Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Quick Drink: Roussanne

Roussanne is not a wine that is going to win any popularity contests anytime soon. Kevin Zraly's nearly universally used Windows on the World fails to mention the grape at all. Grown mainly in the Rhone valley of France, this is a grape which more often than not turns up in other wines. Consider it the studio drummer who seems to play with every band in town. To my eyes, its straw color is one of the prettiest hues in the wine rainbow. As far as heft, it generally falls somewhere between a sauvignon blanc and a chardonnay with medium acidity.

Have you ever walked by a citrus tree or sweet olive in full bloom and become intoxicated by its scent? Roussanne is a liquefied version of that experience. Now, that is awful wine geek language but it is pretty damn accurate. Some Roussannes have a touch of residual sweetness which makes them nearly perfect for something spicy like a thick pork chop rubbed down with Szechuan peppercorns or  crawfish etouffee. It also makes a spectacular aperitif and a damn fine sangria with peaches come summertime. Roussane, it isn't popular, its just delicious, versatile, and affordable.


theflyingnun said...

In what local shops have you found Roussanne? Also, on French labels, what should you look for to get a good example of Roussanne?

Rene said...


I like Keife & Co. in the CBD. Its become my go to wine shop. As far as the labels, as with most European wines, I tend to look for importers or negociants I like and buy from them. Best way is to try a few importers and see which ones you like.