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Is this red wine your winter rozay?

Posted by Stephen Meuse  January 20, 2012 12:08 PM

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Thumbnail image for IMG_5230.JPG Some are convinced that rosy-hued wine has no role to play once the last mild, soft autumn days are behind us. We may not be quite as likely to sip pink wine in February as in May, but we're certainly open to the proposition. A glass of something rosy does seem to brighten the mid-winter darkness a bit - and that seems reason enough not to rule out its use.

There is one drawback to cold weather rozay we'll cop to: they're often just not up to the heft of the winter table.  One alternative is to turn to more robust versions from California or Australia - but speaking candidly, New World pink isn't quite the thing is it?   There's something about the additional extraction these wines are subjected to that negates the charm.   Another option: an Old World red that's only marginally more concentrated than a classic pink, but delivers more punch.   A particularly successful example of the category is seen in all its pale glory above, The lean, crisp, cracklingly dry 2010 Migliavacca Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese (Adonna Imports, $16). 

It's not really in the character of the grignolino grape to be as ingratiating as the grenache you typically find in Provencal pinks, say, or the gamay in Beaujolais-Villages. The profile is distinctly more herbal and leafy than either, and the red currant and cherry notes a distinctly higher-toned species of fruit; but the overall effect is juicy and appealing.  

Stephen Meuse can be reached at bytheglass@globe.com

Ellen Bhang

About By the Glass

Ellen Bhang writes about food and wine and reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe. Wine is the focus of her degree in the Gastronomy master's program at Boston University. She can be reached at bytheglass@globe.com.

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Read more of Stephen Meuse's columns at www.bostonglobe.com

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