French Rosé in Winter

Posted on: January 2nd, 2012 by

Ah, nothing like being on the patio in the summer sun, enjoying a fine French Rosé. But it’s the middle of winter. Should you banish all thoughts of drinking these delightfully dry wines until the temperature rises to sweat-inducing levels? Never! If pork, turkey, chicken, seafood, and/or vegetables recently graced your table, odds are that a rosé would be a welcome addition. Particularly a Bordeaux Clairet, a wine you should get to know.

French Rose
In France, rosé is made by soaking red grapes in their white juice until the skins give the desired level of color and flavor. I must admit a bias to French rosé that is pale and austere. Usually when I see a darker colored rosé, I run. I expect it to be sweet or, if dry, to be lacking in the zesty acidity I find so refreshing and delightful in a rosé.

Check out Bordeaux Clairet, a cool category of rosé. I, however, had to set aside my horrible bias when confronted by a wine with the label Bordeaux Clairet. It exists in a separate world between pink and red wine. I think of these wines as the red wine drinker’s rosé. Or your winter rosé. If I could drink a rosé on a snow-covered patio, it would be this one. The extra time the grape skins stay in contact with the juice give it not just color but a little extra brawn. What surprised me about the Chateau de Parenchere, my first experience with a Bordeaux Clairet, was that it also had enough zip on the finish to keep me coming back for more. While I could think of many fancy-pants food matches for this wine, a cheeseburger sounds just about perfect.

Even though I may still have an ingrained reflex to cower in fear at the sight of a too-dark rosé, I welcome the presence of a Bordeaux Clairet.

Full disclosure: I received this wine as a sample.

Snow photo courtesy Steve Parker.

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2 Responses

  1. sippitysup says:

    You are probably too young but all I could think of when I saw this post was The Mary Tyler Moore Show pilot when Mary gasps “Roses in winter! Wherever did you get roses in winter?” Well the guy who brought the roses turned out to be a jerk. But she kept the roses anyway. Of course French Rosés are worth keeping year round too. GREG

    • Jameson says:


      That would have been a good clip to add to my post! And I will do my best to avoid being a jerk when I bring rosés in the winter. Thank you for the comment.


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