The Bay Area is experiencing an unseasonable hot spell. And here, like most places suffering under the unrelenting rays of our nearest star, rosé is king. But not just any rosé. Survey the bottles of blush pinch-hitting for rouge in wine enthusiasts’ lineups these days, and you’ll find a predominance of wine from Southern France . And rightly so – no region does rosé better than the appellations bordering the sun-lit Cote d’Azur. But Provence is not the only show in town. Other regions, not only in France but also in Spain, Germany, and Italy, produce delightful examples of warm weather’s red-substitute.
While beer is often the refreshing beverage of choice on the 4th of July, wine is increasingly more popular as a relaxing summertime refreshment. With wine's increase in popularity comes the challenge of finding a wine to serve that not only beats the heat, but pairs well with typical picnic fare. IntoWine.com asked our panel of wine experts for their thoughts on what wine to serve on the Fourth of July: "There is one wine that surely must be the choice for the fourth of July - Madeira. Madeira is the wine that was used by the Founding Father's to Toast the Declaration of Independence. Betsy Ross had a side table with a glass of wine on it when she was sewing the flag. It was used to Toast the Constitution and George Washington drank a pint of Madeira every day for dinner. It is also very convenient because Madeira cannot be harmed by the hot sun and the July heat. I vote that Madeira be adopted as the OFFICIAL July 4th beverage. By the way, it is very important to drink TRUE Madeira from the island of Madeira and not confuse it with wines that are made in America for cooking. True Madeira is heated to simulate the voyage between Europe and America when the wine was used as ballast in the boat holds, where they discovered that the intense heat improved the wine. Try the Broadbent Madeira Broadbent 10 year Malmsey Madeira at about $44 a bottle or the Broadbent 5 year Reserve at $25. Once you've opened a bottle, it never goes off. It also goes well with any food. Great with hamburgers, even with pickles!" - Bartholomew Broadbent , CEO, Broadbent Selections, San Francisco
Never was there a more screwed up, contorted, topsy-turvy mess in the wine world―at least in my opinion. It was called a white wine, but it really wasn’t. It came in a box (you could get it in bottles, too, but no one did) and that was just plain weird. The whole thing was a huge marketing success.
It’s hot. The Fourth of July witnessed blistering temperatures around California, and this time the Bay Area was no exception. In my last column , I bemoaned the cool temperatures that typically beset the San Francisco metropolitan area in June and July and used the unseasonable chill as an excuse to explore one of the heavier wine regions of France, the syrah-saturated Northern Rhône. But our recent string of 75-plus-and-sunny days shows my pessimism to be ill-advised.
The Rhone Report: About Rhone and Rhone-Style Wines and Winemakers is part of an ongoing series. Dry rosé wine has long been appreciated in Europe, especially the south of France. Rosés from the Rhone Valley and elsewhere in Provence have been highly regarded for generations. These rosés are popular with the local cuisine (think garlic, tomato, fish, shellfish, poultry, game, dry sausages, olives, fresh vegetables, basil, etc.), especially during the summer months when a chilled glass is particularly refreshing.
Let’s pretend for a moment that you are on vacation. The sun is shining. You are lounging on a veranda and the countryside around you seems to roll forever into the distance like a daydream. In this instance, when your thoughts fade to the warmth of the sun and simple foods and pleasures, there is no reason to confound your bliss with a wine that requires explanation. What your bliss wants is a Rosé. There is no more perfect summer wine than Rosé.