Let’s get right to it. My favorite wine for 2015 is AIX Rosé , Provence, France 2013 (moving to 2014 in March).
I have long been an advocate for rosé as the perfect wine for the South, especially here in Charleston, South Carolina. We have moved past the generations who associate pink wine with the dreaded white zinfandel: sweet, sickly and cloyingly gross. I have seen dry rosé grow rapidly as a category of choice over the last ten years and predict that finally it will come of age in the South in 2015.
“AIX” is produced in Aix-en-Provence, a large French City in the gorgeous South but off the geographic radar to many Americans. It is a classic blend primarily of Grenache with Cinsault and Mouvedre grapes and has just a whisper of Counoise (a grape one can compare to the triangle instrument in the swooning orchestra of wine varietals—rarely used but highly distinctive). Ding! It’s a ridiculous value too.
As a red wine lover, it can be a real challenge to find a wine that suits our climate in the midst of summer, or even spring and fall. Sally forth the all-curing rosé, perfect for balmy nights, beach trips, picnics and porches alike. Served chilled by the pool at lunchtime or by the grill for dinner, AIX is as versatile a wine as Champagne. It has great acid, is food friendly, enjoyable on its own with friends, or by yourself in a contemplative mood.
The AIX label has two Mandarin ducks symbolizing eternity and companionship. (They are one of the few bird species to mate for life). So crack a bottle with your partner, jump in the hot tub, grill those vegetables, take a deep sigh and realize that this wine reminds us you shouldn’t judge anything by its color.
Editor’s Note: Patrick Emerson is the founder of Communion Wine Club, Beverage Director for BB&T Charleston Wine + Food, and a member of the TLP Wine Panel. Throughout his career, his restaurant wine lists have been awarded 28 Wine Spectator “Awards of Excellence.” Patrick has attained his Advanced Sommelier (AS) certification with the Court of Master Sommeliers and is a Certified Specialist of Wine (CWS).