Magazine article Sunset

Bob Thompson on Wine: Dog Days. Dry Roses. Perfect Match

Magazine article Sunset

Bob Thompson on Wine: Dog Days. Dry Roses. Perfect Match

Article excerpt

Chilling roses just short of popsicle-cold on a blazing afternoon does them no serious harm. They still cut through the juices of ground beef, and have enough flavor to match up with a burger and the works. The same goes for grilled sausages. The match with barbecued chicken is as sure as a bet gets. For a bonus, they are at their readiest to drink on the first day they show up in the stores.

The recipe for rose is simple: (1) Start out to make a red. (2) Change course between 8 and 30 hours into the game and try to make a white instead. In practical terms, this means winemakers begin the fermentation with skins, pulp, and juice in the tank together, then separate juice from solids as soon as the juice colors slightly. If this sounds easy, it is not. With neither sugar nor time available to cover up any rough spots, getting full flavor and agreeable balance in a semi-red tests the skills of any winemaker.

These difficulties explain why there are so few dry roses, but do not excuse prices that are sometimes far less modest than the wines themselves.

Grenache, the traditional grape variety for rose in much of France, has been adopted as such in the United States. …

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