‘Tis the season to DRINK PINK wine. Few show us how to do it better than SwirlGirl Denver Kendra Anderson, who hosted a thirsty crowd in need of summer sipping on a recent sweltering eve. The patio at ChoLon Modern American Bistro was the venue for the immersion experience in pink porch wines from France, Sicily, and the United States. Appetizers from chef Lon Symensma were wonderful accompaniments to the rosé wines.
From France: Mas Carlot Rosé 2011 paired with Pork Belly with Purple Potatoes. This savory mouthful paired beautifully with the dry, elegant rosé that tasted of watermelon, herbs, and tart strawberries. Its summery acidity cut through the richness of the pork-topped potatoes, enhancing the flavors of both. The wine is a rosé blend of Grenache and Syrah.
From Sicily: Tasca D’Almerita Regaleali Rosé paired with Salmon Tartar with Avocado Puree and Ginger Marinade. This to-die-for taste was all umami, and paired well with the fruit-forward rosé of the nero d’avola and nerello mascalese grapes. This wine is bold and complex enough to hold its own with everything from a more savory fish to a grilled burger.
From the United States: Daou Vineyards Paso Robles Rosé 2010 paired with another round of the Pork Belly with Purple Potatoes and the Salmon Tartar with Avocado Puree and Ginger Marinade. This wine had an interesting finish with notes of melon and fennel. This bold blend of Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Zinfandel, aged in oak, offered sun-kissed, New World alternative to the subtle complexities of the first two wines.
Between courses, a mini Watermelon Boba Tea was a light refresher.
Anderson extolled the virtues of rosé wine, suggesting people use the wine’s grape to guide food pairings. For example, a rosé of Pinot Noir is likely to have a similar food-friendly profile as a traditional Pinot Noir wine, while a rosé of Cabernet Sauvignon may pair better with denser foods. Anderson said an easy way to pair food with rosé wines is to pair the color of the wine with the weight of the food. She suggested matching a pale, salmon-colored French-style wine with everything from raw fish to salads, and a robust, fuchsia-colored rosé with grilled meats.
If there’s one thing about ChoLon, it’s that tasting one or two appetizers entices you to linger for more. Fortunately the Chef’s Table was available that night for a full meal of chef Lon Symensma’s fantastic creations…paired, of course, with a refreshing glass of rosé wine.
Swirl Girl Denver Kendra Anderson is a sommelier and professional chef. She is the wine writer for Denver’s Westword, blogs about wine and food on Forkly, and hosts wine tastings at SPIRE and other venues.
ChoLon is located in Downtown Denver at 1555 Blake Street, on the corner of Blake and the 16th Street Mall. Stop by this summer for a glass of rosé on the patio or for a bowl of the Malaysian shaved ice that is drawing rave reviews.