Believe Ed Buffington when he says some wines are meant to be slurped. “Rosé tends to be less serious,” explains the co-owner of The Community Tap. “In fact, the first time I drank rosé in France they brought it to the table not in a carafe, but in a pitcher with bistro glasses. To this day we only drink rosé from bistro glasses at home.”
Rosé’s higher acidity and fruit-forward mannerism pairs well with fatty or rich foods, classic appetizer fare such as cheese, cured meats and seafood. Buffington likes dry rosé with a washed rind cheese from local Thomasville Sweet Grass Dairy or any type of Camembert or brie-style cheese with lavash crackers and crudité.
The pink sip has burst back onto the culinary scene and its popularity has shown no sign of abating. “Rosé is not a fad,” says Buffington. “It’s here to stay and offerings will only get better. As the weather warms we should all drink rosé. It’s delicious and built for easy entertaining.”
How to Taste:
• Drink rosé cool, not cold
• Take bottles out of the fridge 15 minutes before you intend to pour it (cold can mask rosé’s fresh, fruit flavors)
• If it’s warm outside, then set rosé atop ice in a bucket, but not plunged in
• Ask for family-farmed, family-produced rosé
• To taste with two couples, open three bottles. Four couples? Open six bottles of the pink stuff to learn what you like
•Pair rosé with cured meats, cheese and crackers or cold seafood such as boiled shrimp or crab dip served with raw bell pepper, cucumber or celery
Mark Your Calendar: Spring Rosé Tasting | Taste six of Ed Buffington’s favorite rosé wines paired with snacks by acclaimed Chef Greg McPhee from The Anchorage.
Wednesday April 26th, 6:30-7:30pm ($20)
The Community Tap
Drink Pink Rosé Festival | Nearly 100 rosé wines will be poured along with chef-paired dishes, a local artisan cheese tasting and live jazz at this fieldtrip worthy festival.
Sunday May 21st, 12-4pm ($45)
City Roots Farm, Columbia
2015 vintage $21.99
Tasting Notes: Buffington calls this rosé “deliciously wine geeky” for its German lineage of pinot noir grapes. A touch of sweetness, balanced with acidity, presents notes of fresh strawberry and a bit of spice.
2015 vintage $39.99
Tasting Notes: Bright red fruit paired with citrus creates a sip Buffington says displays “incredible depth and finesse.” Arguably the best rosé in the world, it is known for aging especially well.
Chateau Sainte Rosaline ‘Perle’
2015 vintage $14.99
Tasting Notes: This wine– a Cru Classe rosé– is made in Provence, considered the spiritual home of rosé. Flavors of white peach and grapefruit create “exceptional freshness” on the palate according to Buffington.
Cuvelier Los Andes
2016 vintage $14.99
French winemaker Baptiste Cuvelier utilizes South American Malbec to craft a clean rosé with a bone-dry finish. Buffington notes Cuvelier is part of the Leoville Poyferre family who’s Chateau is considered one of the finest wineries in all of Bordeaux.
2015 vintage $17.99
Made from a blend of all five Bordeaux varietals (Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Petit Verdot), Buffington believes this rosé can stand up to bold food pairings and calls the Virginia wine “downright delicious.”