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A favorite rosè from Northern Italy by the glass at Ciao Bello

Rosè is so often misunderstood in our country.

Thanks to the aggressive marketing of “blush” wines and “white Zinfandel” in the 1970s and 1980s, we Americans have come to perceive rosè as cheap swill, more often than not sweet (and sometimes sweetened by the addition of raw sugar), and barely quaffable by any self-respecting wine lover.

But when you travel to Italy and dine in someone’s home, you’ll find that Italians love to drink rosè all year round.

In many ways, true rosè wines — made using the saignée (French) or Salasso (Italian) method — are the ideal of food-friendliness. The have gentle tannin, imparted by the skins of the red grapes. But they also have lightness, low alcohol, and freshness and clean flavors. And most importantly, when vinified in a traditional style, they have bright acidity — the key to delicious and healthy pairing of food and wine.

Currently at Ciao Bello, we offer our guests the Terlan Lagrein (grape variety) rosè from Alto Adige ($10). It has everything that a rosè should have but it also has just enough tannin that it can stand up to the pastas with meat sauces (like the Amatriciana). It will pair superbly with nearly anything on the list, really.

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