Rosé-Colored Glasses

APERO
 
It’s been said that rosé may be world’s oldest wine. If only the ancients could see us now…
 
Now, at the height of popularity and accessibility, we are seeing creative twists rosé throughout the summer — from sangrias to cocktails to popsicles and more. Even last season’s Sugarfina rosé gummy bears are still a hot commodity and welcomed novelty.
 
And the color — crisp and juicy ribbons of ruby and the quintessential soft peach of Provencal varieties — is now a staple in every major restaurant and Instagram account this side of the Mon.
 
We have it on good authority that this wine of the times is also one of the factors responsible for the phenomenon known as Millennial Pink. (yes, it’s a thing.)
 
Celebs are cashing in on the craze, too. Miraval Côtes de Provence is made by none of other than Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt — and lucky for us, the chateau and wine were not affected by the divorce.
 
Though the most rosés have traditionally been seen on US menus hailing from the Provence region of France, Italian, Greek, Macedonian, and Portuguese varietals are gaining popularity and appearing more frequently across the country and our fair city. Several of our favorite restaurants and watering holes even have entire summer wine lists dedicated specifically to our collective obsession with the pink drink.
 
Pittsburgh Winery partnered up with Lou DiDonato to make “Sweet Lou’s Brosé,” touting rosé that is “not just for the ladies.” The new wine is the star ingredient of Round Corner Cantina’s frozé and has been sailing off into the pink sunset at HouseboatPGH’s epic riverfront parties.
 
Speaking of parties, rosé-themed events are at the height of popularity in ‘than. Our pick for best rosé event in Summer 2017? Riverlife just released their theme for this year’s Party at the Pier, and it’s a punk-rock-meets-pink War of the Rosés. (We’re ready to dress — and drink — the part!) The event is sure to bring our AbFab on August 25 at Rivers Casino.
 
What to eat?
 
The Commoner’s Executive Chef Wyatt Lash recommends pairing this summer’s most celebrated wine with foods like:

  • Caviar
  • Smoked salmon
  • Cheeses
  • Fish and shellfish
  • Cream sauces
  • Potpies, savory turnovers
  • Asian flavors
  • Sausages – especially poultry, pork, and Polish
  • Tangy, fruity condiments
  • Salty foods
  • Deep-fried foods
  • Potato chips
  • Popcorn

In short, this wine has a great hi-brow low-brow appeal that keeps us coming back for more. Lash even quipped, “Funny enough, rosé ties in really well with our current offerings in the Biergarten: pretzels, pimento spread, brats, sweet and spicy nuts.”
 
All-day rosé, indeed.
 
 
Dinette
 
Dinette‘s Owner and Executive Chef Sonja Finn has a wine list that is known citywide as one of the best in town. Even the most discerning palate can find something new and exciting on the list each time they venture into Finn’s flagship. Her impeccable taste also leads to some unique and crazy delicious rosé options from all over the world.
 
What to order…
 
Stobi is a Macedonian rosé from the Tikves region that actually has the slight aroma and taste of the floral rose. The wine is originated from Pinot Noir, using a white technology with short maceration. There’s a pleasant aroma of dried fruits, plum, and small red berries with a sweet and harmonious long-lasting taste. 
 
 
The Commoner
 
TheCommoner_Rosé of Beers
 
The Commoner’s lead bartender, Alex Dando, has assembled a strong portfolio with a variety of rosé and was one of the first to have frozé (frozen rosé). This frozen delight is destined to be the most Instagrammed drink of the summer for the second summer running and is poised to take Pittsburgh bars and eateries by storm this season.
 
In addition to being a trendsetter, Dando also has a sense of adventure and a sense of humor when designing his drink menus. You’ll find a rosé cider and a cocktail upstairs at the Biergarten calledThe Rosé of Beers.” (Playing on Miller High Life’s infamous moniker “The Champagne of Beers.”) Dando simply adds a splash of Aperol to a bottle of Miller High Life, which is clearly not rosé but inspired by the hue, something fun for summer and is (somewhat shockingly) delicious.
 
What to order…
 
Rhinegeist Bubbles: A rosé cider (recently reclassified as an “ale”) made with apple, peach and cranberry, for “additional pink hue, tartness and juicy fruitiness.” Rhinegeist, located in Cincinnati, is the fastest growing craft brewery in the United States, and was just released in the Pittsburgh market this spring.
 
