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Food and Drink Features

Summer crop

The new crop of rosés are arriving in the metro just in time for patio season.

Greg Horton April 13th, 2011

Rosé is not a large category in the metro, and very few stores dedicate serious space to the style, but along with Riesling, it’s a summertime standard, thanks in part to its versatility. It’s a great sipper, very refreshing and food-friendly.

New vintages of many of last year’s favorites have already arrived in stores — including Crios rosé of Malbec — and others are arriving in April and May, a shipment that includes the remarkable Chinon, a 100 percent Cabernet Franc from Charles Joguet.

To get a taste for rosés, The Coach House, 6437 Avondale Drive, has started its Wednesdays on Western wine tastings for this year, a series that will run through May 25. Kurt Fleischfresser, owner and chef, directs the tasting at 5:30 p.m. each Wednesday.

Upcoming tastings include Oregon Pinot Noir, Burgundy, Syrah and Washington state Cabernet, but rosés will be covered early in the series.

“When it’s already 86 in early April, rosé helps you get your mind set on summer,” said Fleischfresser.

above Rosé wine is poured at The Coach House for its Wednesdays on Western wine tasting.

The best rosés are characterized by strawberry, raspberry and cherry flavors, light to moderate acid and a refreshing tanginess that resonates with summer weather. As Lettie Teague of Food & Wine Magazine wrote about seasonal wine preferences, for summertime “the default seems to be rosé.”

Fleischfresser agrees: “It’s the perfect outdoor wine, and it’s so well-suited to what Oklahomans already eat.”

The Coach House includes some well-known choices on its menu, including Elyse rosé. The creation of Napa Valley’s Ray Coursen, this Rhone-style blend is a light, dry wine with notes of strawberry and melon. It’s an excellent accompaniment to spicy foods, light seafood and salads, but it also makes an excellent sipper. It’s available by the bottle at The Coach House and is on the shelf at The Grape Wine & Spirits, 13325 N. MacArthur.

The Coach House also has the Adi rosé from Abigail Adams Wine Company. The Adi is 100 percent Syrah and has a more intense fruit profile than other rosés, but is still quite dry.

Among the driest rosés available in the metro is Chateau de Trinquevedel Tavel rosé. Tavel is a wine-making region in southern Rhone that produces only rosé. As such, the wines exhibit the quality that comes with focusing on doing one thing exceptionally well. The Trinquevedel is available at Bacchus Wine & Spirits, 17216 N. May.

The Coach House also has a Tavel on its wine list: Chateau d’Aqueria. The property has been producing grapes since 1595, and this blend of five Rhone grapes, including Grenache, is a complex, layered wine with remarkable fruit and floral notes.

Just down the road from The Coach House is West, 6714 N. Western. Boasting one of the best patios in the metro, West also has one of the best rosés in the state to enjoy on that patio: Arriviste from Napa Valley’s Blackbird winery. Owner Michael Polenske is a huge fan of Bordeaux, especially the Merlot-based French wines. Arriviste is a blend of Bordeaux grapes, but dominated by Merlot.

Rosé is the perfect outdoor wine, and it’s so well-suited to what Oklahomans already eat.

—Kurt Fleischfresser

Andy Dixon, beverage director for West, ordered Arriviste because he believes it’s a perfect patio wine. “Rosé is patio wine, and Arriviste is a beautiful wine,” he said. “Blackbird is quality across the board, and Arriviste has everything you expect from the winery.”

Arriviste, like its French counterparts, is a layered, complex wine. The strawberry and cherry are there, but so are pear, red currant and stone fruit. The Arriviste is perfect with cheese, seafood and salad.

Remy Pannier Rosé d’Anjou is a much lighter style of rosé. Available at Bolero Spanish Grill & Tapas Bar, 200 S. Oklahoma, and The Grape, the Pannier is almost sweet. It has a very light, approachable style, but shows enough structure to stand up to pairing with Bolero’s tapas, including rock shrimp with Manchego gratin.

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