Wine World: Head for the sun
Back in The Old Days, I often went to the south of France for a summer break. I preferred to stroll and stop at various places along the way. Besides, my white Triumph 2500 PI preferred the ride to the race, because it had already been advancing for years. The “PI” stood for “gasoline injection,” which must have seemed like a good idea when designing the car, but the system always went awry. The injectors went out once when I was in the middle of Paris, but I’ll spare you the tedious details. At least my Triumph could overtake the local Citroën two horses, which could only roll at a majestic speed of 65 mph, even with a prevailing wind.
At the time, it was necessary to install yellow plastic filters on the headlights of the car, to comply with a far-fetched French law dating from 1937. France was the only country in Europe where all vehicles had yellow headlights. If in your rush to start you managed to forget the filters, you might be sure to meet the displeasure of some hard-working country. policeman. The yellow headlight law stuck until 1993, when the European Union told the French to stop being so stupid and line up with everyone.
My route south has remained pretty much the same. After crossing the Channel and through the drab streets of Calais, I headed east to the evocative name highway of the sun (“The Autoroute du Soleil”) then to Paris for about a day; via Beaune and Lyon and to Valence and Avignon. After Avignon, little by little, the color of the light began to change. It’s easy to understand why the vibrant colors of the region attracted painters like Braque, Cézanne, Matisse and Picasso. Even the gray stone walls seemed to have richer tones than those in the north. Assuming the gasoline injectors didn’t give up on the way, my destination was usually Provence. The name alone has always brought images of olive groves, cypresses, lavender fields and the beautiful Camargue with its little wild horses. And of course, the region is famous for the wines of the south, which have been produced here for over 2,600 years.
In France, more than twenty percent of the wine sold is rosé. A study has already found that while red wine is the favorite drink with meals, rosé has become more popular as an appetizer or casual drink. And incidentally, it is considered appropriate to pronounce the word Pink French style, so it sounds roughly like “roh-ZAY”.
There are different ways to make rosé. Contrary to popular belief, they are not made by throwing a bucket of red wine into a barrel of white. The most common method is known as maceration or soaking, which involves letting the grape skins soak in the freshly crushed juice for a limited time. This lasts between six and forty-eight hours, depending on the style of wine desired. Rosé is rarely a simple rose. The color can range from a pale orange “onion skin” to a bright almost purple, depending on the grapes used and the length of maceration.
Almost any variety of red grapes can be used to make rosé, although shiraz and grenache are popular among winemakers. Rosé is generally a simple wine: aromatic, light and fragrant with hints of fresh cut flowers and ripe fruit. For me it is the perfect summer wine, especially for outside meal. So, being summer, it might be a good time to go out and buy some.
Listel Grains of Gray Rosé IGP 2019 (France) Bt 572 (+ tax) @ Vines to Vino, Pattaya
In 1883, a French company called Salins du Midi planted their first vines on the vast sandy expanses of the Stel Islands on the southern coast of Provence. The sands give their name to Listel, a well-known French cellar specializing in rosé wine. And in case you were wondering, the IGP designation (Protected Geographical Indication) is a guarantee of origin and quality.
This one is a delicate greyish salmon pink with orange flecks. It has a slight floral aroma and once the oxygen kicks in you will spot citrus, raspberry, and maybe even a hint of peach and rose petals. The wine is remarkably smooth on the palate with lots of elegant fruit and even the slightest hint of sweetness. Even so, I would classify it as a dry wine. It has a pleasant touch of crisp acidity and a long, dry finish. It contains 12% alcohol and is a blend of three well-established grape varieties from the region, Cinsault, Grenache and Carignan, which bring a touch of dry herbs to the taste.
Although this is an entry-level rosé, it is generally a simple and charming wine that would be perfect for salads, egg dishes, or any light food. I tried it with a cheese and bacon quiche and it went perfectly with it. Listel makes some of France’s most popular wines which I think speaks volumes as the French tend to be picky about what they drink. Rosé should always be enjoyed when it’s young and fresh, so it’s generally safer to buy it where you can be reasonably sure of a quick turnover. Remember, always serve the rosé very cold – straight out of the fridge will do. The manufacturers suggest 4 ° C, which is only a few degrees above the temperature of the refrigerator. Either way, in this tropical climate, the wine in your glass will heat up in a matter of minutes.