Sunday, April 20, 2014

Rosé wines in the regions of Italy

We're coming upon some warm days ahead we hope and one of the wines that are overlooked are rosé wines due to the bad reputation of White Zinfandel in the United States. There are plenty of high quality rose wines around the world that are not even comparable to these white zins that we associate them with. Today we explore those from different regions throughout Italy.


Rosé wines in Italy are known as rosato. These wines came about years and years ago when Italians were trying to produce deep colored wines, but they didn't have the temperature control methods that we have today, therefore, the heat would stop the process of maceration. So instead they started the process earlier in order to get the results of the rosé wines. The rosé of northern Italy, Fruili Venezia Giulia and Trentino-Alto Adige in particular, are typically more delicate and lighter than those of the south, that are discussed below, that are deeper with fuller body.



Abruzzo
One of the top regions for producing quality rosé wines are those along the coast of southern Italy in the Abruzzo region. The Montepulciano D'Abruzzo Cerasuolo DOC wine is what to look for in this area. Montepulciano is the grape, but be careful not to associate this with Montepulciano, the town in Tuscany, that is known for producing Vino Nobile di Montepulciano made from sangiovese. The Montepulciano here made in the rosato style is known as cerasuolo, meaning cherry red, due to the deeper than normal color of the rosé wine.



Puglia/Apulia
Another popular region in the south known for their  rosé production are those of Puglia, or known in Italy as Apulia, but more specifically Salento within Puglia. It's located in the south eastern tip of Italy, the heel of the boot, and also borders the coastline. The climate is very hot here and the soil is fertile. This area is mostly populated with red wines and the Italians created rosé to have something lighter to match their seafood cuisine. Here the rosé wines are primarily produced with the grapes negroamaro, primitivo or nero di troia.



I recommend always drinking  rosé within a year of purchasing it for the freshness, fruit and acidity to stay in tact. Cheers to the warm weather!