Nightwood celebrates rose wine

June 27, 2012 (CHICAGO)

Rosè doesn't get a lot of love year-round, but the pink wine is certainly the golden child this time of year, as the warm days stretch into one another. It's a pinkish, rosy guest, next to lighter summer fare... and at places like Nightwood, in Pilsen, the wine commands star status during the "Fete de Rosè," essentially a season-long ode to the wine, featuring nearly two dozen options every day.

"Well I've always had an affection for rosè. I've always enjoyed rose. It's the perfect summer drink," said John Hohensinner, the Manager at Nightwood.

Hohensinner is a big fan, so he uses his position at Nightwood to subtly twist the arms (and palates) of his diners in the summertime. But it doesn't take much.

"Light, crisp, usually berry fruit. Ones I prefer are dry," he said.

They come from all over the world, not just France, and due to their lighter profile, they can be sipped a bit longer than the standard red or white.

"Rosè is lighter in alcohol, so it's much more quaffable. It can be referred to as a porch pounder if you can find one that's light enough for you," he said.

Chef Jason Vincent finds plenty of inspiration this time of year to pair with rosé, including roasted porcini mushrooms, with spring onions and fennel... plus stracchino cheese and bits of dill and lacey fennel fronds. Something a bit heartier might include pan-roasted walleye with raw turnips, blanched snap peas and bacon... heightened with lemon and a roasted green garlic vinaigrette. Hohensinner says the wines during the "fete" will rotate frequently, but there's always something light and refreshing to drink here in the summer.

"The list changes just a little bit. So a rosè that you try today may be gone next week, but you'll find something new and different next week," said Hohensinner.

The Fete de Rosè runs into September, just past Labor Day, so there's lots of time to get over there to check out some interesting summertime wine.

Nightwood Restaurant
2119 S. Halsted St.
(312) 526-3385

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