Ready for Rosé: Seriously Pink Wine

If you've ignored pink in the past, RAP - Rosé Avengers and Producers (an international group of winemakers) - is out to get you.

It's not a political statement. It's a matter of season and of taste...and awareness.

Each June, containers of imported rosé wines reach the docks of America and shipments of domestic rosé reach local loading docks. All perfectly timed with the rise of Texas temperatures.

Beginning in spring and continuing through late fall in fair-weather zones such as ours, rosé wine shines.

The best are fresh and bone dry. Aromas and flavors from cherry to berry to rose petal, also citrus, peach, spice, and mineral. Crispness, complexity, and body that befriend a wide range of food and please both white-wine and red-wine lovers.

Pink isn't new and isn't a trend. Under-appreciated American and international producers are gaining visibility thanks to Jeff Morgan's consortium and his new book.

In Rosé: A Guide To The World's Most Versatile Wine Morgan chronicles two hundred rosé producers. He's not only selling the SoloRosa rosé wine that he makes in Napa Valley with Daniel Moore. He notes excellent still pink wines from producers in Algeria, Australia, California, Chile, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, New York, South Africa, Spain, and Washington. Plus sparkling pink wines from Australia, California, France, Italy, and Spain.

Don't assume Morgan included every pink on the planet. He did not. He found over 250 local rosés at one supermarket in Aix-en-Provence.

Who better to walk you through the techniques and styles of rosé wines than Morgan, who enjoys tasting them? And that's why he makes rosé.

His recipes to accompany rosé include easy dishes such as marinated olives, and main courses such as an uncomplicated fish soup with aioli, or lamb braised with Indian spices, or the Italian-influenced braised rabbit with tomatoes, fresh sage, and polenta.

As in his two previous books, The Working Parents Cookbook (co-authored with spouse Jodie Morgan), and Dean & DeLuca: The Food and Wine Cookbook, Morgan inspires hospitality. You yearn to try the tasty pairing suggestions - and to share them.

Once again, Jeff Morgan gives his readers the tools for understanding and appreciating wine.

Our wine tasting wish list for a rosé tasting meal:

Kim McPherson Rosé of Syrah (Texas)
Chateau Grand Cassagne (France)
Eberle (California)
SoloRosa (California)
Canto Perdrix Tavel (France)
Domaine Tempier Bandol (France)
Domaine Ott Cuvée Marine Bandol (France)
Schramsberg Brut Rosé (California)
Deutz Rosé Brut Champagne (France)

SoloRosa: a barrel-fermented rosé wine produced by co-proprietors Jeff Morgan and Daniel Moore, in Napa Valley, California.

The 2003 blend: 50% Napa Valley Sangiovese, Atlas Peak Vineyard; 40% Merlot, Levantini Family Vineyard, Lodi; 5% Barbera and 5% Zinfandel—both from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County.

The current vintage -- 2004, the fourth -- is 50% Napa Valley Sangiovese, Atlas Peak Vineyard, and 50% Merlot, Levantini Family Vineyard, Lodi.

Rosé: A Guide To The World's Most Versatile Wine, by Jeff Morgan (Chronicle Books)

- Karen Silverston, June 2005