Make your own $5 rose, and say nuts to the wise guys and wine elite
The wise guys and the wine elite have spent the past year trying to convince us that rose isn’t any good if we only spend $10 for it. They insist that we must overpay for this most excellent of cheap wines.
Nuts to them.
The picture with this post shows a $5 bottle of the Spanish Vina Fuerte rose from Aldi and a bottle of the $5 Rene Barbier white, a long-time Wine Curmudgeon favorite. The wine in the decanter in the middle? A most excellent $5 rose I made by blending a little of the Rene Barbier with the Vina Fuerte. If I can do this at home – and you can, too – then almost all of the winespeak and gobbledygook about $25 rose is truly foolishness.
I bought the Fuerte even though the back label said it was semi-dry because it was $5 and the producer makes a sold and dependable Spanish tempranillo. Unfortunately, the Fuerte rose was oddly sweet, tasting more like Hawaiian Punch than wine. What’s a cranky wine writer to do?
Do something I‘ve seen winemakers do at dinner for years. They love to take a couple of bottles of wine and blend them, seeing if they can create something better than what was in the original bottles. So why not try that here?
The Barbier white is tart, crisp, and lemony, qualities lacking in the Fuerte rose. So I added a tablespoon or two of the Barbier to the Fuerte in my glass, swirled, and tasted. The result was stunning – a fresh, crisp, almost tart lemon berry rose where they had been a cloying, sweetish, almost heavy pink wine.
The next step? Put the rose in the decanter and add enough Barbier to get the same result. This was trickier, since I didn’t want to add too much Barbier. So I added a little at a time until I got the same result – about eight or 10 tablespoons to most of the full bottle of rose. This time, there was even a little minerality in the back. And, if any other proof is needed, the new and improved version of the rose was gone in 20 minutes, and those of us drinking it were speechless.
My only mistake was not to take better measurements, but I was so excited by the possibilities that I rushed through the process. Next time, and there will be a next time, I will measure more carefully and publish the recipe here.
I also need a name for the wine — any suggestions would be welcome.
So when some wine geek starts blathering that you don’t know what real rose is, show them this. Because it shows that you do.