Rosé to the rescue for Thanksgiving’s diverse dishes.
Yes, it’s still rosé season! Do not argue: just hold out your glass and say “more, please!”
Seriously though, with the myriad of flavors and textures on the Thanksgiving table (to say nothing of the dubious tastes of well-meaning guests who bring any ole bottle), you need a dry, mouthwatering wine that will do [at least] triple duty—and rosé is just that wine. Its popularity—some 18.7 million cases sold in the U.S., last year—encouraged producers in many regions beyond the iconic Provence to jump into the game with their own grapes and styles.
And, that’s lucky for us. Rather than simply adding to the catalog of light-pink quaffs, many of these offerings have great fruit concentration, depth and structure that will stand up to fall’s heartier dishes, especially at Thanksgiving. they’re compatible with most things roasted, creamed, sautéed, sweet (think candied yams), and sour (your crabby aunt). And best of all, most are lower-alcohol so you can drink all day, which, depending on familial relations, you might need to do.
So, gather ‘round the table, pop a cork and give thanks to the versatility of rosé.
2018 Broadbent Vinho Verde Rosé. This is a clean, lightly fizzy red-fruited fresh pop in the mouth whose brightness will cut through any gloppy sauce or heavy food. At 10% alcohol, you can start with this as an aperitif and keep on going through to the cranberry sauce. $8-10
2016 Casa Ferreirinha Vinha Grande Douro Rosé. Light-salmon pink, you’ll be surprised by the earthy, weighty aspect that belies its lighter color. Tart and darker red fruit, lovely mouth-watering acid: I’ll want this with a leftover turkey and stuffing sandwich on Friday. $13
2018 Clos Bellane “Altitude” 2018 Cotes du Rhone. Sheer copper pink (think Victorian rose gold), and made from 100% Grenache, this shows tart raspberry, watermelon and wild cherry bark (look it up!). This is an easy-going food wine with enough saline and iodine to keep it interesting all the way through to the medium-long finish. Certified organic, bottled at the estate. $16
2018 Domain Martin Pierre Chavignol “Chavignol” Sancerre Rosé. Made from 40-year-old vines in the eastern Loire Valley, this dry wild-salmon pink wine delivers a pop of fresh cherry and saline. Driven by tart red fruits—raspberry, currant, pomegranate—and balanced with Loire’s characteristic high acid, thanks to the caillotes (limestone/gravel) soil. A little heftier at 13.5% alcohol, and should stand up to anything on the table. $19
2018 Famille Sabon Joseph, Clos du Mont-Olivet Rosé, Lirac AOC. Pretty coral-colored and made from 50% Grenache, 45% Mourvèdre, 5% Cinsault, this starts off at the gate clean and crisp, with mouthwatering acid and a wisp of tangerine. That citric pop gives over to raspberry then evolves to earthier textures like bark, roots and earth. Creamy aspect due to some aging in barrels, and great depth. Drink with cranberries. $15
2018 Huber Sparkling Rosé, Traisental (Austria). Made from Zweigelt and Pinot Noir grapes harvested from small single vineyards, this slightly off-dry version of sparkling rosé delivers fresh cherries, raspberries and a fun fizz. The six hours of skin contact gives it a slighter darker shade of coral than its sister sparkler, Hugo, and makes it more seasonally hued for a harvest table. I’d start off with this and keep around for dessert. (I liked the lighter Hugo for summer.) $15
NV, J Vineyards & Winery Brut Rosé. If you’re going to splurge, this is it. Made in the traditional method from 100% Russian River Valley (Sonoma) fruit, the 30 months of aging en tirage (lees) gives it a creamy texture. Composed of 58% Pinot Noir, 32% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Meunier, it’s fruit forward with raspberry and bing cherry, but dry (just over 1.1% residual sugar), with a little citrus zest giving it some pop. A little pricy, but lots of pizzazz. $45
2018 La Tour de Gatigne IGP Cevennes. Grenache-driven (70%; the remaining 30% is Nielluccio, a Corsican grape), medium bodied and Jolly Rancher fruited with bright cherries and berries. Once the confection blows off, it’s dry, clean, simple, and unlike politics, mostly uncontroversial. $10
2018 Lightwell Survey “Dark Days,” Shenandoah Valley. Made in Virginia’s Madison County from 100% Blanfrankisch, you might want to use this beautiful bright garnet rosé as the table centerpiece. The nose is earthy and a little funky, but once you get past that, the wine shows tart red fruits—redolent of raspberry, slightly sour cherry, with some exotic spice. Slightly brooding, this is an exciting, rich wine, yet only 11.6% alcohol. $22
2018 Maison Antech Emotion Crémant de Limoux. This fresh rosé bubbly is made in the traditional method (secondary fermentation in the bottle, like Champagne) in southern France’s sparkling wine region. Made from 66% Chardonnay, 20% Chenin Blanc, 10% Mauzac (native to the region) and 4% Pinot Noir. Fine bubbles, white florals, 18 months on the lees gives this a creamy quality, but the Chard/Chenin duo step up to give this a fresh pop. $22
2017 Rancho Lomo Vineyards “RLV” Cinsault Rosé (Reddy Vineyard). Made from 100% Cinsault, a southern French mainstay, Texas High Plains delivers a light copper-pink wine with tropical notes of guava and melon. On the palate, it’s tart and a little smoky, with some yellow-plum fruit, blood orange, tangerine and a pleasing tinge of iodine. $19 (Distributed in Texas, but available for online purchase the winery website; check shipping availability for your state.)
2018 Terre des Dames Diva Rosé, Languedoc. Made from a classic GSM blend (30/20/50), this berry-fruited wine is aged 50% in barrels, giving it a edgy texture and some weight in the mouth. That’s balanced with good minerality from its calcaire and fossilized oyster-inflected soils in the Murviel-lès-Béziers lieu-dit. Certified organic. $19
[Prices derived from producers and wine-searcher.com]