Though I love the arrival of a new season, the relentless rain last week was a bit wearying. So the crisp autumnal sunshine on Saturday was joyously welcomed. Lunch was served next to wide open windows, not quite alfresco but with a fresh breeze to whip up the appetite.
Red seemed too sleepy for such energetic weather but after glancing down the winelist, a rosé seemed to capture the frivolity that sunshine always bestows on a weekend day, while giving us the depth of flavour to match a tomato-based seafood linguine and rustica pizza.
I usually go for the Languedoc when looking for rosé with strength of character but as we were in an Italian restaurant I chose one from the Veneto and found the same richesse.
This region, with its Amarone tradition, produces wines with ripasso technique (passing young wine over the unpressed skins of the dried grapes used to make Amarone). This has traditionally only been used for Valpolicella but with international varieties being planted and all sorts of new innovations, these techniques are being experimented with in different ways.
There is also carbonic maceration, usually associated with Beaujolais Noveau, used for Bardolino Novello which was given its own DOC a few years ago.
Rosé is not particularly traditional to this region but in the spirit of modern wines being trialled and produced using traditional methods and grape varieites in different ways, there is a very successful marriage here.
The colour was deep, the texture fleshy and ripe with the right balance of acidity and creaminess. It was bursting with juicy cherry and strawberry fruit. It was perfect for the food, just what I was looking for and I have been enthused to find some more examples of Veneto rosé which are available to buy. This one was an on-trade line only. Watch this space...