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Reach for the Rosé
August 2010

Rosé basics:

• Rosé is the French word for pink. Rosé was first made in France and the country is still is seen as the most important producer of the pink, sweet wines.

• Known for its sweet, dry and refreshing flavor, rosé wines are often drunk more during the summer months.

• Rosé wines are known to pair well with a variety of foods, making them great for novice gourmet hosts as well as perfect for casual get-togethers.

• Rosés weren’t introduced in the United States until the 1960s. After years in the shadow of the more ubiquitous white and red wines, rosé’s popularity exploded - today rosés are the fastest section part of the U.S. wine market.

Rosé - the classic pink wine - is refreshing, colorful and makes a delicious wine pairing for cheese.

Red wine or white wine? How about neither – try a rosé this summer for a crisp, invigoratingly lively wine that makes a delicious and unique pair with many French cheeses. Rosé wines are refreshing and dry, with citrus notes that add a delicate flavor that pairs well with a variety of foods. Because of their light, frais and crisp nature, rosé wines are a particularly popular choice during hot weather.

The pinkish color of rosé wines is produced from the same process that makes red wines red – contact with the red skins of the grapes being used. Rosé wines are in contact with the skins for less time than reds, accounting for their lighter color. When a rosé’s sweet flavors and pop of carbonation hits the lips, it sets the stage well for the complex flavors of French cheese. The wine’s flavor and texture will cut through the deep, creamy flavors of Ile de France cheeses to unlock nouveau delicious flavors with every bite and sip. Ile de France recommends these Rosé wine and cheese pairings especially – they’re perfect for a refreshing August snack, casual hors d’oeuvre or formal le dîner party appetizer!

Ile de France Goat Cheese with rosé from the Chateaumeillant region
This region in central France is well known for its delicious rosé wines, which are produced there with gamay grapes. The lightly sweet and refreshing profile of the rosé made in this region enhances the fresh, tangy and slightly salty taste of Ile de France goat cheese. The combination is the perfect summer pairing. Try it with sliced melon for even more refreshment.

Ile de France Brie with rosé from the Orléanais region
Made from pinot meunier grapes, the rosés from this region pack a full bodied flavor filled with hints of sweet berries and citrus. The flavors and sharp, refreshing texture will cut through the rich creaminess of the Ile de France brie to produce a contrasting combination that tastes great on its own, or with fresh fruit, bread or even vanilla ice cream.

Cantorel Roquefort with an extra dry rosé wine
This famous French blue cheese has a salty taste that is full-flavored, making it a natural pair for a sweet, dry and light rosé wine. Because rosé wines pair well with a wide variety of foods, there’s little reason to fuss over specific brands and years – it’s often best to find a quality, reasonably priced rosé that can serve as a pairing for a variety of cheeses and other foods.

These brands won’t disappoint:

Domaines Ott – This 100-year old wine producer is known for its quality rosé. The Rosé Coeur de Grain is thought by many to be the best rosé in the world.

Red Bicyclette French Rosé – Dry sweetness with hints of strawberry and raspberry make this wine from the Languedoc-Roussillon Region a hit. An easy pairing wine, the Bicyclette will go well with everything from salads to spicy meats.

Lucien Albrecht Cremant d'Alsace Brut Rosé NV – This wine will put anyone in a leisurly mood with its hints of fruits, crisp taste and cherry notes. Made with only Pinot Noir, this rosé will be a hit no matter what is served with it.

Domaine Tempier Bandol Rose; - Grown in the Cotes de Provence region on France's Cote d'Azur, this rosé wines has an invigorating flavor and texture.