Monday, October 12, 2009

Rosés are only slightly red

The festival in Chusclan draws wine devotees from around France. Châteauneuf du Pape exports one of the most famous labels of red wine. But for a truly unique local wine, you must visit the sister cities of Lirac and Tavel, home of rosé wine preferred by kings.

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Both villages have their own unique Appellation d'Origine Controlée. However, Tavel only produces rosé wines. It's said that Louis XIV and Philip IV traveled through the region and enjoyed the wine. According to legend, the latter declared Tavel's brand of rosé the only good wine in the world.

Like most Côtes du Rhône wines, grenache, syrah and mourvedre grapes are predominately used. But whereas many rosés are simply made by blending red and white wines, that process is strictly forbidden by French A.O.Cs. Instead, the grape skins are allowed to ferment with the wine for a short period of time. In Tavel, an extra step is added to the process allowing for a more powerful flavor from the wine.

The best thing about this local variety of Rosé: you don't need to wait for a long fermentation period in the cellar.
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This work by Ken Maschke is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.