Last night, one of my students asked “does wine have a season.” We were tasting a flight of Chardonnay at the time and the flavor profile of the oldest vintage (2000) prompted the question. While some sippers assume that whites are for summer and reds for winter, this offered a perfect opportunity to bust the myth. The class agreed that the bottle maturation certainly altered the flavor profile of the Chardonnay making it winter-worthy and a perfect partner for a wintery mushroom soup on a cold night. We all know that New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Italian Pinot Grigio are light, refreshing summertime choices and Syrah-ladden Rhone Valley reds pair nicely with a harvest stew – but does wine really have a season? The question stuck with me. After class, I stopped off at a new wine bar in Cleveland called Gratto for a quick glass. Gratto’s wine director, Mike Tomaselli, poured a glass of rose and joined me. With one glance at his glass he said “yeah I know it’s not rose season, but I think rose is fine anytime of the year.” There it was again – wine season! After a bit of chatter, we both agreed that rose is great for the Thankgiving Day table, fun on a holiday table and perfect for Valentine’s Day. Silly to wait for summer just to have a glass of rose. Right? Perhaps food drives the seasonality of some wines, but for me – I’m sticking with my gut and going with No. Wine does not have nor need a season.
About the Author: Marianne Frantz
A Certified Wine Educator, Marianne holds a Diploma in Wine & Spirits from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) of London, and has also earned the Advanced Sommelier qualification from the Court of Master Sommeliers. After successfully participating in an educational competition sponsored by the Wines of Australia in the spring of 2008, Marianne became an educational Ambassador for Wine Australia USA. She is also a Certified Spanish Wine Educator.