Memorial Day and rose, 2011

Memorial Day weekend means it’s time for the annual rose post — where you won’t have to spend much more than $10 to have a good time.

Surprisingly, despite the weak dollar and the passage of all that time, that price point hasn ?t changed since the Wine Curmudgeon started writing an annual rose piece almost 10 years ago. There are still dozens of terrific roses that cost $10 or so from all over the world. The one thing that has changed? The quality of rose keeps getting better, and it ?s unusual to find a poorly made rose (something that wasn ?t necessarily true 10 years ago).

What you need to know about rose — after the jump:

? Rose isn ?t white zinfandel (or white merlot or whatever). Roses are pink wines made with red grapes and they aren ?t sweet. Why are they pink? Because the red grape skins are left in the fermenting grape juice just long enough to color the wine. There is a second, much less common method called bleeding, in which wine is siphoned from freshly pressed red wine.

? Rose ?s fruit flavors are mostly red berries (think strawberry or cranberry) or watermelon. They should be served chilled, and they pair pretty much with any food, including beef and barbecue. Rose was made for Sunday afternoon, sitting on the back porch, rose in hand, and burgers on the grill.

? Don ?t buy old rose. Look for 2010, and be wary of anything dated before 2009. Roses are not made to age, and should be fresh and flavorful. The color in older vintages starts to fade, like paper that yellows.

? Rose styles vary by country (though these are becoming less noticeable as winemaking becomes more international). Spanish wines are going to be bone dry with less fruit flavor. French roses are not quite as dry as the Spanish, but they usually don ?t have a lot of fruit flavor (and rose from Provence is among the best in the world). Some U.S. wines are so full of strawberry flavor that they seem sweet, but that ?s your taste buds playing a trick on you.

? The best way to learn about rose is to taste. Don’t expect it to taste like red or white wine; judge it on its merits. Check out the blog’s rose category for my favorites. They include wines from South Africa (Mulderbosch, $12, purchased), California (Pedroncelli, $10, purchased), Spain (Cortijo, $10, purchased), France (Hecht & Bannier, $12, sample), and Washington state (Charles & Charles, $12, purchased).

More about Memorial Day and rose:
? $200 worth of wine
? Memorial Day and rose, 2010
? Wine of the week: Maremma Toscana Rosato 2009
? Wine of the week: Ch teau l’Ermitage Ros 2009

The photo is from Kimberlee Kessler Design, via stock.xchng, using a Creative Commons license

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