Everything’s coming up rosés

I’m back in Michigan after my spur-of-the-moment half marathon decision, and still feeling pretty good. I was actually able to run five miles two days after the mini, and log a couple three mile runs through the rest of the week, so I’m considering myself officially NOT beat up from this year’s race. Yay!

To make things even better, we’ve had some great warm weather this week. The kind of weather than makes you want to sit outside and drink  something refreshing. Something spring-y. Perhaps something pink.

The Produce Station (which is quickly shooting up the ranks to become one of my favorite stores) had the perfect solution to this dilemma: rosé.

I first discovered the Produce Station’s monthly wine tasting events when I attended the 2 Lads tasting back in March. Held at the Alley Bar, they cost $10 are offer an opportunity to sample five wines arranged around a particular theme. The theme for May: The misunderstood, explained — Rosé.

To say I was excited may be a bit of an understatement.  Rosé has been a favorite of mine for a few years now. I’ve had the opportunity to taste many good ones, thanks to people like the crew at Thames River Wine and Spirits in New London, CT, and my cousin Julie and her wine-drinking friends (they hosted an all-rosé tasting last summer). It sets my teeth on edge when people confuse rosé with white zinfandel, although I can see how that can happen (I guess).

Rosé comes in such a wide variety of styles that I truly believe any wine drinker should be able to find one that appeals to them. Personally, I tend to seek out some of the same flavors in rosé that I go for in Sauvignon Blanc – a little chalky, flinty, tart characteristic underneath lighter strawberry tones. Provencal-style wines containing Cinsault are some of my favorites. On the other end of the spectrum, my mom really likes  beautiful dark, almost purple rosé with more dominant cherry and black fruit, so I tend to take her Rhone-style wines containing Syrah or Spanish rosés with Garnacha.

Styles ranging from dark to light

(Not that we both don’t enjoy the other’s preference – we just have our favorites!)

Going to a tasting such as those hosted by the Produce Station is not only a great way to try before you buy, but to learn about things like what styles are indicative of what region, and what grapes produce the flavors most pleasing to you. Jorge explains things really well, but he keeps it brief and friendly – no wine snobbery from him! He also loves to chat with guests and answer questions. A lot of my (limited) wine knowledge has been gleaned from tastings like these – check it out if you get the chance.

I almost forgot to mention one of the bonuses of attending a Produce Station tasting – discounts on the wines tasted! Jorge and Andy pass out order forms that list the wines you tried in the order you tried them. You can place an order for the wines you enjoyed (to be picked up at the store later that week) and you get a ten percent discount on the wines. It’s a great deal because you aren’t committed to any volume (as far as I could tell – I DID order a whole case of rosé, though!) and can purchase what you enjoyed while it is still fresh in your memory. (Also, from a marketing standpoint it’s fantastic – gets people into the store – nice move, guys!)

That means that yesterday during my lunch break, I made the short drive over the Produce Station and was rewarded with THIS:

A case full of happiness

Oh, yeah.

The next Produce Station tasting is titled “Summer in a Bottle” and will feature a line-up of my personal favorite grape on the planet, Sauvignon Blanc. I can hardly wait!

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