fuller-bodied Zinfandel and Bordeaux varietals.
I think the components of the attached Cheesy Flatbread Pizza recipe would call for a Rosé with a little more structure and body. The nice acidity in a well-made Rosé will balance nicely with the fat from the cheese and I believe the smokiness from the bacon and suggested grilling technique would match very well with a Rosé of Syrah. Since the recipe lends itself to adding whichever fresh herbs and vegetables you may have handy this time of year it gives you the opportunity to experiment with a variety of different Rosés.
A fun way to take advantage of this delightful time of year would be to invite some friends and family over and tell them that you’ll grill up a few different flatbread pizzas and ask them to bring along a bottle of their favorite Rosé. Then you can all mix and match different food flavor profiles with the variety of wines and let everybody try to determine their favorite pairing. Now that sounds like a great evening spent enjoying some of the best that living in Wine Country has to offer. Cheers!
Jeff James is the founder and co-owner, with his wife Judy, of Stony Point Vineyard and James Family Cellars. Their Cotati vineyard and winery have consistently produced award-winning wines. Jeff can be reached at info@JamesFamilyCellars.com or www.JamesFamilyCellars.com