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Gather ye rosés while ye may

Chilled rosé on the deck on a glorious summer day.

I fell in love with rosé when I spent a week in Provence, France several years ago. Rosé is for sale in the grocery stores at ridiculously low prices and you can drink them for breakfast, lunch and supper if you are so inclined.

Most of my wine snob friends look down on rosé but I’ve noticed recently that more and more wine critics are letting down their guard and admitting that rosé has a place in the wine fridge especially in spring and summer.

This rosé that I’m sipping at the moment is IMHO the best Canadian rosé I’ve tasted yet and I make a point of tasting rosés. Like white wine, they don’t stain my clothes or my face.

This one is almost iridescent pink with salmon tones. It tastes of strawberries, raspberries, roses and a hint of cranberry. It’s made by Gaspereau Vineyards of Nova Scotia and made from the free run juice of Lucie Kuhlmann grapes. The taste is lush, off dry with a cool finish and the fruit flavours linger on your tongue.

Most rosés are not real rosés they are technically blushes made from blends of white and red wines. At Petite Riviere Winery in Nova Scotia, they even add a touch of cranberry fruit wine to add a tartness to the finish. It’s well worth trying.

Sometimes it might be free run juice from those different grapes but you can have a Gemini effect of two different varietals battling out for supremacy. The Grange of Prince Edward in Ontario had an interesting rosé two years ago made from a combination of two reds Gamay and Pinot Noir. In the first year the Gamay was the overriding taste but if you waited a year the Pinot took predominance. Both were good and especially appealing to people who love red wine flavours more than white.

Because Gaspereau’s rosé is from a single grape varietal and cool fermented in stainless steel. it has a beautiful harmonious taste. Lucie Kuhlmann is a hybrid that is perfectly designed for Nova Scotia’s climate: ripening early, attaining brix (sugar levels) of 20 and up but maintaining high acids and a slight herbaceous character.

People who like Lucie Kuhlmann, love Lucie Kuhlmann,  hence the I love Lucie T shirts available at Gaspereau vineyards at harvest time.

Benjamin Bridge’s Nova 7 at $24.99 is being promoted across Nova Scotia and much of Canada by wine writers as the ideal patio wine and it has a wonderful rosé flavour and colour with bubbles to boot. A lot of science and winemaking skill went into its making. I’m saving mine for people I want to impress. At that price, you don’t just open it for the first glimpse of sunshine in a week.

In comparison Gaspereau’s rosé is affordable at $15.99 and meets all that is required for a perfect patio rosé. It also pairs well with turkey, pork, planked salmon, and dishes with sweet or spicy sauces. Did I mention it won bronze at the 2012 Canadian Wine Awards? Did I mention that Gaspereau Vineyards was voted as the 16th best winery in Canada in 2012 by Wine Access Magazine?

My only complaint is that I now only have two bottles left and I’m back in Ontario.

Who makes your favourite rosé? Leave your comment below.

This blog by Veronica Leonard was also posted on the Nova Scotia Wine Examiner. Gather ye rosés while ye may


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