I do like rosé. There – I said it loudly and openly! This predilection poses some interesting questions about how best to enjoy a good glass of rosé – without being overly technical. Or should I say, without being overtly technical!
As a wine collector and drinker I have a large selection of stemware, and while there are some natural choices (or should I say favourite choices), I found that the best glass for Provencal rosé is not necessarily the most obvious one.
The temperature of rosé
Being a practical beast, I take my rosé from the fridge (currently at 5-6 celsius). This seems to work very well for me, as the wine’s temperature will rise rather rapidly in the summer weather. If you prefer, you could go even cooler, but then the bouquet will suffer somewhat until the wine warms in the glass.
Rosé can work with a higher temperature – some even recommend serving at 10-12 celsius – but to be honest I prefer to start at 5-6 celsius and let the wine warm in the stem.
I also like the fresh, mineral notes in the cold rosé, and this actually could influence the choice of stem.
The stems at hand
I have the following stems at hand, and I will test a few more when I have some more rosé on the table:
- Zalto Universal
- Zalto Burgundy
- Riedel Sommelier Burgundy Grand Cru
- Riedel Vinum Bourgogne
- Riedel Vinum Chardonnay
The Zalto Universal stem is my first choice, as I use them on a daily/weekly basis, whereas some of the other stems are not used as often these days.
The quick look
The Zalto Universal stem gives a fine, but also somewhat compact, expression to the rosé wines poured. It will definitely work well in most – if not all – rosé cases, although you will not get the optimal expression of the wine, as the compressed feeling is there, especially if you know better.
The Riedel Sommelier Burgundy Grand Cru is works better on the wines tested. They have more volume and body, and the bouquet is more generous, without being overtly assertive. These stems give an understated and elegant representation to the wines (they are also my favourite Burgundy stems), and somehow the Provencal rosés manage to “fill” these large bowls. They are great – if you have them – and worth a try.
The Riedel Vinum Burgundy gives part of the Sommelier experience: a bit more compact, a bit less detail, but in the end an excellent compromise. A lot of restaurants and collectors have the Riedel Vinum Burgundy, as these are affordable glasses. It is worth a try for your rosé.
The Zalto Burgundy is problematic: It seems to bring out some “off flavours” and other disturbing elements in the rosés, particularly those that are not of the highest ultimate quality. They do not work well with the Provencal wines.
The Riedel Vinum Chardonnay is too small to my mind – leaving the wines with a compact and sligthly dull expression. Better to stay with the Zalto Universal.
The temperature and the stems
My recommendation: Cooler serving temperature if one uses a larger stem, as the bigger glasses seem to reveal the wine better and offer a more generous representation.
In this way one gets the best of both worlds: the minerality of the cool wine leading to the generous palate one find as it warms.
Just test the Riedel Riedel Sommelier Burgundy Grand Cru or the Riedel Vinum Bourgogne and see how your Provence rosé can udfold.
Try it. Cheers!
NB: Riedel produces a rosé stem in the Sommelier range, but we have not tried this yet.