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updated: Jun 07, 2014, 9:15 AM
Summer arrived early in Ventura this year. As the temperatures hovered in the high 90's, my nightly wine choice drastically took an about face. Not only was I changing my eating habits, my wine choice quickly changed.
Traditional red wines and heavy oaky Chardonnays take a back door. A great alternative to these wines are Rose. Though hard to find in the cooler months, rose wines seem to find more space on the shelves during summer.
Many people stay away from Rose wines because they assume it will be sweet like White Zinfandel. But on the contrary, Rose wines are light and dry. Rose wines have always been popular in southern France, where some of the best roses are produced. California now is a major producer of rose wines, with some of the best coming out of Santa Ynez and Paso Robles. Many wineries from the Ventura Wine Trail now produce outstanding roses.
Rose wines are generally made with such grape varietals as Grenache, Mouvedre, Syrah, or Pinot Noir. The wines are fresh and crisp and are made to be consumed quickly and not to be aged. These wines can be used as an aperitif on a warm summer day or accompany anything from a plate of cheeses to a great Niçoise salad or a light meat or fish dish. These wines are all dry and should be served chilled.
So, as summer approaches, start buying some rose wines. And as summer begins to wind down in a few months, buy a few extra bottles for those warm November days that always seem to pop up.
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