Rosé afternoons

Rosé wine is not the most famous, or the easiest type of wine to sell. In fact, until about 4 years ago, I didn’t fully understand what it was. All I knew of it was it was not white wine, nor red wine. Just the right kind of pink, drank chilled. At the right temperature, it can be drank as easily as water… at least that is how my mom and her friends enjoyed it.

Almost 4 years ago, I joined the wine industry and learned the very basics of wine – how wine was made, where wine was made, what wine was made of and what the different kinds of wine were.

There’s sparkling wine, which I used to refer to as Champagne but later learned that only sparkling wine from the Champagne region in France, made within the regulations of that region, could legally be called Champagne.

There’s white wine, which I knew too well as my mom enjoyed it a lot. I personally didn’t because my young palate couldn’t distinguish one white from another. They all seemed to taste the same to me after being chilled for some time.

There’s red wine, which I enjoyed quite well. Though I didn’t quite get what the differences in taste actually meant, I knew I preferred Cabernet based reds. I liked my meats and I knew then that certain reds complemented my meats.

Then there’s rosé wine.

Some rosé wines I came across were a light peach color, very light-bodied, mildly flavoured with fruity, citrus, peach notes. These are great because they’re so light they can be drank on its own, at the right chill level. My favorites with this style usually come from the Provence region of France.

Other rosé wines I came across were more full-bodied, more hot pink than peach-pink and were best served with some light food like gambas or chorizo. The ones I enjoyed a lot in this style usually come from Spain.

But they were both rosé to me. What was not white, nor red, were rosé wine in my head.

I learned after joining the industry that rosé wine was not a mixture of white and red wines but a fraction of the process of red winemaking. All grapes have white fruit. The color (among other things) actually comes from the fruit’s exposure to the skin during the maceration process or the skin contact process. The duration of this process, which begins as soon as the grapes are pressed, determines the deepness of the wines’ color. The longer the skin interacts with the fruit, the more red, or deep purple, it becomes. For red wine, this process could generally take up to 2 weeks, depending on the winemaker.

For rosé wine, however, it is typically only for a few days.

So in rosé wine, you have a light colored, flavored wine that is best consumed chilled and can be drank as easily as your typical H2O. But why am I talking about this?

It is halloween and it is a holiday. My husband and I decided to make lunch at home, enjoy the view, the peace, and the breeze from our balcony on this sunny afternoon. I originally decided to make lemon chia muffins to last us for breakfast and dessert throughout the week, which I still did. The lunch menu inspiration actually came after having popped those lemony goodies in the oven.

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We made a mildly spiced baked chicken breast which we fondly call “Summer Chicken” along with some cubed potatoes we boiled in brown sugar and butter to soften the tense citrus notes of our main dish. The chicken was baked with tomatoes, sliced onions, whole cloves and garnished with parsley and sliced lemons. The freshness of our meal called out for a fresh, cold drink.

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We had the food laid out, our hungry bellies somersaulting, our mouths already salivating, and thought to ourselves – out loud – that something was missing. We thought that the sky was so clear, and the afternoon so humid that a cold glass of water wouldn’t cut it. We popped open a Castel Roubine 1.5L by Chateau Roubine bottle from Provence and voila! , our meal was just right.

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This is typical of Philippine weather. Hot, sunny, humid, though breezy, it’s a hot breeze. And we can’t beat this weather. So pop open a bottle of rose of your liking on its own or with some pica-pica, and make this weather a tad bit better with a cold, fresh glass of rose wine.

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