Wine Tasting: 2013 Chateau de Pibrarnon Bandol Rosé 07.09.2014

As you may or may not know, rosé wines are terribly glam right now.  I recently wrote a piece for National Public Radio's food blog The Salt about the proliferation of the pink wine the U.S. market, and there is no dearth of recommendations, including my favorite from Forbes titled, "Real Men Drink Rosé .  Well, of course they do.  I'll take it a step further and say that real wine drinkers drink rosé.

Last year, I was devoted to the 2012 Domaine du Dragon -- ideal for anyone who prefers wine or rosé wine on the dry side.  The Dragon had a gorgeous pale, pink color and no overwhelming fruit notes that would warrant pairing it with one type of food over another.  It was perfect.  And whenever I got a bottle of the Dragon, I also bought another rosé to compare.  Dragon always won out.  But, alas, not this year.

This year, I tasted the 2013 Dragon at the beginning of rosé season and was disappointed.  A bitter taste stayed after the first sip and I was not inclined to try another bottle.  But that wouldn't be fair.  So I gave it some time and tried it again and while it did get better, it has yet to match the 2012.  

There are a lot of things I love and respect about rosés, not the least of which is the price tag.  You can get a really good rosé wine for $10.99 and know you didn't get a crap wine just because the price was reasonable.  The 2012 Dragon, for example, was selling for $11.99 in some stores last year, but this year, it spiked to $18.99 or more.  The price may be riding on last year's coattails.  

My wine guy, Phil, and his wife Gaby recently gifted me a bottle of the 2013 Chateau de Pibramon Bandol Rosé, which is higher end.  Again, just the right amount of dryness for my taste and a beautiful pink color bordering on salmon.  Eric and I tasted it together and my first thought was, this would pair well with fish.  We were having chicken the night we drank it, but that's the beauty of rosé wine -- unless it's bad, you can easily pair it with a range of food, or have it as a cool apéritif in the summer.  

The Bandol can cost more than $30, depending on where you're buying it.  It's not what I would spend on a regular basis, but for a dinner party gift, or to celebrate Germany winning the semi-finals of the World Cup -- absolutely.  Who knows what I'll do when Germany wins the World Cup…come on, you know they will!

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