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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Rosés; structure exposed!

I enjoyed a wine the other evening. It was J. Albin Winery (of Oregon) 2005 Saigneé Rosé: not as bone-dry as I prefer my rosés to be, but nonetheless very refreshing, with a hint of watermelon mixed into the raspberry nose.

Rosés begin as red wines; the juice is removed from contact with the skins after a short time. The finished wine ranges in color from peach to ruby red. It has the tannic structure of a red wine, but with more of a white wine body and flavor. Many rosés have strong acidity and minerality, and sport distinctive aromas of raspberry and strawberry.

Remember: European rosés, and new world versions of such, are dry. In fact some rosés can be the driest wines one might ever taste.

But, tell me: why do wine-makers and wine-talkers get away with saying "structure" when of course they mean bitterness? Both beer and wine have bitterness to balance any residual sweetness. In beer, tannic structure is derived from hops; in wine, from grape skins.

And why is it then, that only brewers are expected to use the word "bitterness"?

So from now on, it'll be my one-man campaign to rephrase "bitterness" when discussing beer: I'm going to say "structure!"

Three web-pieces on rosés:

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