Power in Pink

The recent rise in popularity of dry rosé wines (at least in the U.S.) might lead you to think they are something new. You’d be wrong. For much of history, dry rosé was the preferred expression of red wine grapes.

It is only in the last couple hundred years that winemakers have had all the technological pieces in place to reliably make the mature red wines we enjoy today. For example, without the ability to to control temperatures, wines undergoing maceration can get hot enough to kill the yeast (called “stuck fermentation”). The was particularly a problem in warmer climates, such as southern Italy. Winemakers learned that by pressing the wines early and separating the juice from the skins, they would be able to complete the fermentation. The trade off was that they would end up with a lighter color wine, or rosato, the Italian word for rosé.

A glass of Cerasuolo
The vibrant cherry red of Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo

An example of this is Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo. Brief maceration (8 to 12 hours) and light pressing on the dark, flavorful, thick-skinned Montepulciano grape yields a delightful medium bodied wine. The word Cerasuolo means “cherry red”, and the resulting wine is a vibrant color that could make other rosés (if you’ll excuse the term) blush.

The color isn’t the only vibrant thing about Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo. These are some of the heartiest pink wines available, likely to have cherry and strawberry flavors supported by elegant spicy notes that might include orange peel and cinnamon. Richly flavored without being heavy or tannic, these wines are capable of pairing with an amazingly wide variety of foods.

Richer seafood dishes, pork, and roast game are all easy choices, but the bright fruit and exotic notes of a Cerasuolo can stand up to spicy food as well– after all, pepperoncini comes from Abruzzo. These wines go great with grilled Italian sausages (sweet or spicy) and BBQ.

Wanna take a walk on the wild side? Try Cerasuolo with curry. Then you will know for sure that there is Power in Pink.

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