Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Rosé Bowl

Rosé, like non-grape fruit wine, is treated like the evil stepchild (Damien....) of the wine scene. However, rosé is making a name for itself in the rolling hills of the Commonwealth.

Associated far too long with the likes of Riunite and white zin (aka "blush"), rosé is a white wine with a pink color. Imagine a good table white with pink food coloring, and you wouldn't be far off. Rosés around Virginia run from bone dry to sweet. Since sweet wines are not the favored of the blogmasters, we'll recommend a few spots with stellar dry or off-dry rosés. Some of these Virginia wines are available at Total Wine, so if the bad weather prevents you from visiting a winery in the Old Dominion, or the winery is closed for the next few weeks, consider a jaunt to Total Wine (Sterling and Fairfax, VA are the preferred locations for the blogmasters).

Five Solid Virginia Rosés:

From semi-sweet to dry, here are five to try---

(1) Rockbridge "Jeramiah's"
Complete with a bullfrog on the label (you have to be of a certain age to get the reference....) This affordable wine is available at Total Wine and goes down smooth after chilling. You can also warm it up in a crock pot, add spices, and create a great mulled treat.

(2) Dry Mill Rosé
This relatively new winery, one mile from downtown Leesburg in Loudoun County, is serving up some real treats - from hearty dry reds to sweeter whites. Their rosé is 2% residual sugar and works nicely with salty foods like Virginia peanuts.

(3) Kluge Estate SP Rosé
This delightful rosé from popular Kluge Estate near Charlottesville comes packaged and billed as a sparkling. A bit on the pricey side (for a rosé), but a great alternative to overly sweet sparkling wines.

(4) Hartwood Rappahannock Rosé
Just north of Fredericksburg lies this charming family-owned spot, with a surprisingly large list of whites and reds for all tastes. Their rosé is crafted from Chambourcin, the "white wine drinker's red," which translates into a sharper, but still fantastic, little wine.

(5) Cardinal Point Rosé
Cardinal Point is one of the Charlottesville area's oldest wineries, and they specialize in lighter wines (both whites and reds) that are very easy to drink, especially on hot summer days. They also make the driest rosé on our list - this is a wine that does not come packaged in a plastic bag and a box.

Seek out one of these rosés, and taste what you may have been missing. Virginia is proud of its rosés.

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