116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
One of my all-time favorite television characters must be Karen from Will and Grace… and not just because she could drink anyone under the table. Karen absolutely had her finger on the pulse of pop culture and was not afraid to speak her mind. I laughed every time she said, “It’s funny because it’s true!” Whether her catch phrase was generating slapstick comedy or a jabbing insult, she reminded us how universal life can be.
Today, I think Karen would trade in her dirty martinis for the hottest wine in the industry -- ROSÉ. Universally beloved by wine drinkers, Rosé accomplishes what no other wine has previously: It appeals to both red and white wine drinkers, and is budget friendly, unlike other alternative wines such as Champagne. Sales have increased steadily, even during the pandemic, and seem to have no signs of slowing, which our society has definitely noticed. Unless you’ve been raised by wolves the last 10 years, you must have heard the adage, “Rosé All Day.” Pop culture has created its own hashtag for this pale perfection, and not without reason. Serving as your sommelier and new Karen, I’m here to tell you:
It’s funny because it’s true.
Rosé wine is a bit of an anomaly in the beverage industry. It bridges the divides in gender, age, and nationality. For those who say Rosé is their favorite wine, 51 percent are women and 49 percent are men, and trends on the younger side -- 69 percent coming in under 60 years old. France and the United States are the two
leading countries consuming the pink beverage, which is surprising because Italy and Spain usually outpace the American wine drinker. So how does this one little bottle bring so much joy to the masses? It’s all in the winemaking.
Rosé wines are produced in a similar fashion to red wines, but with one major difference -- less skin contact. Winemakers use the same varietals you enjoy in red wines, such as Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, and Grenache; however, the pressed juice from these red grapes is allowed minimal contact with the skins -- usually hours instead of weeks. This extracts less color, tannins, and flavor resulting in nuances of fruit and structure. This softer touch pairs perfectly with the cold soup recipes featured.
Available at my wine store and lounge, SOMM WINES in Fairfield, the fan favorite La Spinetta, “Il Rosé di Casanova,” Toscana, Italy 2021 ($26.99) is made from two red varietals – 50 percent Sangiovese and 50 percent Prugnolo Gentile. It features all the flavors of a stellar Rosé: bright, fresh fruits of strawberry and orange peel, with floral notes of rose petal and refreshing acidity. The lighter, acidic structure helps lift the creamy potato vichyssoise, while the soft citrus notes match the peach fruit. This wine is both subtle and flavorful, while so easy to drink. You could enjoy this wine all day, every day, and with any food. Remember, it’s funny because it’s true.
2 pounds white or yellow peaches
4 teaspoons lavender honey, or any other kind of honey
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
3 tablespoons peach liqueur (creme de peche) or substitute peach schnapps or apricot brandy
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, cut into slivers (optional)
Raspberries or other garnish
Peel the peaches and cut into quarters all but one of the peaches (two if the peaches are small).
Puree the peaches coarsely in a food processor along with the honey, lemon juice and liqueur. The mixture should be like a slightly chunky soup. Transfer to a bowl.
Pit and thinly slice the remaining peaches and stir into the liquefied peaches. Cover and chill for several hours.
If using the mint, stir in slivered mint leaves shortly before serving. Serve in dessert bowls, garnishing with a few raspberries or mint leaves, if desired.
Adapted from “Provencal Light” by Martha Rose Shulman