We’re celebrating rosé month in August! There’s actually a little controversy over the “right” time to celebrate rosé (a lot of people opt for June), but we like to celebrate any chance we get. In honor of the wine that is possibly the most versatile out there, we’ve got two articles this month devoted solely to rosé. On Friday we’ll get into the nitty gritty on grapes used for rosé and winemaking options on Friday, but for now, just keep in mind that there is a rosé for virtually any dish.

What to consider

As with any wine and food pairing, there are a few things to consider when choosing a rosé and food pairing. These are good guidelines for any pairing, so feel free to copy and paste these into the Notes app on your phone so you always have them available.

  • Fat- Fatty foods are generally a good option with acidic wines. The acid helps cleanse your palate of the fat, which in turns balances the acid and brings out the fruitier flavors of the wine.
  • Acid- Foods with a lot of acid pair well with high acid wines.
  • Salt- Salty food almost always works well with wine. The salt makes the wine seem less acidic, less bitter, and fruitier.
  • Sweetness- The standard is to make your wine sweeter than your food. I like to challenge this rule a bit by working with complementary flavors in the wine and food.
  • Texture- It’s usually a good idea to pair lighter foods with lighter wines, and heavier foods with heavier wines. This keeps one from overpowering the other.

Pairing Perfection

One of the things that makes rosé so easy to pair is that it comes in a range of styles, from light and fruity to more serious and full-bodied to sparkling. The style is a combination of the grapes used to make the wine and the options the winemaker chooses- length of time the skins are left in contact with the juice, whether oak or inert vessels are used, etc. We’ll discuss this more Friday, so make sure to check back in.

Sparkling rosé is going to be the easiest to pair. Why? Sparkling wine, especially if you go with dry over sweet, is generally very food friendly because of the high acid content. Feel free to serve it beside virtually any dish you make, whether it’s a standard Tuesday night dinner or a special occasion.

If you stick with still rosé, basically anything grilled will be good, from chicken to pork to lamb. If you’d like a grilled steak, make sure you have a more full-bodied rosé, like one made from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, so the structure will be more likely to stand up to such a heavy cut of meat.

Fish is also a great option for rosé, whether you’re doing trout, salmon, crab cakes, or shrimp tacos. If you use a sauce on the fish, focus on pairing the wine with the sauce. A trick to pairing the right style of rosé with the right fish is to put lighter fish/sauce with lighter colored rosés and go darker as your fish/sauce get darker or meatier.

If you’re eating something on the spicier side, try a fruity or slightly sweet rosé. This will balance the spice and the fruit flavors will really shine.

Obviously we’re not going to forget about dessert around here, and fortunately rosé has us covered there, too. Fruit desserts, like tarts and cobblers, are a great option for rosé, as is basically anything made with strawberry and shortbread or madeleine cookies.

Don’t forget to check back on Friday when we dive into the many styles of rosé!