By Terry Sweeney
You know rosé (ro-zay) for so many years had quite the bad rep. There were so many mass-produced cheap floozies out there over the years that you wouldn’t even think of ever bringing one home to meet mother! Too many bad experiences with that infamous trollopy trio of Boone’s Farm, Riunite and White Zinfandel had left us jaded and with the feeling we got ripped off by those boozy working girls; waking up the next day with our heads hurting and our wallets missing. Never again we said!
But good news, nowadays, far across the ocean on beautiful beaches in St. Tropez: There are French men and women washing down rosés that are spicy with fine virginal berry flavors, bone-dry yet with a flirtatious edge that makes them the perfect dance partner for the more seasoned garlicky seafood dishes of Southern France and beautifully pair with the wild herbs and olive oil that permeate so many of their dishes.
I once had a rosé from Chateau D’ Aqueria that a friend brought back that I still think about. (Maybe because he brought back the bottle as a supposed gift for me then proceeded to gulp down 90% of it while bragging about how he drank it morning, noon and night in France! Hey buddy, when am I ever gonna get to St. Tropez to get another glass of this stuff?! Thanks for nothing!)
Still, now it seems not only the French, but the Italians too have jumped on the rosé band wagon. Rosé is the perfect bridge between the reds of the cold, long winters and the zippy whites of the hot, steamy summers. That’s what make it the perfect drink for spring/early summer and why Europeans all begin drinking it in their respective countries around May. As soon as spring has sprung in their lands, out come the light, bright refreshing rosés. Hey! Isn’t that what your momma could use coming in from the warm afternoon sun after fussing over her new spring blooms? But which one should your momma be drinking?
Here are my top three affordable pink wine suggestions:
FROM FRANCE: Aime Roquesante Rose — A pale salmon-colored beauty that balances scrumptious fruit with a refreshing acidity. It’s the kind of rosé that Provence is known for and is a delightful mix of three grapes. One sip and your mother will feel like you sent her on an all-expense-paid trip to the Mediterranean. But you know you only spent $13 dollars!
FROM ITALY: Banfi Centine Rosé — Just seeing the name of Banfi on a bottle — one of Tuscany’s best known and respected producers — and you know you are about to taste an extraordinary, yet subtle, refreshing wine that is a combination of Sangiovesese, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. There is a luscious Champagne-like yeastiness to this beautiful wine that will keep your mama coming back for more. (Better take her car keys!) Also $13.
BACK TO FRANCE: Madame Fleur Rosé — OK, so I went back to France! But via Whole Foods. This has the square “365” logo that tells you somehow they got into the mix and slapped on their label. Don’t let that scare your wallet shut. This pale pink elixir is the cheapest rosé yet ($8). With a whiff of strawberries on the nose and with its youthful acidity, this refreshing young girl could be the perfect lady companion for old Mum. But in case it’s for young, vibrant, middle-aged you, you can dig in and sit on the dock of your house and belt back buckets of this stuff and still keep your wits about you. (Let somebody else keep your kids about them!)
So whether you’re mom to a posse of kids, a dog, or a cat, or even a bird, take time to sit back, kick up your feet and take in this beautiful spring Mother’s Day with a glass, or better yet a gallon, of rosé. Hey, you only get this one day off all year! And if you’re the son or the daughter of the aforementioned mother, for God’s sake, she doesn’t need a new pair of pink fuzzy slippers. What she needs is that other pink stuff. Now be a good kid and go get it!