Hot Outside – Cool In The Glass

After a fairly long winter and a rather short spring, summer is here.

In the quest for ways to cool ourselves down, some of us just sit at home or at work in the air conditioning, while the luckier ones get to chill by the pool. Or even better, travel to places where the weather is more moderate.
An easier, affordable, and quite enjoyable method to refresh oneself is to drink some delicious, well-chilled wines. There is an amazing selection out there of very fine rosé, whites, sparkling and even some light red wines that drink nicely on their own, but can superbly complement salads, fruits, BBQ meats and even ice cream, as well.

Often times, we hear that rosé wines are confusing, that they are neither white nor red. So please let’s address those concerns. Rosé wines are pink. Rosé is simply the word in French for “pink-colored”. While it is true that blending a bit of red wine in white wine would result in pink wine, that is not usually how rosé wines are made. Basically there are two main methods to produce rosé wine, and in both cases they are made of grape varieties that have a dark skin:
1. Skin maceration. 2. Saignée, which means “bleeding” in French. With the skin maceration method, the grapes are pressed and then the must, the juice, macerates with skins from anywhere between a few minutes to a few hours, until the desired color, which comes from the skins, is obtained. With this method the skins not only releases color but also phenols which add flavor, concentration, as well as tannins. Rosé wines made with this method will usually feature a fuller body and a darker color than those made with the bleeding method. The bleeding method is simply a byproduct of red winemaking. When the grapes are pressed with the skins, slightly pink-colored juice comes out of them. It is this grape juice that will be fermented into wine and will become a rosé. Most of the time, it will have a pale, bright pink color and a light body. Rosé wines can be fruity, a bit sweet, or really dry, lean and austere.

The Adir Rosé 2017 is another nice rosé, this one made with the skin maceration process. Barbera is a grape variety that originally comes from Italy. It is characterized by red berry and cherry aromas and has natural high acidity. Adir in Israel have successfully produced a really nice Rosé which fully extracts and showcases the aforementioned attributes of the Barbera variety. It is light and almost fluffy in both body and texture yet flavorful, with a nice balance between the fruity notes and the acidity. Perfect to sip while relaxing by the pool on a hot day.

One specific type of wine that goes great with most foods, and is as nice to look at as it is to drink is dry sparkling wine. The best sparkling wines are arguably those hailing from the Champagne region in France. They are made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier or a blend of 2 or all 3 varieties. The Drappier Brut Nature is made solely from Pinot Noir, and is a Zero Dosage Champagne, meaning no liquide de dosage, sweet wine from the original wine the Champagne is made from was added to adjust the sweetness when the Champagne was disgorged during the secondary fermentation process. The result is a very dry, sharp yet elegant and classy Champagne. Medium-bodied, with vibrant, tight mousse, focused medium bubbles, a harmonious texture with notes of apple, pear, roasted hazelnuts, crushed rocks, lime zest with high acidity and a touch of crème fraîche lingering on the long and classy finish. This is one remarkable Champagne.

Bordeaux wines often are thought of as elitists, expensive, complicated wines made for people for whom money is no object. That is a very inaccurate generalization. Sure, some of the world’s best and rarest wines come from Bordeaux, and they carry sometimes a really hefty price tag. There are however many Bordeaux wines that provide great pleasure yet are affordable. Château Trijet 2017 is one of those wines, retailing under £15. It is light to medium in body, offering the typical, restrained fruit and earthy profile generally associated with the wines from that mythical French wine-growing region. It even has the potential to develop some tertiary aromas with a few years of aging in the bottle but is nonetheless eminently enjoyable now. It is also made with organically grown grapes, meaning little to no pesticides were used in the vineyards. It would be perfect with a nice flat iron steak or grilled chicken breast.

Have a cool summer with refreshing and delightful wines! L’chaim!

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