Roses are Red, Rosados are Pink
Roses are red, rosados are pink,
Ribera wines shouldn’t be poured down the sink.
They should be poured down your throat. Obviously.
Ribera del Duero is a region in central Spain known primarily for its full-bodied and forcefully delicious tempranillos (like most of Spain). A few months ago, I had the pleausre of playing hookey from work in my window-less cell to attend Drink Ribera’s Grand Tasting event. At the event (and since) I’ve had the pleasure of tasting a plethora of tempranillo delight–ranging from exquistitely oaky reservas to the light, young rosados that inspired my little rhyme.
When I met Ribera Del Duero I was blown away. One of 11 wine regions in the country, Ribera spans four provinces as the Duero river twists and turns through northern Spain. Though the region has been making wine for centuries, production and quality skyrocketed within the last 30 years as big labels like Vega Sicilia and others started pumping out robust, high quality wines with labels like crianza and reserva.
I could talk about the region itself for more than one day (and as a head’s up I will be, since I <3 Ribera and can’t wait to share more/demistify Spanish wine labels), but what I want to talk about today are the rosado wines mentioned above.
Rosé wines are great–especially at this time of year–and rosado is simply the Spanish term for rosé. These pink gems are a small minority of the juice produced in Spain annually, but I think they can be great for numerous reasons.
First of all, a pink wine says something about it’s drinker–call it sophistication, metrosexuality, or good taste, but regardless of the name I like it. Ribera rosados, being less common (and more delicious) than a generic white zinfandel look great in wide glasses that let all the fruitiness of the young juice waft up into your nose and down your throat.
For my experiments with rosados, I headed to Tinto Fino, an all-Spanish wine shop in the LES since Ribera rosados can be elusive. I went with their best-seller–Finca Torremilanos Monte Castrillo 2011, a vertiable steal at $15.
My exact thought on the nose was: “Wow, this is just like a cherry Lifesaver!!” The fruitiness came through more subtley on the palate with cherry and raspberry notes. A long finish contributed to its deliciousness.
Because Ribera rosés tend to be dry, they’re a perfect partner for tapas, or parties because the wines hold up against a wide range of food. I fell in love with the bone-dry Monte Castrillo alongside prosciutto and a Caprese salad, and was suprised how well it also paired with sauteed chicken and asparagus during another meal.
The long and the short on these bad boys–check them out, especially once you’re sick of the millions of Côtes du Rhone rosés that flood the shelves at this time of year. Be bold, be daring, pour the rosado down your throat and enjoy.
Ribera Rosado Uncorked
Love that color!
Laura Loves: The Ribera Region’s FB page–great video resources for pairing and more right here.
Sipping rosado during a Spanish brunch or post-work tapas; Try Bar Jamon if you’re in NYC.
Fun Facts: Tempranillo has a ton of names: Albillo Negro, Aldepenas, Aragon, Aragones, Aragonez, Aragonez 51, Aragonez da Ferra, Aragonez de Elvas, Arganda, Arinto Tinto, Cencibel, Cencibera, Chinchillana, Chinchillano, Chinchilyano, Cupani, De Por Aca, Escobera, Garnacho Fono, Grenache de Logrono, Jacibera, Jacibiera…and then some.
According to Joe Roberts column in Playboy, rosé wine WILL get you laid. Don’t believe me? Click.