Although the growing popularity of rosé is making it a year-round wine, it’s when spring rolls around that many guests start to think pink. That’s why Loa bar at the International House hotel in New Orleans came up with a fresh way to menu rosé by taking a page from color authority Pantone.
Loa’s creative director and “spirit handler” Alan Walter created the Long Days of Rosé wine menu using two dozen shades of pink Pantone squares, each corresponding to a different bottle of rosé. The name of the wine runs along the bottom of the color square; the wine’s country of origin is printed vertically along the right side of the square.
The special rosé selections span the globe, from Sonoma to Spain, Priorat to Provence. Loa offers three featured rosés a day, which are highlighted on the menu with a lipstick kiss print. The Long Days of Rosé menu launched in mid April; the wines are priced at $10 a glass, $12 for a flight of three and $42 a bottle.
Below, Walter shares five rosés he’s excited about drinking this year.
1) Ameztoi “Rubentis” Getariako Txakolina, Spain, 2016
Txakolina, pronounced CHA-ko-LEE-nah, is the Basque region of Northern Spain where this extraordinarily refreshing, light-as-a-feather rosé is produced. Wild strawberry and melon flavors with a tingly effervescence make this a cheerful wine to sip as an aperitif, or pair with any kind of seafood.
2) La Spinetta, Il Rosé di Casanova, Tuscany, Italy, 2016
This wine gets attention for the rhinoceros on its label, but what’s inside the bottle is as fresh and delicate as a petal, with a complex bouquet of stone fruits and crystalline minerals. Flavors of unripe peach, chalk and salt. Made from a blend of sangiovese and prugnolo gentile.
3) Clos Cibonne Tibouren, Cru Classé Côtes de Provence, France, 2015
A fascinating wine made from a rare, native grape called tibouren, grown on slopes facing the sea, and aged in giant, 100 year-old, foudres (large wooden vats) under a thin veil of native yeast called afleurette. Aromatic and fresh with lively fruit and saline notes.
4) Lioco Indica Rosé, Mendocino County, CA, 2016
This pretty lady is made from dry-farmed carignan, whole-cluster pressed and aged in stainless steel, boasting aromas and flavors of watermelon, lime leaf and lemongrass. There’s a reason this wine is sought after by rosé lovers every single year: It is consistently delightful.
5) Mas de Daumas Gassac Rosé Frizante, Languedoc, France, 2016
Could this be the happiest wine in the world? Bursting with springtime freshness and glowing neon pink, this is a rosé of mostly young vine cabernet sauvignon, from an excellent producer of field blends in southern France. A joyous fizz with flavors of watermelon rind, fresh lemon, strawberry and wet grass.