As we move into yet another rosé season I found the perfect excuse to hang out with friends, and lineup a few of our favorite placed rosés in town. There were really no rules, and no charts, simply a path lined with layers of flavor and blushing complexity, that lead to sunshine filled patios and full bellies. If you attempt to recreate this, responsibly choose any number of the selections below, as we did. Here’s how the day unfolded…
A dainty patio bursting with lunch guests creates a cozy, daytime introduction to this café style Italian eatery. Bernardo Nolfo, and Marco Borghi invite guests in with a familial welcome with a menu boasting simply stated recipes, and using purely traditional flavors of southern Italy. Arrive hungry, with wide eyes, and no hesitation to order enough to share. Other diners will visually participate in the delivery of each of your plates, which make a real statement about capturing the comfort of a family filled Italian kitchen.
Rosé | Stemmari – Terre Siciliane Rosé
The only Italian Rosé selection of the day, and the only tapped. Sold by the glass ($6), 375 ml. carafe ($12), or 750 ml. bottle ($23). The predictable delicate palate of sweet strawberry notes stand up surprisingly well to the full-flavored richness, sweet tomato base, and occasional spicy Texas accents on this menu. Try a Caponata topped with traditional veggies of a Sicilian kitchen, which plays well with the Stemmari. We tried the Endiva belga & caprino salad, the Proscuitto e mozzarella Panini, and the Austin pizza… yes, yes we did.
Salt of the earth and the sea are brought together with southern styled finesse at Searsucker Austin. Embrace your “go-big” comfort amongst the vast selection of hearty plates, and chic barnyard styled dining room containing large open spaces, using rope & hide accents, and oversized couch seating.
Rosé | Whispering Angel – Château d’Esclans, Côtes de Provence Rosé
Delicate and lightly peach in color the Whispering Angel balances a berry forward bouquet complimented with a dry finish makes this bottle an obvious accompaniment to any of my summer gatherings. Served by the bottle, I suggest inviting friends along, and pair this cherub inspired bottle with small & shareable happy hour edible favorites like shrimp + cream cheese grits + smoked paprika butter, or squid “sweet heat” & sour apples.
Switch gears for a clean and modern approach to an established Austin area favorite. The Grove’s newest location situated in the heart of downtowns Westside made for a perfect moment of pause for a late afternoon energy refuel. Opting for a double macchiato perked up our taste buds before venturing onto the next sexy rosé which topped my list for the day.
Rosé | Commanderie de la Bargemone – Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence Rosé (2015)
Standing by the simplicity exuded at The Grove, this bottle affixes a welcomed bone-dry palate to lighter berries and a mild tartness. It needed no food introduction or pairing for our tasting, however, one Grove favorite that will pair nicely, is the Bruschetta. Offered in a trio which I generally select the 3 following: Figs, Brie, and Julienned Apples; Asparagus, Prosciutto, Smoked Gruyere; Gorgonzola, Walnuts, Pear, Local Honey.
VOX is a blank slate where creativity is invited in. The members of the VOX team fill the space with everything that it is, energy, food, exquisitely crafted cocktails, and more. Chef Joe Anguiano and his team, collectively, continue to impress with each new bite. I’ve fallen in love with my go-to dish, the Smoked Hamachi Pipette. Give it a go, you will too. Word on the street is that a new menu is in the works, so be sure to get a bite of the original menu before its history.
Holding together a blend of unique varietals, Le Pive blends Grey Grenache, Merlot, Cabernet franc, and Black Grenache, lending to its beautiful pink granite hue. Just as the appearance is stunning, the palate is drinkable and pairs with nearly anything.
Our choice for pairing was a small snack from Chef Joe’s kitchen, Pork Crackling served with a drizzle of citrus aioli and brava sauce. There is no better way to describe these scrumptious bites other than telling you, they will melt on your tongue, teeth, and cheeks in the most incredible way the minute they enter your closed mouth – yum! Do it right and pair them with a bottle of the Le Pive, it will not disappoint.
And then we ensued in an actual food frenzy which started as an innocent snack. The plates moved swiftly to and from our table with a balletic, controlled, awkward, vintage fashioned, grace. Each one thoughtfully constructed with artful presentation containing delicacies from our local farms.
What I’m saying in a nutshell is that, it was beautiful from farm to belly, and I’m thankful for that. The space itself is reminiscent of what it might feel like to sit inside of a large glass planter with a bad ass kitchen staff & adult beverage offerings.
Appearing darker, nearly shadowy peach in the glass, Listel will cozy up nicely to a breadth of plate flavor profiles. The good news is that The Odd Duck will provide plenty of tasting ground for your pairing.