Veuve Clicquot Vintage Brut Rosé 2008 (sparkling)“This is wonderful. Exactly what you expect from a sparkling rosé — aromas of fresh red fruits and grapefruit — but the toasted brioche on the palate provides an awesome structure and elegance as a result of the wine’s long and slow maturation,” says Dando.
 
La Provencial RoséAn awesome French rosé, featuring Grenache, Cinsault, and a small amount of Syrah. The nose is super floral and red-fruit driven, while it’s exceptionally round and soft on the palate, offering pleasantly sweet notes of fresh fruit and candy.
 
 
Scratch F&B
 
Scratch_Bottle of Rosé_Pic2
 
Scratch F&B really cares about sourcing coupled with approachability and affordability in everything they do. Owner Don Mahaney carefully selects everything behind the bar high atop Troy Hill. Trust us — these bottles are worth the climb up Rialto Street. Grab a seat next to one of the breezy open windows on Lowrie and soak up a hilltop sunset with a glass.
 
What to order…
 
Argiolas, Isola dei Nuraghi Serra Lori Rosato: From Sardinia, Italy, this wine is a blend of Cannonau, Monica, Carignano, Bovale grapes. It is made by the Argiolas family, recognized as Sardinia’s leading wine producer. They have worked diligently to become the leader in Sardinian enology and insists on using native Sardinian vines. The winery produces both a classic and prestige line of wines.
 
Wölffer Estate Vineyard, Finca Wölffer Mendoza Rosé (2016): This is the first of its kind from Argentina. It is a combination of Malbec, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Torrontés, Pinot Gris, and Sauvignon grapes to create a luminous pink glow and elegant dry style.
 
 
Block 292
 
Two words: On tap.
 
Yes, Rosé on tap!
 
Full disclosure — Block 292 always has wine on tap … and we just got word that they hooked up the pink stuff! The superbly sourced and executed restaurant + market + butcher shop in Mt. Lebanon is the brainchild of Brooks Broadhurst. The outdoor patio is the perfect place to people watch over a glass or two of vino.
 
What to order…
 
Château Tassin Bordeaux Rosé 2016 on tap
 
Dry, light-bodied, fruity and fresh, this rosé pairs perfectly with Block 292’s menu that features a variety of locally sourced summer meats and produce. This youthful wine is a perfect fit when it comes to Block 292’s commitment of providing their customers with the highest quality products. Château Tassin Bordeaux Rosé 2016 is a sustainably farmed wine from The Château Tassin estate located in Garonne, France. Sip on this bright, clean and crisply refreshing rosé straight from the tap.
 
 
Casbah
 
Casbah‘s wine director, Alyssa McGrath, is a wealth of knowledge and always has interesting international varieties of rosé. It’s the perfect place to try something new with McGrath guiding your choices. She has an uncanny ability to choose a pleasing pink for your palate with just a few questions about your preferences for food and drink. There’s a reason she’s known as one of the best in town — and a reason Casbah has been in business for more than 20 years with a steady flow of packed reservations. Talk about a perfect pairing.
 
What to order…
 
Ga’ia, Agiorgitiko, Nemea, Greece This fragrant and juicy wine is made from the Agiorgitiko grape, native to the Peloponnese peninsula.
 
TerreDora, Aglianico, Italy Aglianico is a red wine grape variety native to southern Italy. Notes of strawberry, cranberries, guava and watermelon are balanced by a hint of tart blueberry and citrus.
 
 
ACE Hotel Pittsburgh
 
The home of TABLE’S upcoming Lamb Cook-Off is also home to one of the hottest bars and restaurants (Whitfield) in the city. ACE Hotel Pittsburgh has a gorgeous wine list, and their rosé by the glass selections tend to be just as interesting as the hotel itself. No doubt we’ll all be filtering in for a refreshing glass of rouge-colored refreshment after a delicious day with 23 star chefs on July 23rd!
 
 What to order…
 

The menu is always changing, and it’s always spot-on. Selections vary from the more traditional Provencal varieties to crisp ruby-colored Italian options. Go with a recommendation from the bar or from the Whitfield’s GM Michael Goldberg for the perfect pink.
Current by-the-glass beauties include the 2015 Provencal Blend Gueissard “Les Papilles” (Cote de Provence) and the 2016 Sangiovese/ Prugnolo Gentile, Casanova, Della Spinetta (Tuscany).

 
 
TABLE’s word to the wise