June is Pink Wine Month!

ChrisatBedfordCheese / June 21, 2011, 5pm

So I’m a sucker for celebratory and/or themed drinking. Hark, is it Cinco de Mayo (give or take 3 weeks)? Celebramos con tequila! The Oscars? Let’s open that $9 bottle of whatever has bubbles in it and put on bow ties and eat hot dips. Tuesday? Probably going to need to theme the night “Vodka,” and put on Robyn as I vacuum for the next 3 hours in my underwear.

So, because it’s finally summer time in the city, I’m going to touch on the topic that everyone has on their mind. Two words. Pink. Wine. That’s right. I’m declaring it GLOBAL ROSÉ MONTH! Cue chorus of scantily clad angels fluttering down from above, gently cooing Stevie Nicks, and presenting you with a glowing bottle of something chilled and pink. Yeah, so it’s already three weeks into June, so you probably haven’t actually realized that this is an officially themed month. But don’t worry! You have 10 days to catch up with me, because I’ve been sucking down the stuff like there is no tomorrow.

Yeah, so what. This is my life and I don't care what you think.

So, let’s talk some logistics about rosé. Or should I say “rosado.” Or perhaps you’d prefer “rosato.” Or maybe, JUST MAYBE, you are hanging out with Danielle Steele and drinking a hefty goblet of “blush.” Ah yes. They all refer to the same thing. Pink wine, ladies and gentleman. Basically, you take wine grapes. You squish ‘em and put em in a vat with the skins for a couple of days. Then, you REMOVE the skins from your witches brew. (With white wine you usually don’t let the wine and the grape skins chill out together. That’s why you get a lighter, smoother drink!) As a result, you get your lovely shades of pink wine. Leave the skins in for longer periods of time, you get a darker shade of pink, more tannins, and a bolder flavor. It also depends on the grape varietal(s – don’t forget about blending!) that you use. So…you get the pretty color, the easy going flavor of the fruit you use, and none of the tannins that come along with disintegrated grape skins. Et voila – a wine that is easy enough to pour into a Big Gulp cup and guzzle while you are working on your loom, making wolf-tooth hawk-feather dreamcatchers, or moulding your favorite yoga positions out of organically and sustainably harvested clay. Easy!

Rosé delirium!

Rose is great cold. It loves food. It tastes like pink berries and fruit. And, you can drink a bottle, sitting there sweating in the muggy June mid-early afternoon, and think about the hearty red wines you’ll soon be drinking in December as you curse the cold and yearn for humidity.

So, UNFORTUNATELY, we do not sell any wine at the Bedford Cheese Shop. It’s some sort of legal mumbo jumbo courtesy of the city or state or mindspace of New York. Blah blah blah they don’t want anyone to have any fun. But, what we do have in abundance is CHEESE! That you can pair with wine! So, in a perfect world, which of our fine cheeses would I pair with rosé? Luckily for you, I’ve come up with a handy dandy list of some staples at the cheese shop that you can eat while you get crunk and have a party that is kind of like this one below:

(Courtesy of Dr. Taylor Watson.)

1.) Ok. Get ready. I’m going to reference the ultimate summer time cheese. Ready? Got your diapers on tight? Here goes: BURRATA! This mild, creamy, easy going ball of joy pairs great with a lighter rose, something cold and crisp, and perhaps bubbly! I would recommend finding a really red tomato, slicing it, ripping up some basil, drizzling citrus forward olive oil on your ball o’ burrat’, and sprinkling flaked salt and pepper everywhere for a flavor explosion. Wanted to pretend you were in your Italian villa for the summer while dining al fresco on your fire escape, listening to that one Rihanna song blast out of the car parked across the street? Try this out.

Burrata!!!

2.) One of my all time favorite cheeses is Twig Farm’s Goat Tomme. Aged for 80 days, this raw milk goat milk’s wonder hails from the Northeast Kingdom. Hidden behind a gray, splotchy rind is a bone-white paste with a delicate and delicious flavor. You get the tangy goat milk thing mixed with subtle earth and grass tones. It literally tastes like the memory of kissing a really happy goat. That one time when you were in high school and you felt all tingly. Special. This delicate cheese is totally helped out by fruity roses. Imagine sitting in a field, sharing a picnic with all your goat pals.

3.) How about something Alpine for all you faithful readers? Hoch Ybrig is a great one for summertime, chosen for us by the Swiss affineur Rolf Beeler. (Good luck reading that website). Made during the summer, in the Swiss Alps, Hoch Ybrig is the product of rich, perfect, Alpine cow’s milk. Cows that graze on the most luscious and pure grass there is. It is washed in a white wine and brine as it ages, so it gives it a little kick. Fruity, nutty, creamy, earthy, with a little bit of granular fun, this cheese reminds me of a berry bush that you found in a bog. Like that imagery? I would definitely drink rose with this to cut the heavy cream palate coater, and eat some bread, a mostarda of sorts, and a big fennely salami with all dis. Go ahead. Pretend like you are a mountain herder. Or you are about to be ravaged by an Alpine hunk. Or something.

Hoch Ybrig

Not the prettiest Hoch Ybrig, but you get the idea.

4.) For all you blue cheese fans, I would recommend the luscious and creamy Blauschimmel. It’s a German blue that tastes like blue cheese ice cream. Zesty and citrusy, this cheese is just dying for a berry heavy (aka MEGA PINK) wine. It’s like eating a fruit salad. That you cooked into a piece of German cheese? While I try to grapple with that imagery, I recommend opening your bottle of rosé and pouring it liberally all over the place.

5.) Chabichou. It’s such a great name! And so good! And we have a ton of these fresh little French goat cheeses. They are so beautiful and look like they are covered in white brains. Yum! Hailing from the Loire Valley, this is one of the oldest, name protected French goat cheeses you can find. Yessir. Made halfway between Paris and Bordeaux, this dense, chalky goat cheese will melt on your palate with tangy, sweet, and mineral tones. If I were you, I would just open any old cold pink wine, get a bowl of cherries, and go to town. And perhaps call over your friends and have a major bitchy gossip session. Yeah…..that’s right. I’m talking about you.

Chabichou

Ok, well after all that time talking about cheese and wine….I’m incredibly thirsty. So. I’m going to go celebrate in true June fashion. Talk to y’all later! XO!

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