Wines of the Season: Rose

Written by Ray Pompilio

When warm weather comes to the Finger Lakes, that means it’s time for dry rosé. Our cool climate is perfect for refreshing wines made from red wine grapes such as Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc and Blaufränkisch, also known as Lemberger.

Rosé is made by allowing the grape skins to stay in contact, or macerate, in the juice for a short time, about four to 12 hours. When the desired color is reached, the juice is filtered from the skins and the wine is fermented just like a white wine, usually in cool temperatures to preserve freshness.

Another method is known as Saignée, where juice is removed from the freshly crushed fruit and seeds of a red wine. In regions such as ours, this allows for more deeply colored reds, and a byproduct of nicely colored rosé. Such rosé may also have a bit more complexity from this process.

Whether you prefer a very delicate and light rosé, or one with more color or depth, this year we have more than 50 local rosés available. Drink by itself, or pair with appetizers; fresh cheeses; lighter entrees like chicken, pork, seafood or vegetables; and even your roasted Thanksgiving turkey. If you can make it last that long.

Finger Lakes Dry Rosés to enjoy:
Anthony Road Wine Company 2018 (Cabernet Franc), $16
Bellangelo Winery 2018 (Cabernet Franc), $20
Casa Larga Vineyards 2018 (DeChaunac), $14
Damiani Wine Cellars 2018 (Lemberger), $18
Domaine LeSeurre Winery 2016 (Cabernet Franc), $23
Fox Run Vineyards 2018 (Pinot Noir & Lemberger), $18
Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard 2018 (Pinot Noir), $19.50
Hosmer Winery 2018 (Lemberger), $20
Inspire Moore Winery 2018 (Blaufränkisch), $19
Kelby James Russell Wines 2018 (Cabernet Franc), $16
Kemmeter Wines 2018 (Pinot Noir), $22
Keuka Spring Vineyards 2018 (Cabernet Franc/Sauvignon, Lemberger, Merlot), $16
Ravines Wine Cellars 2018 (Pinot Noir), $18
Red Tail Ridge Winery 2018 (Pinot Noir, Blaufränkisch, Cabernet Franc), $21
Sheldrake Point Winery 2018 (Cabernet Franc), $18

Ray Pompilio began his wine career in 1983, with a harvest crush on Seneca Lake. He has since worked in many facets of the wine industry. Currently he is a member of the wine team at Northside Wines & Spirits in Ithaca and a regular contributing writer to wine trade magazines in California.

This article was originally published in the May/June 2019 issue.

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