Think Pink

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Back in the day, for most Americans pink wine meant Lancers or Mateus, roses from Portugal that were as memorable for their cool bottles as their contents. Then white zinfandel took hold. Lightly sweet and mostly inoffensive, it was the introduction to wine for many, many people.

But as people's palates evolved, a large number moved on to wines that offered something more: chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, merlot, cabernet. These are the wines that those who were “serious” about the subject turned to. Pink wine fell out of favor. Sadly it was a “baby with the bath water” sort of rejection.

There have always been great roses out there, ready to charm and refresh. No such prejudice against pink has ever existed in Italy, Spain or the south of France. Wherever summers turned sultry, elegantly dry rose could be found. In the States, some seriously good pink was being bottled as well.

Back in 1991, Robert Sinskey, famous for his scrumptious pinot noirs, started making a light, salmon colored vin gris. He could hardly give it away, but tastes change. A few years back, roses started to catch on as food friendly, very versatile wines. The Sinskey pink is now their top selling wine, fetching about $25 a bottle when you can find it. But there are a lot of great roses out there that are more readily available and more reasonably priced. Here's a short list of worthy roses available in the Boise market:

2009 Cune Rosado, $11.99 from Spain
2009 Saint Eugénie Rosé, $10.99 from the south of France
2009 Cinder Rosé, $14 from Idaho
2009 Domaine des Corbillieres Touraine, $12.99 a Pinot Noir Rosé from France

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