If international wine is your thing, you really should head to Hamilton Sense of Taste and have a chat with manager Katrin.
Prior to working at Sense of Taste, Katrin and her husband had their own business exporting Australian wine back to their country-of-origin Belgium.
Based on the Sunshine Coast, they ran the business for 25 years before deciding it was time for a change.
“I used to walk past this Sense of Taste store and say to my husband I want to work there, and now it is happening,’’ Katrin says.
“I really like the shop. It’s very well organised and presented, has nice styling. It’s not like your usual bottle shop.
“Sense of Taste is 70 percent about wine, and that’s what I really liked about it.’’
As you would expect, Katrin knows her stuff when it comes to wine. Grant Burge wines from the Barossa Valley are a particular favourite and she also has a soft spot for Rose', which harks back to holidays in the south of France.
Provence and the Languedoc regions of France are big producers of Rose’ and you’ll find plenty of offerings on the Sense of Taste shelves, including the well-priced La Vielle Ferme ($18.99). Maison St Aix Dry Rose ($35) is probably one of the biggest sellers.
What sets a French Rose’ apart from an Australian-produced one is the colour. French Rose’ is more salmon in colour, not pink.
The colour is a result of skin contact. Winemakers create Rose’ by juicing red grapes and then allowing the juice to soak with the skins for a very short period, until the desired colour is achieved.
A lighter colour often means a drier style.
The Rose’ market is still growing here in Australia. About 10 years ago, most Rose’ was made out of the Moscato grape, which is very dark in colour and sweet.
Australian Rose’ is still darker than French, but a lot lighter and drier than they originally were.
Many different grape varietals can be used to make Rose’ depending on the region from which it is sourced.
In France, winemakers will often blend three to five grapes together, commonly Cinsault, Movedre, Syrah (shiraz) and Carignan.
In Australia, winemakers use a lot of Pinot Noir, Grenache and Shiraz to make Rose’.
A common misconception is that Rose’ is created by mixing red wine with white wine.
Rose’ pairs well with Asian food, salads, chicken and softer fish like salmon. It can also be enjoyed as an aperitif.
Katrin says it’s not uncommon to see the French drinking Rose’ from a magnum or a jeroboam (3 litre bottle).
“They drink it like water.’’
*Sense of Taste Hamilton has a Valentine’s Day special on the Kylie Minogue signature Prosecco Rose’.
Elegantly presented in a bottle imprinted with love hearts, the Italian prosecco has notes of fresh strawberries, raspberries and blossom. Brightly textured and crisp palate with a refreshing citrus finish.
Pair with lightly spiced Asian food. $27.99 a bottle.