End of Summer Italian Rosés

Rainoldi Nebbiolo Rosato I.G.T 2012Labor Day has come and gone – every year it creeps up faster and faster! It’s amazing the subtle shift in weather, these last days of summer. The farmers markets are bursting with the bounty of August’s hot days. Still, I can’t help but throw on a sweater in the cooler evenings even as I grill up my summer vegetables. With this in mind, Jessica and I are highlighting two of our favorite rosés to drink into these last days of summer. Both of these pinks are darker in color and more robust in body than their pale, delicate sisters we were sipping in early summer and spring. These late-summer rosés are a perfect accompaniment to late night grill sessions and a good way to get yourself ready for the reds of fall.

Rainoldi Nebbiolo Rosato I.G.T 2012 – (Valtellina, Italy)

Our friend Aldo’s delicious rosé is made from 100% Nebbiolo grown in terraced vineyards on the steep mountains of the Valtellina. The slopes there are so steep that each harvest season, Aldo hires a helicopter to bring the hand-picked grapes down from the mountains – it’s cheaper than the labor it would take to carry all the baskets down by hand! This is cool climate, minerally Nebbiolo, grown in the Italian Alps just a few miles from the Swiss border. Aldo’s wine is a natural partner to rich mountain cheeses like Gruyère Vieux or Monte Veronese Malga. I was amazed the first time I tried his dry rosé with fresh heirloom tomatoes! The tomatoes bring out the clear cherry fruit in the wine and the wine in turn amplifies the flavor and sweetness of the tomatoes. A perfect end of summer pairing! - Julie, Formaggio Kitchen South End

Lo Spaventapasseri “Rugiada” Rosato 2012Lo Spaventapasseri “Rugiada” Rosato 2012 – (Piemonte, Italy)

Another favorite Italian rosé comes from our friend Simone of Lo Spaventapasseri in southern Piedmont. Charmingly called “La Rugiada” – which translates to “dew” from the local dialect – this brilliant, ruby wine is made of 100% Pinot Noir (Pinot Nero in Italian). Certainly a much deeper, more intensely styled rosato than the lighter, more delicate pinks we were drinking in the springtime, this wine carries all the body necessary to accompany anything you want to put on the grill. I tried it with herb and olive oil marinated chicken thighs, fresh corn, and eggplant and feta salad. The honeyed, berry flavors of the wine brought out the sweetness in the corn and eggplant, and the structure and minerality lasted all the way through the herbs and char on the chicken. It was fantastic! Also lovely with a milky Piemontese robiola like Robiola Roccaverano and a dab of Simone’s apricot jam. A perfect wine to savor as you make the best of these last weeks of summer. - Jessica, Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge