Thursday, September 29, 2011

Who doesn't enjoy rosé?--a guest post by Hakan Aktas

Food & wine go hand-in-hand, and to have a knowledge of one without the other is to miss a significant amount of the potential enjoyment their harmony brings.  If you have never taken advantage of a sommelier's expertise in suggesting pairings for your meals, you deny yourself a whole dimension of pleasure that can result from well-advised recommendations.  While my writings (and adventures) focus primarily on food, I do harbor an appreciation for the spirited end of the spectrum, even if not one that allows me to write about it frequently with a huge degree of authority.  So when a friend who recently finished wine school approached me about guest-blogging on Amuse*Bouche to share his passion for wine, I was eager to jump at his offer.  Please welcome Hakan Aktas, and enjoy this first of what I hope will be more posts to come!

Hakan Aktas

I love anything about wine. Drinking it, talking about it; I’d even take a bath in it, that's how much I love wine!  I recently finished wine school at ASA (American Sommelier Association). Over the course of this one year program, I learned how to speak about wine, taste wine, and pair it with food.  My new love: rosé wine.

I wasn’t a big fan of rosé when I first tried it, then I changed my mind as I learned and tasted more. What is rosé wine? Rosé usually comes from red grapes. The difference in color and body between red wines and rosé is a result of how long the juice soaks with the grape skins. Most of us think rosé wine is only enjoyed during the dog days of summer, but I think we underestimate its quality. Rosé wines are becoming more and more popular, and thanks to savvy wine lovers who've discovered that rosé wines fall into the dry category; not all rosé
wines are sugary sweet.

One of my good friends, Tunch Doker, imports rosé from the Provence region of France. According to Tunch, rosé "is a drink that you can have for any occasion and anytime, such as brunch, pool side, [at the] beach, during sunset, barbecue, picnics, as an aperitif, and [during] all festive occasions."  I couldn't agree with him more.

Tunch and his life and business partner, Aylin Algan Doker, put a lot of work into their project to show everyone that you can have an amazing rosé wine in a very elegant and sleek shape of bottle at a reasonable price.

These are three of my favorite rosé wines from Tunch's selection:
Image from

2010 Vie Vite, Rose, Cotes de Provence, France
Grape Varieties: 45% Cinsault, 25% Syrah, 15% Grenache, 15% Carignan
Aromas and Food Pairing: Cherries and strawberries with notes of
spices. G
reat with grilled dishes or a tapenade spread.
Image from

2010 Vie Vite, Rose Extraordinaire, Cotes de Provence, France
Grape Varieties: 85% Grenache, 5% Carignan, 5% Syrah, 5% Cinsault
Aromas and Food Pairing: 
 opulent fruit flavors of peach, grape, apricot and black currant. Pairs well with all shellfish and seafood as well as French and Mediterranean cuisine.  A great pairing with spicy dishes.

Image from

2010 Breezette, Rose, Cotes de Provence, France
Grape Varieties: 80% Cinsault, 20% Mourvedre
Aromas and Food Pairing: Fragrances of tropical peach, apricot, spiced
notes and sensations of white flowers. On the palate, crisp acidity is
complimented by exotic fresh fruits. Pairs well with Thai, Japanese,
French and Mediterranean cuisine.

“When there is plenty of wine, sorrow and worry take wing” - Ovid

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