The SOMM Journal

June / July 2017

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Page 44 of 124

44 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } JUNE/JULY 2017 { trends } Savoring the Rosé Palate in Chicago by Jessie Birschbach / photos by Rebecca Peplinski The Vins de Provence wine tasting at Chicago's Sepia did not occur on the blue-skied sort of day when one might typically call for rosé, but this only further supported what Vins de Provence set out to do. Rosé is no longer pigeonholed into summertime and garrigue-seasoned white meats. Americans take rosé seriously now, and this can mostly be attributed to the one region that's been treating rosé as a formidable wine since the 14th century—Provence. There, rosé accounts for over 89% of wine production, and many vignerons tend to favor the direct press method. This, combined with a sunny Mediterranean climate, results in quality, no-nonsense dry rosé. Sepia, the highly-acclaimed Michelin starred New American restaurant in an old print shop in Chicago's West Loop, offers an award-winning 700-bottle wine list that falls in line with Chef Andrew Zimmerman's seasonal menu. In keeping with the cuisine, Beverage Director Arthur Hon not only under - stands seasonality but is at the mercy of Mother Nature's will, especially in Chicago. The versatility of Provençal rosé is one of Hon's secret weapons. "Here in Chicago, especially in the past few years, we've seen a very strong consumption of rosé both off- and on-premise," says Hon. "And now the Chicago market is moving into the idea that you can drink rosé during the quote/unquote 'off season.' With Provence rosés you have that skin contact, which makes it so much more versatile. I love incorporating Provençal rosé into fall and winter cuisine. It's a little bit unexpected, and it also gives you the ability to work with wines that have a little more bottle aging—maybe six to nine months—and that develops aromas that are almost peachy, apricot- like and sometimes with a sweet spiciness similar to a root vegetable. This is probably why I like these rosés a lot with root vegetables; we see them so much here in Chicago and the Midwest. For instance I really like carrots, and carrots in different kinds of formats work really, really well with rosé— especially these." Hon points to the roasted carrots with sesame-miso, dates, . . . and All Year Rosé All Day VINS DE PROVENCE EMBLAZONS ROSÉ'S VERSATILITY IN TWO UNEXPECTED MARKETS Cécile Garcia, USA Communication Export Manager for Vins de Provence, with Sepia Beverage Director Arthur Hon. Mandy Sparacino, Sommelier at Del Frisco's, gets a closer look of the pink line-up at Sepia.

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