I am honoured that Joe has allowed me a guest-blog spot, albeit to describe wines in which he has very little interest. My topic is the cheap rosé wines available in grocery stores and depanneurs (Quebecoise for “corner-stores”) throughout Quebec.
Many wine gourmands may disagree, but I believe that rosé wines have their place - I find a well-chilled rosé particularly refreshing on a hot summer day, either on its own or while enjoying a plate of barbequed chicken or shrimp.
What caught my eye in the grocery store last week was a series of cheap, depanneur rosés marked with the pink ribbon synonymous with breast cancer awareness. On closer examination, I discovered that Vincor Quebec, the largest distributor of wines in Quebec, is donating money to the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation for every bottle of rosé with a pink petal purchased. A detailed search of Vincor Quebec’s website as well as the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation failed to uncover exactly how much will be donated per bottle purchased, however Vincor has pledged to raise $150,000 in 2009.
So, with thoughts of Joe’s mother who died of breast cancer, and my grandmother and cousin who where/are breast cancer survivors, I decided to drink some pink petal rosés and write a 2-part guest-blog piece reviewing these wines.
I randomly – and by randomly I mean that I picked based on the name and graphics displayed on the label - picked 3 rosés to taste from the Metro grocery store. All were between $10 and $12 per bottle. (Interestingly none of the cheap pink petal rosés indicate the vintage year.)
Caletta Vineyards Seleccion Espania: Of the three wines, this one had a more complex nose that was sweet, smelling of plum, cherry coughdrops, and roses. It was pleasantly sweet on the palate, with a hint of cherries. Not unexpected from a cheap rosé, it had very little length. However, it was very drinkable and matched well a dinner of barbequed chicken.
cork: 12% alcohol
Elle Rosé de France: Admittedly, I had been staring at the picture of the women’s eyes on this bottle for weeks, wanting to buy it. Like the Mona Lisa, they seemed to follow me wherever I went. However, the actual wine was not as intriguing as the image. On the nose, this wine was citrussy, reminding me of grapefruit, and slightly minty. Upon tasting, it was crisp, dry and acidic. It was easy-drinking on a warm evening, but not overly exciting.
Cork: 12% alcohol
Champs Elysées Paris, Rosé de France: This wine smelled of lemons and raspberries. Initially, I enjoyed the fresh, citrusy taste, however it left a slight bitter after taste on the back of my tongue afterward.
Cork: 12% alcohol
*Disclaimer: Prior to each tasting, I popped a pre-emptive antacid to prevent heartburn, which I believe added to my enjoyment of the wines. In addition, all rosés were well-chilled and were tasted with food.
(Editorial. With my good buddy Lloyd shirking his official guest blogger duties I have been reduced to pink charity wine! Seriously, my wife has a tremendous palate and has always been welcome to guest-blog - I didn't think she knew I had a website. The antacid aperitif is real, and more effective than the H2-chaser.)