Unfortunately for humanity, rosé is typically enjoyed seasonally, and most white wines really see their day in the sun come June, July and August. To toast the end of the season, we enlisted Master Sommelier John Ragan of Union Square Hospitality Group (NYC's Gramercy Tavern, Maialino, North End Grill and more) to talk late-summer wines and food pairings. Read it and sip.
2013 Château Pradeaux Rosé Bandol ($22)
"I'm a big fan of Provence when it comes to rosé. A nice, spicy rosé like this doesn't even necessarily need food, but certain types of food can make it taste even better—traditionally, in Provence, you would drink it with with fish or a fish stew served with rouille, but for a more untraditional but equally delicious option, this wine would pair perfectly with a tomato and watermelon salad with a balsamic dressing."
2012 Domaine Gadais Père et Fils Domaine de la Tourmaline Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie ($12)
"Muscadet is another wine that I like a lot this time for this time of year. [It's] from France and it's right in from the Atlantic Ocean, so it's right up against the coast and it's very crisp and light and fresh with that sort of salty brininess to it, so I love it with oysters and shrimp or fish that you don't need to cook. The awesome thing about the Gadais family is that those vines were planted in the '20s and '30s so they're nearly a hundred years old and the wines are still incredibly inexpensive because it's one of the regions in France that, for one reason for another, thankfully, hasn't become incredibly expensive."
2011 Domaine Romain Collet Les Pargues Chablis ($25)
"Another food [I love] right now is corn, and with corn I just love a lighter Chardonnay, from Chablis. Chablis and corn are just a great combination, especially this one from Romain Collet, a young vigneron in Chablis who comes from many generations of winemakers. As a result of his family holdings, he makes wine from some of the absolute best vines in the village but brings a fresh perspective, great energy and definitely something to prove—you can taste this determination in the wines. His bottling of the Les Pargues vineyard is not just excellent but also a great value."
Based in NYC and like the sound of what you hear? RT for a chance to win a seat at USHG's "Understanding Wines" 10-week course, running Tuesdays 6:30 to 9p.m. from September 16th- November 18th at The Institute of Culinary Education.
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