Valentine Rosés will add a flare to Valentine’s Day

As well as being a goldmine for Hallmark and other greeting card manufacturers, Valentine’s Day has become a great marketing tool for florists, chocolate makers and – of course – those who make pink wines.

Fashioned from 100 per cent Tempranillo from Spain, it’s easy to imagine that Thr3 Monkeys Fruity Rosé $11.49 has a splash of Garnacha adding strawberry and raspberry fruitiness to the sweet cherry and berry notes of the primary grape. Serve this playful wine well-chilled!

Today’s Rosés are often deliberately frivolous. Beyond traditional methods – quickly pressing juice off with minimal skin contact or bleeding-off colourless juice from red grapes before fermentation – cunning winemakers are adding other fruits to their blends.

From Chile, Fresita Sparkling Strawberry $15.99 has organic Patagonian wild strawberries added to a sparkling white wine made from Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscatel. Deliciously fruity and sweet, it verflows with aromas and flavours of candied cherries and fresh strawberries. Low in alcohol – a mere 8 per cent – this is a kinder, gentler style of easy sipping wine.

Interestingly enough, that whole pink vs. blue business separating girls from boys is nothing but a barely hundred year old convention. According to Jeanne Maglaty quoting University of Maryland historian Jo B. Paoletti and writing for Smithsonian.com: “…a June 1918 article from the trade publication Earnshaw’s Infants’ Department said, “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.”

Both dainty and strong, and politically correctly gender-free, our own BC wineries have come to realize that our bright and sassy ‘cool-climate’ grapes can showcase an extraordinary amount of sweet fruitiness… and still be quite dry. High in the hills above Summerland, Thornhaven Estate Winery’s patio offers breathtakingly beautiful views over Okanagan Lake.

A fragrant blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Syrah, Thornhaven 2016 Rosé $15.99 flagrantly flaunts a medley of rich, ripe fruit flavours – rhubarb, cherry, strawberry and pomegranate predominate. Perfectly balanced, this explosively sweet first sipper finishes refreshingly dry with a dusty, peppery twist.

Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine is an annual holiday celebrated on February 14th. Make it special by sipping a quality BC Rosé before, during or after dinner. Valentine’s Day first became associated with romantic love by Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century, when the tradition of ‘courtly’ love evolved.

Harry McWatters, CEO and president of BC’s ENCORE Vineyards Ltd. received the The Vancouver International Wine Festival’s coveted Spirited Industry Professional Award in 2017. With his daughter Christa-Lee McWatters Bond, McWatters oversees his own label as well as TIME winery and Evolve Cellars. TIME will be pouring at this year’s 41st Vancouver International Wine Festival – February 23-March 3, 2019.

Deliciously off-dry, Evolve Cellars Rosé $16.99 is pressed from 100 per cent Merlot grown onsite at the winery vineyard in Summerland, according to Christa-Lee McWatters. Minimal skin contact gives this delicately light pink wine elusive notes of peach, strawberry, cranberry and watermelon.

Provence in south-east France is the world’s largest wine region specializing in dry Rosé. Most Provençal wines have flavors and aromas that echo the ‘bouquet garni’ spices of the region including wild lavender, rosemary and thyme. The Domaine des Aspras winery is located in the village of Correns, Provence.

Certified organic, grown under a biodynamic regime and fermented on its own natural yeasts Domaine des Aspras Les Trois Frères Rosé $25.49 is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Rolle grapes that captures the savoury dry and dusty, peppery sage style of Provence with very subtle notes of peach, strawberry and raspberry intriguing the taste buds.

Whatever your gender, Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to jump into summer early sipping pink wines!

Reach WineWise by emailing douglas_sloan@yahoo.com or visit dougsloanwinewise.com online.

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