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Don’t Judge a Rosé by its Color

I’ll admit it.  Prior to attending the Summer Rosé class at The Wine Feed last week, I confined my consumption of pink-hued wines to Spring and early Summer.   Though “summer” is included in the class title, I learned this class could be renamed for any season, that a rosé can range in hue from a pale peach to magenta, and that selections for a dry rosé are numerous and diverse.

The Wine Feed is an online wine retailer (co-founded by Philip Rubin and Phillip Zucchino in April 2011), with a personable offline presence in downtown Raleigh, offering delivery services, classes and tasting events.  The Wine Feed event space on South Glenwood Avenue served as our class room for the rosé tasting.

Participants were forewarned the class mission aimed “to debunk the myth that all rosé wines are the same as a sugary sweet White Zinfandel”.  Laura Collier (Wine Adviser for The Wine Feed) deftly led our class down the rosé path, discussing history and processes while sharing her near evangelical enthusiasm for the misunderstood rosé, advocating for more followers to join the rosé fold.  Based on one participant’s comment, indicating a willingness to make room for all the evening’s wines in her life, I believe there was at least one conversion made that night.

The class evenly balanced lecture and discussion with seven rosé samples of both old world and new world origins.  We began with a crisp, citrus, high acid 2011 French wine from Thomas Labaille and followed it with the 2010 vintage from Belasco de Baquedano in Argentina, illustrating that a rosé can span the seasons.  As the class tasted the remaining samples, discussion turned to food pairings suitable for rosé.  Laura described a rosé as heftier than a white, yet lighter than a red (with lower tannin), making it a happy middle ground for foods like scallops, shrimp, vegetable dishes, pork (and more specifically, pork tacos), as well as chicken.  At this point, discussion turned to where to have dinner (and more specifically, where to find good pork tacos).

At the end of class, attendees could purchase any of the wines tasted (most of which were below a $20 price point) at a 15% discount (normally, wine purchases are completed online).  I chose two different wines and plan to save one for the late fall, when there’s a slight chill in the air, to pair with a fall root vegetable dish yet to be determined.  I found the class engaging, the selections appealing and the event space itself sort of feels cellar-ish.  All combined for an enjoyable Tuesday evening at The Wine Feed and a better appreciation for the misunderstood rosé.

You should try a class for yourself, or stop by 18-B Glenwood Avenue on First Friday for a tasting.  You can find events on The Wine Feed’s Facebook page, as well as their website.  Speaking of which, look for a website relaunch in the next week or two.  In the meantime, sign up for their newsletter to stay “in the know” or read about the monthly wine club.  Whether online or off, The Wine Feed is there to help connect customers with an appreciation of wines of many colors.

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