It’s Time to Be an Adult about Rosé
And by that we mean, learn how to properly pair it.
No matter how hard we try to un-basic ourselves and drink something other than rosé while we lounge by a pool (or on a patio, or on a roof deck), we just can’t. There is just something about the crisp and refreshing taste of it that keeps us coming back for more and more—bottles, that is. There’s only one problem, though, and that is that we are pairing it with pretty much any and everything that we are eating or snacking on. Not the best experience for our palate if you think about it. Which is why we are *very* thankful for The Rosé Project, a chef dinner, art, and education series at The Surf Lodge in Montauk that is all about, you guessed it, rosé. We chatted with a few of their affiliated rosé experts to get the 101 on what we should actually be eating while we sip on the beloved pink bubbly beverage.
P.S. If you’re in Montauk and want to experience The Rosé Project firsthand, go right this way.
Before we got to the actual pairing suggestions we got Paul Chevalier, a winemaker from Chateau d’Esclans, and Kimberly Prokoshyn, head sommelier at Rebelle restaurant in NYC (she’s also head sommelier for The Rosé Project!) to give us a few extra tips about pairings. “The cleanness [of rosé] enables it to cut through many types of cuisine, just as a white wine would with crisp acidity,” Chevalier explained to us. “The additional body enables rosé to hold up to bolder flavors (including spicy) without feeling heavy.” Prokoshyn continued on: “You want to think about the tannins, acidity levels, and weight of the wine. Additionally you want to think about its flavor profile—is it fruitier or earthier, for example—because that will also affect your pairing. Some rosés are more tannic, and tannic wines work well with fattier and richer dishes like grilled tuna or even lamb with fresh herbs, because the tannins cut through the fat, keeping the palate fresh. Lighter rosé that is dry and higher in acid works well with, you guessed it, light and barely cooked dishes, like crudo and ceviche.”
Steak, baby lamb chops, or ribs: Château d’Esclans “Garrus” Rosé
“A wine like the Château d’Esclans ‘Garrus’ rosé, for example, while it’s quite full-bodied, will easily hold up to steak or even baby lamb chops, which are textbook red-wine pairings.” —Paul Chevalier, Winemaker, Château d’Esclans
Pork chops and grilled peaches: Hatzidakis Rosé
“The sweetness of the meat and peaches work perfectly with the fruit profile [of the wine], the saltiness and brightness of the wine cut through the fat perfectly. Initially I had always steered clear from heavier meats with rosé, but with the right meal preparation and the right wine, the combination can sing.” —Kimberly Prokoshyn of Rebelle
Oyster Crudo: Coastal Ciliegiolo Rosé
“Coastal Ciliegiolo from Liguria is juicy and salty, which works really great with something like the fluke crudo or tuna tartare from our menu.” —Chef Dan Kluger of Loring Place
Crudité: Château d’Esclans Whispering Angel or Rock Angel
“Radishes and Provencal rosé make for an absolute perfect pairing. Just make sure you have good, fresh radishes and maybe a little butter and salt to go with it.” —Kristin Tice Studeman, Founder of The Rosé Project
Summer salads: Château Minuty 281 Côtes de Provence
“I love serving rosé with classic summer dishes—they highlight the bright acidity and sweetness of fresh summer produce. With [my heirloom tomato and lobster salad] the rosé doesn’t overwhelm the lobster and brings out the floral notes in the lime-leaf butter.” —Melia Marden of The Smile
Grilled vegetables: Terrassen Rosé
“Terrassen is a rosé from the Finger Lakes in New York, Cabernet Franc, it is more of a medium-bodied rosé with a bit of raspberry fruit and slight peppery finish that would be great with grilled veggies.” —Kimberly Prokoshyn
Cheeseburgers: Chateau Simone Rosé
“The rosé from Chateau Simone is a little more powerful and aromatic. It also has the potential to age. It’s really nice to drink out of a burgundy glass and paired with a cheeseburger.” —Chef Dan Kluger of Loring Place
Fried fish tacos: Tissot “Extra Brut Rosé,” Cremant du Jura, N.V.
“Fried fish tacos are kind of crispy, salty, and a little fatty—the Tissot’s brightness will cut through the seaside brininess.” —Kimberly Prokoshyn
Spicy foods: Patrick Bottex Bugey Cerdon Rosé
“We usually start our dinners with our seaweed and tofu beignets—they are hot, bright, and a little spicy. With that I’d serve the Patrick Bottex Bugey Cerdon rosé. It’s sparkling with a little bit of sweetness.” —Chef Ari Taymor
Chocolate chip cookies: La Poussie Sancerre Rosé
“You don’t always need to stick to savory foods for your rosé pairings. A fresh summer-fruit dessert (like a peach galette) or good old chocolate chip cookie and a crisp glass of rosé is just the ticket at the end of a meal.” —Kristin Tice Studeman
Fresh strawberries: Ruinart Rosé
“Ruinart Rosé pairs nicely with both sweet and savory foods, but I love to finish a meal with a glass of this effervescent rosé and some fresh summer fruits. It’s nothing complex in terms of pairings but sometimes the simplest pairings are the best.” —Kristin Tice Studeman