Real Men Drink Pink: Rosado de Navarra

Real Men Drink Pink: Rosado de Navarra
Welcome to Wine Wednesdays here at the 30 Minute Dinner Party! You can’t really have a dinner party without wine, but it is a big, confusing vino world out there. Don’t worry: many wine professionals don’t know the names of every wine making house! With Wine Wednesdays, we will give you what you need to know to select, serve, and say something witty about the wines of the world.

Hot weather demands cold drinks. For many, that means beer or margaritas, but rose (or rosado) wines are a chic alternative.

What You Need to Know

You say ‘rosé’, Spaniards say ‘rosado.’

Even though rosés don’t even grace the menus of most American restaurants, they are extremely common in Spain. The rosados from the Navarre region are particularly popular and pair with practically any dish.

You can think of a rosado de Navarra like a red you can drink cold. Similar body and fruit, but a crisp nature that is excellent chilled.

The Lowdown

Grape: Garnacha (primarily)
Region: Navarre (an autonomous region of Spain)
Flavor: fruity but not sweet, crisp
Color: from pale pink to strawberry red
How to Serve: chilled
Cost: $5-$12

Well-known BRANDS: Chivite, Señorio de Sarria, Ochoa, Las Campanas

WHEN to Drink: Young. Except for really top tier blends, rosados should be consumed within a year or two of bottling.

How to PAIR: With anything. I’m not even kidding. Chefs recommend foods ranging from Asian cuisine to Mediterranean flavors. It might not hold up against a big juicy steak, but it’s perfect for a meal with a tricky mix of tastes.

The Backstory

When the Roman army, led by Pompey the Great, arrived in this part of Spain, there were already vineyards. We are talking 2000+ years of winemaking history here.

For the past thousand years, Navarre has been popular with tourists. The trail of the apostle James (Santiago) passes through the area, and French monks brought their grapes vines along the camino with them.

Unfortunately, France also passed on the not-so-nice phylloxera bugs. After shutting down French wine production, these critters caused some major hiccups in Navarre. But the region has managed to come out on top, using these downers as a reason to revamp.

Fun Party Facts

(1) Shakespeare’s original comedy Love’s Labour’s Lost is set entirely in Navarre, as are Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Sun Also Rises.

(2) Wine become an important crop in Navarre because pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago needed something to drink. In the Middle Ages, people consumed a lot of low proof alcohol because it was safer to drink than water.

(3) One of the most famous rosado producers, the Chivite family, has passed the winemaking tradition from parent to child since 1647.


John Mariani, restaurant columnist for Esquire:

The wines I was most impressed by were the rosados, with their true rose color, fragrant nose and flower-and-mineral flavors picked up from the red limestone that covers the region’s vineyards.

Ana Fabiano, noted Hudson Valley-based wine and travel consultant:

One of Spain’s best-kept secrets is its rosado wines.

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