Yep, it’s officially here! Our summertime heat and humidity will be with us until at least October. Now entering my 22nd year as a native Floridian I’ve found the best way to survive our brutal summers is to embrace the inevitable. I recommend spending as much time as you can at the beach, on a boat or by the pool and consume plenty of rosé wine to get you through the season.
Before I get started, let me say a quick word to the “rosé haters.” You know who you are… the last time you drank a pink wine was 20 years ago when grandma had a jug of white Zinfandel on the holiday table. Well, those days are long gone. Sure white Zinfandel still exists but sales continue to decline while the sales of dry, seriously made rosé wines have skyrocketed in recent years.
French rosés (especially those from Provence) are the driving force behind today’s pink popularity, but Italy should not be overlooked as a source of delicious rosé wine as well. One of my new favorites comes to us from the sun-drenched, hillside vineyards of Calabria. The Ippolito family with over 160 years of history is the oldest winery in Calabria. They specialize in producing wines from indigenous grape varieties. The only reason I mention that is I’ll bet you never had a rosé made with 100% Gaglioppo?
The Ippolito Mabilia Ciro Rosé ($13) is a refreshing, complex wine with loads of flavor and zippy acidity. The great Italian wine scholar Ian D’Agata described the wine as follows; “Deep pink. Red fruits, iron, violet and tobacco on the perfumed nose. Juicy, spicy and ripe offering noteworthy inner-mouth perfume and superb balance to the intense raspberry and violet flavors. Finishes long and mineral. Outstanding Rosato showcasing just how suited Gaglioppo is to making pink wine.” 91pts.
Enjoy this fresh, delicate and persistent rosé with garlicky tapenade, lemony mussels, and shrimp, or herbed goat cheese chicken.
Paul Quaglini, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits Wine & Spirits Supervisor
Follow me on Twitter @abcwinePaulQ