It was 94F in Bordeaux when I was wandering around the gardens at Ch Lafite Rothschild, smelling their famous roses. Now, back in Sausalito, it’s 94F (it's at least 100F in our upstairs office!), so I think it is officially time to start drinking rosé.
I take a certain delight on the first day of the season when you might be getting a little too warm. It means summer is truly here. Admittedly, this was not a common experience growing up in the UK, except for the heatwave of 1975 when even the roads started to melt. I remember running barefoot through the village and into the house and hearing my mother’s shriek of horror as black footprints appeared on her spotless wood floor. After handing me a scrub brush and bucket of soap, I think Mum had to go into garden with a glass of rosé to calm down.
Today, we tasted through a lot of rosés from all over France and Austria to find some summer wines, and three turned out to be stunners.
Dominique Piron Beaujolais Rosé 2021 ($16) Just arrived this week off the boat is one of our absolute favorites. This brilliant, fresh, and zesty Gamay rosé is our go-to summer wine. The nose is exceptional with delightful notes of rose blossom, passionfruit and subtle pineapple. We drink it all the time, well chilled, on the deck, on the beach, and in the garden amongst the flowers and the chickens. Lovely with some goat cheese or some grilled shrimps and salad.
Chidaine Rosé 2021 ($19) This is the new vintage from a fantastic producer, made from their great combo of Pinot Noir, Grolleau, and Gamay. The deep colour of this is just so beautiful and it is a little more serious with great minerality from the limestone shelf the vineyard sits on. Perfect for planked grilled salmon, or even with some Oysters Rockefeller.
Domaine Sylvain Bailly La Louée Rosé 2021 ($29) A simply arresting rosé made from 100% Pinot Noir. This is a wine with presence that just lingers on and on, displaying lovely notes of violets and strawberries. I love this with one of my favorite salads: fresh butter lettuce with shallot vinaigrette, lardons (crispy bacon bits), and parmesan or goat cheese. I also love to add a poached egg to it and then serve with a crispy baguette and butter. (Buy good butter, like Kerrygold - it is so worth it!) Hopefully these will cool the fevered brow and send you all into summer bliss.