Quiz just about any Kermit fan about the boxer turned winemaker, and chances are Alain’s name—along with a slightly caricatural image of a brawny man with rough hands—immediately comes to mind. Picture that man, famous for his potent, rich, tannic reds, pouring you a glass of perfectly pink rosé. This glorious juxtaposition of muscle and grace commands a legitimate amount of consideration, much like the rosé itself: big and complex, but delicate and airy on both the nose and the palate. I’ve heard it ages amazingly, although I haven’t known many to keep any around long enough to find out.
I love to see the look on my Burgundian husband’s face when he’s confounded by a wine discovery. Last weekend we made a spicy barbecued chicken tikka and I proposed this rosé without mentioning its Loire origins, thus avoiding any associations he may have had after a bad experience with herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc. Well, I tell you what. For a guy who says he’s not into Loire wine, he came up with a surprising number of positive descriptors. Fresh. Balanced. Crisp acidity and “ridiculously good with spicy food!” Little did he know that Cabernet Franc is historical for producing some of the world’s most elegant rosé.
They say good things come in threes. How about: Three brothers: Pierre, Xavier, Jean-Marc. Three nouns: Pic, Saint, Loup. Three soils: clay, marl, limestone. Three grapes: Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre (plus a little Cinsault). Three flavors: strawberry, raspberry, citrus. Three adjectives: alluring, mellow, tangy. Three fish on the family crest (they are loups or sea bass, a tribute to the mountain of Pic Saint Loup and to the three brothers). Three gauges of quality: biodynamic, organic, certified. Three occasions: breakfast, lunch, dinner. Three bottles: definitely not enough.