by Carlo DeVito
Isn’t pink one of the most fun colors? Pink flowers. Pink balloons. Pink elephants. Pink peeps. Pink cotton candy. Pink cupcakes. Pink houses. Pink flamingos. It’s one of the colors of springtime. It reminds you of Easter Bonnets, cherry blossoms, bubble gum, and jelly beans. There’s the spunky rock star Pink, and Bruce Springsteen’s Pink Cadillac. A pink Chanel suit. Can you imagine Legally Blonde or Sex in the City without the color pink in them, let alone the classic featuring Mollie Ringwald? Andie in her prom dress? Is there anything that’s pink that’s not fun? Pink just makes you smile.
The love for everything pink has even spilled over into the world of wine. It is the latest rage. But pink wine dates back more than a millennium. The ancients knew how to get down. From the classic lightly colored wines of the past, to the classic European roses of the French and Spanish, to the bright, fun, delicious wines of today, pink has been a color that people love to drink.
Now is the time to think pink. But first, a few little pink pearls of wisdom. There are two types of pink wine. Rosé is dry. It’s very European in style, but American vintners also make dry rosés. In general blush is off-dry to semi-sweet. It is an American invention. Both are also made into sparkling wines as well.
Some more pink food for thought? Most dry rosé wine is not a blending of red and white wine. It’s usually the free run juice of wine pressed from red grapes. Red wine gets its color from the pigment of the grape skins. The wine is left with the skins for days or weeks, imbuing it with color. Pink wines, generally speaking, are left on the skins anywhere from a few hours to maybe one day the longest. Some dry rosé wine is made from red grape varieties, but with a mix of white grapes and red.
“Whoever said orange was the new pink is seriously disturbed,” quipped Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde. And we couldn’t agree more.
The name rosé first arose in the 1980s around 1983, although it was commonly drunk before this date. Actually the making of pink wines dates back hundreds of years, if not more. The first big success in the American markets was with the Portugese wine Mateus Rosé in the early 1970s. Your parents have one of those old Mateus bottles in the attic or basement somewhere.
In the early 1970s, demand for white wine exceeded the availability of white wine grapes, so many California producers followed Mateus, and made “white” wine from red grapes. In 1975, Sutter Home created White Zinfandel. It was, as they say, a happy accident, with a batch of wine that did not ferment properly. Winemaker Bob Trinchero put it aside for two weeks, then upon tasting it he decided to sell this pinker, sweeter wine. It was an instant sensation. Beringer, another famous Napa producer, also started making this wine. After that, many wineries followed, and a new wine category was born. Today, pink wines outsell white wines!
Fashion writer Kate Smith wrote, “Brighter pinks are youthful, fun, and exciting, while vibrant pinks have the same high energy as red; they are sensual and passionate without being too aggressive.”
All of these wines should be served chilled. These are nice light wines, and are very refreshing and delicious.
There are two sparkling wines in the Valley that will tickle you pink. Brotherhood’s Saphire Rosé is salmon-pink in color with a lively aroma, expressive and dominated by the fresh scent of red fruits. Medium in body and semi-dry, this seductive rosé is zestful, fleshy, glamorous and intense with spontaneous, textured bubbles. And the other is Happy Bitch Rosé, which is designed by women for women. This fun, snappy and altogether fabulous pink wine is perfect to pamper yourself or share with friends. A delicious slightly off-dry blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Here are some dry rosés that Hudson Valley vintners are tickled pink about:
Amici Dry Rosé, from the Upper Hudson Valley, is a blend of New York-grown grapes that produces a dry, salmon-pink wine with spicy, tart character.
Benmarl Catawba is a blush made mainly from Catawba grapes. The Catawba is blended with 15% rosé, made from Cabernet Franc. It has a residual sugar of 4%. A light salmon-pink wine. This native variety is brimming with candied grapefruit and apricots. Sweet, yet crisp, this wine is easy drinking and a perfect companion to bring along to a party.
Stoutridge 2007 Quimby’s Rosé is named for Howard Quimby, an iconic 81-year-young grape farmer. 100% of the grapes in this wine come from his farm. The wine is made in a modern French country style, which is both light and dry with a very long and persistent finish. Unfiltered and unfined. 90% Niagara, 10% DeChaunac.
Tousey Rebellion Rosé, made from Blaufränkisch grapes, has a heady nose of intense red fruit. Wonderfully dry, yet fruity on the palate, this wine delivers a deliciously long finish. These wines are delicious with hors d’oeuvres, chicken, seafood and light pasta dishes. They will pair nicely with more gourmet dishes, and are great for just sipping.
And here are some blushes that will put you in the pink:
Amici Dry Rosé is a blend of New York-grown grapes that produces a dry blush wine with spicy, tart character.
Brotherhood May Wine, made by combining fresh flowers of woodruff, strawberries and young wine, has been used to celebrate the coming spring in Germany for centuries. Unique and different! Fun!
Brookview Station Sunset Charlie is named after the winery’s mascot, a lovable yellow lab. This is a unique wine that is made from apple wine tinged with red wine made from DeChaunac grapes. A unique wine that’s incredibly fun.
Colebrook Signature Rosé, a semi-dry wine, made from Concord and Niagara, recently won a Bronze Medal at the prestigious Finger Lakes International Wine Competition in 2011.
El Paso Rosebud is a pink wine with a beautiful bouquet, so citrusy. From one of the Valley’s older winery’s with a steadfast reputation.
Hudson-Chatham Salamagundi Blush is a great picnic wine. Salamagundi is Spanish for tossed salad, and was the title of one of famed Hudson Valley writer Washington Irving’s most popular works. This is a blend of several different hybrid grapes, to make a light, fun, refreshing, off-dry delicious pink wine.
Mountain View 2008 First Kiss Blush is a semi-sweet and very fruity wine. It’s a blend of Diamond with just enough Concord to change the character of the wine and give it a nice rose color.
Pazdar Rendezvous Rosé is a wonderful fruit forward, semi-dry wine with a crisp lingering finish. European style rosé, balanced, a fun wine to have with dinner, partying with friends or relaxing.
Palaia Joyful Pink is sweet and tart at the same time. It is named for Jan Pallaggi’s grandfather, Joy Michael, whose photo is on the label along with her grandmother. One of their best sellers, they donate to The Young Survivors Coalition for Breast Cancer with each bottle sold.
Saratoga Blush Crush is an all natural Melomel wine. Made with 12% local honey using no preservatives, additives or added sulfites and fermented in a Kentucky bourbon barrel. This fun, crisp Blush Melomel features flavors of citrus and green apple.
Warwick Black Dirt Blush is a blend of Catawba, Vincent and Delaware grapes, which are varieties native to Eastern North America. These grapes make for an excellent blush wine with abundant flavors of grape and apricot.
So, when you’re looking to celebrate that special occasion, why not toast it with some sparkling pink wine!
When you’re looking for something different for a mid-day lunch on the weekend, why not try a bottle of dry rosé! And if it’s time for a picnic or a gathering, a BBQ, or a relaxed moment, why not invite some fabulous pink blush to the table, and get that party started.
But the last word should be left to that original pink girl, Audrey Hepburn, who stepped out in beautiful hot pink gown (teamed with matching tiara!), who said, “I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and...I believe in miracles.”
Best Pink Movies
Pretty in Pink
who doesn’t love Andie?
Reese Witherspoon is adorable
original with Cary Grape
The Pink Panther
Touch of Pink
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Audrey’s fabulous pink gown
My Fair Lady