We eat with our eyes. We desire food that looks beautiful, appetizing and appealing to our senses. A photograph of food may be the first element that draws us in, we then explore further and read the recipe. What about wine labels? In the sea of wine on store shelves, are you first attracted to the label of a wine? Wine Studio, a virtual wine education program, recently took a closer look at “The Wow factor of rosé and its design influence on wine labels.” Could wine labels be the next revolution in the rosé wine market, or are they already! We examined and appreciated four rosé wine labels and of course we tasted too!
Wine Labels and Tasting Notes
2017 Côté Mas Rosé Aurore, Languedoc France
12.5% abv | $12.99 SRP (sample) | 50% Grenache 30% Cinsault 20% Syrah
Jean-Claude Mas, fourth generation grape grower, first generation winemaker, and owner of Domaine Paul Mas in the Languedoc region of the South of France. Jean-Claude ‘s philosophy of “Luxe Rural” – an appreciation of the simple pleasures of life, artfully rendered by nature. The label is a pastel drawing of the original family estate in an Art Nouveau style, invoking “Luxe Rural and channeling the style of Toulouse Lautrec.
The wine is bright pink in color. Medium+ acidity and a light+ body. Notes of floral, cherries, and strawberries. A lingering finish of red fruit.
2016 Babylonstoren Mourvedre Rosé, Simonsberg-Paarl, Western Cape South Africa
13% abv | $22.00 SRP (sample) | 100% Mourvèdre
Babylonstoren is a historic Cape Dutch farm dating back to the 17th century. Ten years ago Karen Roos, who is passionate about the historic Cape Dutch style led an authentic yet contemporary restoration of the farm. The winery at Babylonstoren is state-of-the-art with 217 acres of vineyards and 13 different grape varieties. The label on the rosé bottle depicts Babylonstoren logo; a pipe (representing the farmer), the flower (representing the garden), and the bird (representing nature). The combination is the essence of Babylonstoren, keeping things simple and as true to the earth as possible. According to Charl Coetzee, cellar master, that belief is carried on in the winemaking; “simplicity by making elegant and balanced wine as natural as possible.”
Pale salmon in color. High acidity and medium body. Notes of red berries and overall freshness.
2017 Eric Kent Wine Cellars Rosé, Sonoma County
14.1% abv | $22.00 SRP (sample) | 77% Pinot Noir 17% Syrah 6% Grenache
Kent Humphrey, co-owner of Eric Kent Wine Cellars is a self- described “hyper-enthusiastic” wine geek dating back to his college days. Kent has no formal winemaking degree, but plenty of hands-on experience and mentors in the wine industry. Together with his wife, Colleen Teitgen, artist and co-owner of EK Wine Cellars, they combined their passions for wine and art. Not only producing world-class wine but showcasing the art of 75 exceptional artists on their wine labels and sharing the artists’ stories.
Deep pink in color. Low+ acidity and medium body. Notes of red berries and stone cherries.
2017 Bedell Cellars Taste Rosé, North Fork of Long Island, NY
11% abv | $18.00 SRP (sample) | 60% Merlot 30% Cabernet Franc 5% Syrah 5% Cabernet Sauvignon
Bedell Cellars founded in 1980 by Kip and Susan Bedell. In 2000 Michael Lynn, film executive, and art collector purchased Bedell Cellars. Today, Bedell Cellars is known as a benchmark winery in the Eastern United States and a creative force featuring artist series labels on their wines.
Medium salmon in color. Medium+ acidity and low/medium body. A hint of effervescence with the first sip. Notes of red berries, herbs, and minerality.
Rosé wines are already fun, but a well-designed label adds another element to the purchasing decision when the perceived wine quality is the same. I know I had a favorite label simply because I recognized the artist, I liked the art, and the colors popped. Another label stood out because I liked the symbolism. Did you have a favorite label? Do wine labels influence your purchasing decision?
And finally, food! A roasted herb tomato and garlic tart with puff pastry is the perfect pairing to any of these rosé wines.
Roasted Herb Tomato and Garlic Tart with Puff Pastry
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon herbs de Provence
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves + more sprigs for garnish
- 8-10 Roma tomatoes, cored and halved lengthwise
- 12 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (about 14 oz) pie weights or dried beans for prebaking
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 4 oz plain goat cheese, crumbled
- Preheat the oven to 300F. Place oven racks in the upper and lower third of the oven.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and drizzle a thin even layer of olive oil on the parchment paper. Sprinkle salt, pepper, herb de Provence, and fresh thyme over the oiled baking sheet. Add the tomatoes, cut side down over the oil and herbs. Move the tomatoes around to absorb the oil and herbs.
- On a piece of aluminum foil, place the garlic cloves and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat with the oil. Fold and seal the foil and place on a small baking sheet.
- Roast the tomatoes on the upper rack in the oven for 15 minutes. Roast the garlic on the lower rack. After 15 minutes remove tomatoes, their skins should slide right off, if not give them a few more minutes. Once the tomatoes are done remove them from oven. Turn the oven temperature to 350F and continue to roast the garlic for another 25 minutes or until the garlic is soft and easily pierced with a knife tip. Set aside to cool.
- When the tomatoes are cool enough to touch, remove the skins. Leave the tomatoes on the baking sheet. When the garlic is cool to the touch remove the skins. Leave the cloves whole or roughly chop the garlic cloves and mix with the tomatoes and herbs.
- Increase the oven to 400F. On a floured surface gently roll the thawed puff pastry to 10 X 13 inches. Gently drape the puff pastry over your tart pan. Carefully press the pastry into the pan. Fold and tuck the excess pastry that hangs over the tart pan rim to form a crust that is slightly higher than the pan rim.
- Line the pastry with aluminum foil and add pie weights or dried beans. Bake on the middle rack of the oven until edges turn golden, about 10 minutes. Remove the foil and weights. Prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork. Continue to bake until the pastry is pale golden in color. If the pastry puffs up simply prick it with a fork. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 375F. Spread the mustard on the bottom of the pastry tart shell. Sprinkle the crumbled goat cheese on top of the mustard. Arrange the tomato halves cut side up on top of the pastry shell, make sure to get the herbs and garlic too. With a pastry brush, brush the tomatoes with their juices. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is deep golden in color and the bottom is cooked through.
- Remove from the oven and cool for about 15 minutes. Loosen the tart edges with a knife and remove the frame of the tart by pushing up on the bottom of the pan. Place tart on a serving board or plate and garnish with thyme sprigs.