Liquor stores are fully stocked with red wine’s popular chilled cousin this summer.  

by Matthew Ambrosio

Often in life there’s something we love right in front of us but we’re moving too quickly to notice. A large and diverse selection of interesting summer wines just around the corner from home is a perfect example.

Does the below scenario sound familiar?

You have a few minutes between work and a gathering with friends. You don’t want to show up empty handed, of course, so you run into the liquor store to grab a familiar wine from  walls stacked with bottles.

After a rushed purchase you exit to find a somewhat secure place in the car to stuff the goods so they won’t roll around and break from any wild turns.

Recently I decided to break the old habit. It was a tasty and satisfying decision that made me happy and maybe you’ll be inspired to do the same.  

Picture it: It was a beautiful and peaceful yet full summer Sunday in the Poet Section of North Babylon and there was a little extra time in the day (for once) so I took advantage.

I decided to stop into a neighborhood wine store, North Babylon Wine & Spirits on Deer Park Avenue, to learn more about something I enjoy: a “white” red wine called rośe.

Think of it as red wine’s chilled refreshing cousin that will cool you down. It’s a great alternative for red wine drinkers when it gets too hot and muggy for a dark wine.

The timing was perfect. Owner Jefferson Sanchez was available to talk vino and make recommendations. Personally, I don’t usually drink wine in the summer because I like my wine bloody.

I was looking for something to “sip” poolside with friends but I didn’t want a light white. Luckily for us red lovers we have rośe.

My original experience with the fuller textured seasonal rosy wine was a few years back at Sherwood House in Jamesport. It was summer and I asked for a red, and the gentlemen behind the bar gave me a taste of their signature White Merlot.  

(Since that experience, Sherwood has become the first stop anytime I head out to the vineyards, even when it’s not in season.)

As I was nearing the exit with my purchase in North Babylon a shopper came in asking for a rośe. She then proceeded to ask if it was sweet with a hopeful tone it was not.

She got her wish.

Rośe is typically not a sweet wine. Newbies might confuse it for White Zinfandel. What we refer to as “white zin” is a sweet pink wine blend made from red and white wine — but that’s where the similarities end. 

Side note: A true Zinfandel is actually red.

Rośe obtains its rosy tone from the skin of red grapes by allowing the juice to incorporate with the skins for a more limited amount of time, or gently pressed. This step not only gives it the pink tint but also provides texture and tannins to infuse the subtle characteristics of darker wines.

Finding a bottle you will like is simple. Just choose your favorite region and preferred grape. Rośe wines are made from the same grapes used to make darker, fuller bodied wines such as Merlot, Cabernet, and Malbec, and yes you can even find a blush spicy Rioja. That was in my bag and the first bottle opened!

 You work hard and deserve to be treated. A simple way to do that is find more of anything you love. You deserve it!

Stop and smell the roses, or in this case the Rośe! Cheers to good health!

Photos from North Babylon Wine & Spirits by Matthew Ambrosio