Say “Rosato”, not “Rosè”…

Today we picked red grapes for Rosato.

Anyone in America who didn’t grow up in some kind of wine environment (making it in your basement, living on a winery, having a restaurant) probably started their journey into the Wild World of Wine with White Zin. It was a rite of passage for me, and although I wouldn’t be caught dead swilling the stuff now, I do admit I like a nice rosè…
IMG_0090 … and they come in plenty of shapes and sizes. This photo is from a Rosè tasting I did about 3 months ago, which was great.

Consumption of Rosè is up something like 50% worldwide over just a year ago, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the trend took off in New York City. Joe Bastianich noticed more and more people asking for and drinking Rosè around NYC about 3 or 4 years ago, and decided to create a Rosè or ROSATO in Italian.

We chose Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso (“red-stemmed Refosco”) for a few reasons. First, the acidity is fairly high in Refosco, which keeps it fresh. It tends toward the zingy wild berries and briar rather than fat cherries and sweet soft fruit. Third, it’s a native grape variety, which is really important to us. Lastly, the color of Refosco is remarkably stable. Old refoscos rarely LOOK old.

Here’s a glimpse of the work:
Andrea1 Andrea loading Refosco into the destemmer.
CIMG0604 Before.

CIMG0605 After.

The destemmed grapes will go into the press for a short, warm maceration to bring out color and fruit, but not tannin. The Rosato will also use a percentage of juice bled off from our top reds, which has more color and structure. This method is called Salasso, and it’s mainly used to increase the proportion of skins to juice in a fine red wine. The juice that’s removed is what we used for the Rosato, blended with this early-harvest batch, and topping off with some whole-bunch pressed Refosco to really pull out some fruit and freshness.

Three different methods to make one wine! Each one giving it’s own contribution to the mix.

Last photo. This is freerun juice coming out of the press…
CIMG0607 Just a few minutes on the skins and already it has a pink hue.

So here’s an assignment. Go out there and grab a Rosato, or a rosè. Get it nice and chilly. Try it with some fried fish, or sushi, or other summery stuff. It’s worth getting past the memory of sweet, simple White Zin to rediscover the beauty and complexity of Rosato


3 thoughts on “Say “Rosato”, not “Rosè”…

  1. Dave

    Had a nice rose (from the Languedoc) this weekend at a BBQ. It went particularly well with grilled corn. It’s low alcohol content was also welcome, as it allowed me to gulp it down with relative abandon. Great blog, btw.

  2. Stacy Tomaselli

    What food do you suggest as you do a tasting? On your table, do I see a lemon on the plate with the apples?


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