Real Men Drink Rosé - Pink Wine From Chile, Spain and Argentina

Aug 2, 2010

Summer. A long weekend. Sunny skies. 

I wasn't feeling the greatest yesterday morning, a little under the weather. I'm pretty good at keeping tabs on my body so I called in sick, deciding not to risk feeling worse. 

I had a late breakfast and did some writing. Around three o'clock I headed on foot to the mall to buy groceries and get some fresh air. On the way there my brother called me on my cell, asking me what I was doing. 

"Walking to the mall."
"Can you pick up some groceries for me?"
"Sure, what?"
"Canned vegetables. Call me when you get there."

At the supermarket, I called him but I already had a feeling which supplies he needed to make his chili. I picked up all the ingredients with a bag of chips (Sea Salt and Vinegar) and headed over to the LCBO. I wanted something refreshing but not heavy. I've been drinking a lot of white wine this summer and I had hit my favourites too many times. 

What then? Well, I decided to go pink and picked a rosé. I'll admit, I didn't feel too manly walking up to the attractive blonde at the till, the one with the dusky voice like Scarlet Johansson, holding my  salmon-coloured bottle. I tried to be cool, not needing a bag after she rang it through.

"No, I'm good," and coolly slipped the chilled rosé into my President's Choice canvas bag.

At my brother's place, my father and him were tearing apart the kitchen,  preparing to open the wall above the oven to make a bar area. Amidst the dust, the exposed steel studs and conversations about electrical work, I opened the wine, a 2009 Cono Sur Merlot Rosé from Valle Central, Chile ($9.95) and it was damn tasty and a great pairing with the chips. It's medium-bodied with a nice, dry but round red berry-floral feel. It's no Tavel nor is it a White Zinfandel from Berringer.

Of course, amongst three guys on a summer day, a cold 750ml bottle doesn't last very long. So I headed back to the liquor store and picked up two more rosés. By the time I got back, my brother had nearly finished making chili, adding three spicy shots of Frank's Hot Sauce to the mix. 

I have to say, the rosés were not the ideal companion with this meal but they were wonderfully refreshing. While eating the spicy chili, a lake of sweat pouring off my forehead, I reached for a glass of  the 2009 La Casona de Castaño Monastrell Rosé from Yecla, Spain ($8.95). I found this wine had a similar body to the Cono Sur but with more raspberry character. I also got generous  waves of red licorice, blackberry and even a hint of earthy fig. Gorgeous wine with a bit of sweet on the palate.

For desert, peppermint chocolate ice cream and more rosé. Again, not the best wine and food pairing. The chili needed a heavier red for it to be perfectly suitable but because of the spice, the off-dry rosé really helped to soften the blows of Frank's Hot Sauce. With the ice cream, ideally, the wine should have been sweeter but hey, it doesn't always have to be harmonious. The 2009 Finca Flichman 'Misterio' Malbec-Shiraz Rosé from Argentina ($7.95). This one had a deeper strawberry, cherry and candied red delicious apple feel with a nice touch of kiwi. Off-dry as well but not 'blush' sweet.

All in all, I think my favourite was the Spanish rosé but all of them were respectfully cheap and genuinely cheerful. All available from the LCBO for limited summer release.


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My focus is mainly on wine culture, history and education. I love the stories behind wine - the people, places and the regional personalities of the wine-countries around the world.

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