Last year the Times ran a trend piece on how Domaine Ott ros was the wine of the moment out there in Long Island Summerland. Then, a few months later, Lettie Teague of Food & Wine magazine wrote a spunky piece on how she just doesnít think ros is really any sort of big deal. And me? I'm somewhere in between.
Ros has a place in the universe and summer is one of those universes. Ros is a force that cannot be denied. Look around. Go to any restaurant in NYC, there are more ross popping up in restaurants than rats in a lower east side garbage can, weíre deep into it. Deep.
Ros season is on. As a wine store said to me years back, ďItís ros season. Donít want to be caught with my pants down.Ē All around New York City it seems that everyoneís pants are held up. At Provence right this second there are eight ros choices by the bottle ($28-$75), one of them sells (well) at $16 a glass At Blue Ribbonís cozy wine bar, the $20 glass of passion fruit scented and bone dry Tempier is a total treat especially because I havenít had it in years.
Which brings me to the night I met my friend Nancy
at Balthazar for a drink. Enter two big guys. They squeeze right in at the bar with us. Weíre trapped.
This is their boys night out ritual. They train in from Suffolk County. They go to the Garden. They stay for one quarter of a Hockey game (--is that what they call it in hockey? Iím sports illiterate.) They come down to Balthazar and they order a seafood platter.
So far so good. Iím taking notes; these men are so out of my peripheral vision I feel like Iím at the zoo. They are pretty entertaining. I feel an essay coming on.
The one guy was trying to encourage Nancy to dive in on the seafood platter. He told her "I can't eat those legs," he said pointing to the daddy long leg-like appendage of a red-splotched king crab. "What are those?" He asked, squeamishly pointing to a boulot. He ordered an Amstel and draped his sweaty arm over Nancy which she peels off of her as specifically as a grape skin.
The other guy, the quieter one, the one who is actually married and looking to stay that way, ordered a ros! Not just any rose but the rose that seems to be the New York ros ($9 a glass price point) of the moment, Jean Maurice Raffault, a ros from Chinon from cabernet franc. I( used to like this....but at this point the fruit is overbearing, so much so it would appeal to a white zin drinker.)
Then he apologizes because itís French. But even though itís French he still likes it.
I like to give wine advice and love advice and sometimes I like to do it in the same breath. I admit, Iím prone to the occasional pigeonhole. People on the right like Bordeaux. Those who lean to the left are more likely to drink Chinon. And then thereís ros and with ros, you just never know.