Warm up to rosé whether as a refreshing summer-time treat or year-round staple.
Lift your spirits with these three Ohio rosés.
Rosé (2013) from Ferrante Winery, $13.99
Ferrante's most popular rosé is also its driest. The 1 percent residual sugar equalizes the flavor, says co-owner Nick Ferrante. "It mostly just balances the acidity so it's not too tart." 5585 state Route 307, Geneva, 440-466-8466, ferrantewinery.com
River Blush (2015) from Debonne Vineyards, $8.49
The semisweet wine has 3.5 percent residual sugar and bright fruity notes. "You're going to get light raspberry, light orange or apricot," says winemaker and production manager Michael Harris. 7840 Doty Road, Madison, 440-466-3485, debonne.com
Cabernet Franc Rosé (2013) from Valley Vineyards, $9.99
This fruity wine with hints of berry and a crisp finish contains less than 1 percent residual sugar, making it just about as dry as a rosé can be. "It's a wine for red wine drinkers when the weather warms up," says Joe Schuchter, director of sales and marketing at this Schuchter family-run vineyard. 2276 E. U.S. Route 22 & 3, Morrow, 513-899-2485, valleyvineyards.com
Highbrow vs. Lowbrow
Regardless of what you're eating, rosé rises to the occasion.
Highbrow: Roasted Lobster Tail
"The lobster flavor is distinct," says Christopher Kafcsak, executive chef at Deagan's Kitchen and Bar. "But it's not a heavy protein that will mask the rosé's flavor." He highlights the lobster's sweet elements with a watermelon cream sauce and buttery fingerling potatoes. "The radishes offer a bit of a bite but poaching them in butter makes it more subtle."
Roasted Lobster Tail
1 pound butter
2 cups fingerling potatoes, halved
1 cup radishes, halved
Salt and pepper to taste
2 lobster tails
1 quart watermelon, chopped
Honey and granulated sugar to taste
Watercress and balsamic vinegar for garnish
Melt 1 pound butter in a small saucepot.
Submerge 2 cups fingerling potatoes (halved lengthwise) and 1 cup halved radishes and cook on low heat until fork tender, about 15-25 minutes.
Remove potatoes and radishes from butter (reserve butter) and toss with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Cut 2 lobster tails down the center of the shell and carefully pull the tail meat out of the shell and rest on the outer shell. Season with salt and pepper. Place on baking tray and roast in the oven at 350 degrees until meat is opaque and somewhat firm.
Remove from oven and brush with melted butter.
Puree 1 quart chopped watermelon with a stick blender or blender and run through a fine strainer into a small saucepot.
Heat until reduced by 75 percent, then add heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Salt and pepper to taste.
Add a little honey or granulated sugar if needed to give the sauce a slight sweetness.
Spoon watermelon cream into the center of a dish. Place potatoes and radishes over cream. Place lobster tail on top. Garnish with a little watercress and lightly drizzle white balsamic vinegar over the watermelon cream.
Lowbrow: Pork Tacos
"Pork is the rosé of protein," says Kafcsak, who also serves as consulting chef with Humble Wine Bar. "It goes well with nice, light flavors." The braised pork shoulder gets dressed with shredded red cabbage, lemon juice and a garlic mayo. "This dish has all the textures that go well with pork and with rosé — a little acid from the lemon and creaminess from the mayo."
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup garlic cloves, peeled
1 quart white wine
2 cups red cabbage, shredded
Juice of 1 lime
1 ½ cups mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¼ cups caramelized onions
Season 1 pork shoulder with salt and pepper on all sides.
Place in oven-safe pan with 1 cup peeled garlic cloves, 1 quart white wine and enough water to cover three-fourths. Cover pan with foil and braise for 3 hours at 350 degrees.
Remove from liquid and shred or chop meat to desired size. In separate bowl, mix 2 cups shredded red cabbage, juice of 1 lemon, salt and pepper to taste.
In another bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise, 1/4 cup roasted garlic puree, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1/4 cup caramelized onions, salt and pepper to taste.
Smear a grilled tortilla with garlic mayo, fill with braised pork, and top with red cabbage and shredded cheddar.
The Velvet Tango Room's Nexus rosé cocktail comes together as a versatile drink that can span the seasons or transition from a single glass to a punch bowl party favorite. "The cherry liqueur balances the tart of the wine and the allspice liqueur adds some spiciness," says bartender Danina Calame, who created the Nexus. "Because of the cherry and lime components you could drink this in the summer. But the allspice also makes it a good cold-weather cocktail."
2 ounces rosé
3/4 ounces simple syrup
3/4 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
3/4 ounces Cherry Heering
1/4 ounces Allspice Dram
Serve on ice in a wine glass with a lime wedge and a cherry or multiply the measurements and serve in a punch bowl for a large group.