On to Summer: Alìe Rosè
Not many people know that Italy’s Tuscan region actually offers some very classy Rosè wines, but it does. Among these are special blends from Frescobaldi’s South Tuscan “Ammiraglia Estate” that are crafted in this coastal territory using both Syrah and Vermintino.
Even though Syrah by itself would be a little heavy for a hot weather wine, mixing it with the lighter and livelier Vermintino varietal makes for a perfect summery luxury. The result is a wonderful combination of nuances you’d appreciate this as the heat builds, specifically with its bouquet of strawberries with a light floral accent.
One of the best pairs for this wine is salmon grilled on a soggy cedar plank. Most important: Put oil, like Pam, on that plank before placing the salmon. For some reason, the slightly smoked salmon flavors just work. It may also be the oils in the salmon meat or the seafaring character of the fish that clinches it, but for summer gilling, this will work miracles against the hot evenings.
Please note that this wine is relatively new to distribution in the US, so it’s best to use a local wine shop, like AJs, to order some from a distributor who will keep it cool during handling (it’s about $27 & 10% less for 6). If you can find a shipper on the Internet who will chill and ship one-day air, that will also work, but be there for pickup. Summer does have its limitations when handling wine here in Phoenix!
Serve it after an hour in the fridge (45-50 degrees). Its elegant berry bouquet will open up as it warms and it will also get slightly more complex in the mouth. This is a softer wine, so it will also pair well with other types of seafood.