There’s electricity in the air. The World Series is here in San Francisco! Some of us care, some don’t. Either way, it is exciting. During this week of heightened energy, our staff got together and tasted a bunch of wine samples, and I think we’ll be bringing in a few new wines soon. Stay tuned. As I was rummaging through some sample boxes the other day, I was reminded of the day that we discovered Elisabetta Fagiuoli’s Canaiuolo Rosato.
I want to say this must have taken place circa late 2009. We were setting up for a staff tasting. Some samples from Tuscany’s Elisabetta Fagiuoli had arrived several weeks earlier, and the day to taste them had arrived. We love the Montenidoli Vernaccias; talk about terroir driven white wines! There were a couple of Chianti samples in there as well, and then … what’s this? 2006 Rosé? Or Rosato, as it’s known in Italy. Really? 2006? What in the heck is that doing in the box? The idea of tasting 3 year old Rosé didn’t exactly get our respective hearts to beat any faster, as a matter of fact, we were all wondering if we really needed to taste it at all. Boy are we glad we did! First of all, it was smoking! I mean, sure, our expectations were somewhat dimmed for tasting a 3 year Rosé, but this was incredible. It was fresh. It was lively. It had subtlety, complexity, richness, and a long, crisp finish. We were mesmerized. David! David! What is this stuff? How do we get some? It took some time, but we opened our Montenidoli Rosato account with the 2010 vintage. When it arrived in the summer of 2011, we were super excited. Taking this special Rosato to picnics and barbecues sounded like a great idea for the summer of 2011. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, those in the know (a very famous Italian chef), ordered ALL OF IT! Gone. Gone like a circus gone. Gone like a troubadour. Well, that was good for the sales department, but bad for staff members who wanted to take the wine to picnics and barbecues. Well, there’s always next year. Guess what? We ordered more from the following vintage. Guess who bought ALL OF IT again? Yup, Mr. TV pizza authority for one of his restaurants. It had given us a bit of a complex. Customers would come in and ask, “What’s your favorite Rosé?” The first thing to come to mind was always the wine we weren’t allowed to sell in the shop. It happened again the next year, but we made a point of keeping 5 cases for the shop. Some of you already know what I’m on about here. Our biggest order to date for Montenidoli’s Canaiuolo Rosato came with the 2013 vintage, and we now have it in stock! It’s not a happy-go-lucky, carefree Rosé. It is a serious wine. And though it’s pricier than our other Rosés, it’s worth every penny. It is refined, fresh, complex, with all components tuned together in seamless harmony. It is as special as its winemaker.
So, yes. I had a conversation with a chef/customer the other day as he was picking up some Bordeaux for an anniversary dinner. He asked me if Rosé sales were still on the upswing. I told him that unbelievably, Rosé sales are still increasing. He asked if I had any idea why. What I said was that I thought the perception of these wines being off-dry plonk was diminishing. Also, I told him that I thought the perception of Rosé to be only a wine for summer was also fading. I equated it with bacon. Does bacon have a season? Neither does Rosé. Its versatility makes it somewhat ideal to take to a dinner if you don’t know what’s cooking. Lookout! With Thanksgiving coming, some pedigreed Rosato from Tuscany will grace any table upon which it is served.
Yes, the World Series is here in San Francisco. Some fans support one team, some fans, the other. Some folks don’t care. It’s all good as long as we have fun. Speaking of fun, the 2013 Canaiuolo Rosato from Montenidoli is something we all can get behind and enjoy together! – Peter Zavialoff
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments about Rosato, The World Series, Bordeaux, or tomorrow’s big showdown at Old Trafford: peter@wineSF.com