Prosecco Goes Pink

Prosecco Rosé officially launched in the US earlier this year, after much anticipation in the wine world. Sparkling rosé is not a new thing, but sparkling rosé coming from the Prosecco region of Italy is, having just been approved by the Italian National Wine Committee in May of 2020, when they approved these long awaited changes to the Prosecco DOC.

Carra Prosecco Rosé DOC Extra Dry from Nicola Biscardo Selections

The Prosecco we all know and love is a sparkling white wine produced primarily (85% minimum) from the Glera grape in the Veneto region of northeast Italy (more specifically, the Prosecco region within Veneto). For a wine to qualify as Prosecco Rosé, it must include at least 85 percent Glera grapes, the remainder Pinot Noir. Prosecco Rosé must age for a minimum of 60 days, whereas regular Prosecco traditionally ages for 30 days.

The vast majority of Prosecco is made using the tank or Charmat method, in which a second fermentation occurs in a large stainless steel vat, before it is bottled under pressure. In comparison, the second fermentation of Champagne occurs in the very bottle it will be sold in. The Charmat method produces a wine with fruit-forward, simple freshness. A typical bottle of Prosecco will offer notes of melon, peach, apple, pear, and honeysuckle.

You can expect the addition of Pinot Noir in the new Prosecco Rosé to balance the crisp floral and stone fruit flavors of traditional Prosecco with fresh notes of strawberry , red cherry, and raspberry. This easy drinking, refreshing bubbly will pair beautifully with fried seafood, salty cheeses, poultry, and sausages. A creamy risotto would be an absolute delight alongside a glass of Prosecco Rosé.

Prosecco has surpassed Champagne in global sales, becoming the world’s best-selling sparkling wine, with a volume of 544 million bottles in 2018. This trend has continued since, and the addition of Prosecco Rosé is sure to add to the growing numbers.

Lamarca Prosecco Rose DOC

Prosecco’s crisp, fruit-forward, easy drinking style combined with its inexpensive price tag continue to make this sparkling wine more approachable and affordable than Champagne, which certainly contributes to its rise in popularity and consumption.

Most Proseccos are available for under $20 a bottle, many even closer to $10. They are also available in a range of sweetness levels, from the driest Brut to the sweeter Extra Dry and Dry versions. Prosecco’s simple fruitiness makes it ideal for sparkling wine cocktails such as mimosas.

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Rosé All Day!

Published in June 2019 issue of South Shore Senior News

National Rosé Day is celebrated every year on the second Saturday in June. When many Americans think of rosé, their first thought is the sweeter styled White Zinfandel, which was discovered by Bob Trinchero with Sutter Home in 1972, quite by accident while experimenting with the Zinfandel grape. Visitors of the tasting room found a fondness for the resulting “accidental” wine, and the masses demanded more production. He ramped up production in 1975 when for reasons unknown, the fermentation stopped at around 2% residual sugar, leaving a noticeable sweetness. People loved the resulting product, and white Zinfandel became extremely popular over the following decades.

The one perhaps unfortunate result of the rise of white Zinfandel and its style is that Americans tend to assume that all rosé or pink wines are sweet, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. Dry rosés are the norm all over the world, including France, Italy, and Spain. Someone who doesn’t particularly enjoy a sweeter style rosé wine such as white Zinfandel might very likely find much enjoyment in the drier styles that are available.

There are many factors that influence a rosé, including grape variety, region and terroir in which the grapes are grown, winemaking styles, techniques, and traditions, and of course market demands. For instance, the rosés of Provence are typically made by the direct press method, which includes gently pressing the grapes and collecting the juice after it has only had about 1-4 hours macerating on the skins, resulting in a very pale colored, light and fresh style of rosé. In many other regions of France such as Tavel, however, it is more popular to use the saignée method of production, which allows the juice to macerate for a 8-24 hours, then is bled off the skins to be fermented into rosé. This results in a deeper color, fuller in body, and more aromatic than the direct press method.

Rosé wines, both still and sparkling, have been considered a trend on the rise for the past several years in the US. In 2017, rosé sales increased by 53% with no slowing down in sight. Considered a refreshing, summertime wine, rosés appeal to white and red wine lovers alike, providing the red fruit notes of a red combined with the refreshing crispness of a white. It offers the best of both worlds!

When it comes to food pairing, dry rosés pair quite well with lighter or medium weight foods and summer fare, such as salads, seafood, grilled chicken, grilled vegetables, and an array of salty cheese and snacks. Adding fresh red berries and fruit really brings its fruit flavors to the forefront. Think fresh strawberries in your salad. Or make a nice charcuterie board containing an array of meats, cheeses, crackers, nuts, and berries for a variety of textures and flavors. Rosé is typically served mildly chilled and makes for a refreshing sipper during the warmer summer months.

Enjoy some of my favorite hand-picked salad recipes with the dry rose’ of your choice for the ultimate summertime meal.

Cheers!
Missa
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