Real Men Drink Pink

November 07, 2012

Real Men Drink Pink

Written by Becky Tyner Sandoval With the holidays fast approaching I am often asked which wine goes best with Thanksgiving food.  Most people consider pinot to be the universal food wine, but I beg to differ. Certain light-bodied pinots are indeed a universal food-friendly wine however pinots are vastly different in flavor and body depending on where it is grown and who makes it.  Therefore, we don’t recommend a generic “pinot” as the ultimate Thanksgiving wine.  Instead, we recommend rose. We realize most people pair rose with a swimming pool and a hot day, but I am confident, it will shine on your holiday table. Rose’s are often misunderstood.  Most people see the pink wine and automatically assume it is sweet.  And while some of the best sellers at Vino Latino are indeed the sweet pink wine that so many Latino’s love, such as Reyes Rose and Marinez & Martinez Mae Mae Rose, this is not the wine I am suggesting to be served with Thanksgiving dinner (dessert or a cheese course would be okay however).  Rather I am talking about a dry rose. Rose’s can come in a variety of colors, from a very light, almost peach color, to a bright pink.  The color is directly related to the amount of time the juice is left on the skins of red skinned grapes such as cabernet, merlot, zinfandel, syrah, etc.  These grapes have red skins, but clear juice.  Red wine gets all its color from the skins of grapes, not from the grape’s juice.  What wineries will often do is “bleed” off some of the juice so that their red wine will have more skin to juice contact which will result in deeper colors, flavors, and tannins.  They use the juice from the bleed to make rose.

Some people will pick grapes just for the rose.  This does not happen too often but if a winemaker says, “We pick for rose” you can assume they are quite serious about the rose.  Rose’s are usually tank fermented, however some wineries, such as Ceja, let their rose spend a little time in neutral oak in order to give the wine a rounder mouth feel.   Maldonado makes theirs on the crisper side.  Both have a deep ruby color, neither are sweet and both will go beautifully with your Thanksgiving table.  It will not only go great with Turkey, but will all the side dishes as well.  And because of the light nature of the wine, it can even go with foods that are a little spicy. So next time you see a pink wine on the table, don’t assume it’s not a serious wine and definitely don’t assume it’s sweet.  They are often complex, tasty, and elegant with enough back bone to support even the manliest of men drinking it. Cheers! Vino Latino       Becky Tyner Sandoval Co Founder of has spent most of her life in Napa, CA. She has worked in the wine industry for 15 years.   Credit: photos  

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