Rose makes me Hungary! My Best Pick of the Year!

I love rose! Without a doubt it’s always my first choice for sipping on a summer night. With food it’s one of the most versatile choices for grilled seafood, chicken, pork and many semi soft cheeses.

The more delicate Roses from the Tavel region of France are springtime in a glass. Aromas and flavors from this region sprinkled with a colorful palette of lavender and flowers translate to a subtle but interesting story of this uniquely beautiful place in your glass . As the first AOC (Appellation Controlee) to be dedicated strictly to Rose these wines are thought to be some of the finest examples of Rose wine in the world! I like to pair Tavel with poached shrimp and steamed clams, foods with too much spice or flavor will overpower this lighter bodied style of wine.

Some bigger styles made are almost like baby red wines, these can even stand up to heartier dishes and some spicy Thai or Indian foods. My favorites in this style are the Northern Italian Rose “Cantalupo Il Mimo and “Susana Balbo Crios Malbec Rose” from Argentina. Both of these wines have fuller body with more ripe berry and cherry flavors. I’ve spent many an evening enjoying these wines over a platter of olives, breads and charcuterie.

Recently I discovered a Hungarian Rose, although I was not familiar with the style or region of this wine I couldn’t resist trying it. I was glad I took the chance, at just $12.99 this wine has to be my favorite Rose of the 09 vintage. Made in the tiny region of Pannonhalmi this estate was originally founded by Benedictine monks in 996. After two world wars and communist rule the once promising vineyard was in shambles. With much hard work, replanting and nurturing this property located halfway between Budapest and Vienna is producing some great wines under the guidance of international winemaker Tibor Gal. The back label tells a bit of the tale of this wine in English while the front label is completely in Magyar if anyone is so inclined.

Pannonhalmi Apatsagi Archabbey Rose 09 is a blend of Pinot Noir and Merlot with flavors of lush white cherry, fresh picked strawberry, raspberry and a hint of mandarin orange. Imported by Michael Skurnik Wines it’s available at  The Greene Grape and Astor online. Even though the nights are growing colder and I’ll start thinking more of reds I’m sure to grab a few more of these babies to satisfy my year round Rose love Jones…

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Filed under unusual grape varieties, Wine and Cheese Pairings

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