Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Thinking Pink!

Tonight marks the last gourmet night of the first half of the year. We get a small break from the gourmets now until September. The theme for tonight is "think pink!" and evening of Rose wines and fine food. Its been quite fun looking at roses for the dinner, and surprisingly the hardest part has been narrowing it down to only six wines. Ive tried so many great roses recently if we did a twelve course meal I probably still wouldnt have enough courses for all the wines I'd like to show.

So were starting off with a champagne - de Venoge brut rose. Its a softer style of champagne, less agressive bubbles, when it was first made in 1864 it was a Cremant rose, that is about half the pressure of a champagne. A blend of red pinot noir and white wines from the three usual varieties it has a light salmon pink colour with redcurrants, cherry and a hint of light spices on the nose.

We move across to South America next to the Colchagua Valley of Chile for the San Elias Cabernet Rose from Vina Siegel. Cold fermented in stainless steel for crispness and soft fruit flavours - ripe red berry fruit flavours. Lovely.

Back to Champagne for the intermediate with Veuve Clicquot Rose NV. A relative newcomer to the rose market, this is another blend of red wine and white. Pinot Dominant with a slightly copperish tinge to it, red fruit on the nose with dried stone fruits following. Veuve Clicquot was apparently the first champagne house to ship a rose champagne back in 1775!.

My favourite wine of the night is served with the main course. Charles Melton Rose of Virginia. Named after the flaxen haired beauty that he fell in love with and married, this is a blend of grenache, shiraz and cabernet from his vineyards in Krondorff, Barossa. Overnight skin contact gives the wines a dark fuschia tone with vibrant red fruit flavours - strawberries, cherries and fresh picked raspberries. This has gotten darker and darker each year and now it almost looks like a light red wine. Ive seen beaujolais that is lighter in colour than this wine, but bloody hell its fantastic. Not cheap, but worth every penny and more.

The next wine to be served with the cheese is quite interesting as well. A Bordeaux Clairet from Chateau Lamothe de Haux. Clairet is made by running some of the juice off from the Clarets after about 24-48 hours of skin contact. This gives the wines a deep intense colour and flavour without any of the harsh tannins that come with longer contact. Morello cherries and currants on the nose with a touch of rosehip and elderberry. Really fresh and as it warms in the glass a little bit grippy with the tannin.

We finish with the Stella Bella pink muscat from the Margaret River of Australia. A fun little wine, a little bit pink, a little bit sweet and a little bit fizzy. Rose petals and turkish delight with a slight grapey muscat flavour. A cracker of a wine to end what should be a fun night.

Im a bit nervous about this one, as we dont have a speaker for the night and so Im doing it. Um, I, um hope um I um dont go um too often um.

Update - all went well and the feedback has boosted my ego somewhat!!

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