Friday, July 18, 2014

Rosa Regale: Fresh, Crisp, Juicy, and Sweet

If you like sweet wines, either for everyday drinking or just on occasion, and you have felt disappointed that most of your options are white (and many of them are of questionable quality), then I have good news for you!  I recently got to taste Rosa Regale and found it charming.  It's a high quality, light, red, semi-sweet, sparkling wine.

Rosa Regale comes from the Piedmont region of northern Italy and is classified as a Brachetto d'Acqui DOCG.  This places it at the top of the Italian wine quality system, so it has a reliable pedigree.  Rosa Regale is 100% Brachetto, a red grape.  Skin contact during fermentation is brief, so the wine gains some red fruit flavors, but remains light and low in tannin.

Here are the details:

Color:  Pale ruby.
Nose:  Fresh red fruits, especially cherry and strawberry, with a hint of melon, and some floral characteristics.
Palate:  Semi-sweet, high acid, low tannin, with fresh, juicy red-fruit flavors, and a hint of earthiness.  7% abv.

I drink very little sweet wine, but I have to admit this one is nice.  The sweetness and the acidity balance well, as do the fruit characteristics and the hint of earthiness.  It's sweet, but not syrupy or desserty - just light and crisp and easy to drink.  At about $18 per bottle, it's not an everyday wine, but it does occupy a niche with few players (that I know of).  There aren't that many good quality, sweet, red sparklers.

I'm fairly new to the world of Brachetto d'Aqui, but Rosa Regale reminds me of a red version of Moscato d'Asti, a semi-sweet, sparkling white wine.  After all, they both come from Piedmont and both have their own DOCGs.  In fact, some friends of mine, who recently got married and are big Moscato d'Asti fans, asked me to recommend a celebratory wine for them.  This meant something they would like that they hadn't tried, something a bit out of the ordinary, and a few dollars more expensive than what they would normally spend.  If you like sweet and semi-sweet wines, I'll tell you what I told them:  you need to try this!

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