Beethoven and Rosé: a perfect combination for spring

Spring is here - which means it's time to gear up for the rosé season, and it's the perfect time to start considering which one to bring to accompany your al fresco dinners, Sunday brunches on the terrace, or Memorial Day weekend festivities! As regions of rosé cultivation go, Austria might not be the first one that comes to mind, but we have found a delightful selection from that region that may be just the thing to add color to your spring dining.

Austrian rosé is typically made from one of the commonly grown red grapes, Blaufränkisch, Zweigelt, or St. Laurent. All three grapes as red wines tend to be light to medium in body with a lovely spicy character. Once they are made into rosé, by either skin contact or the saignée method, they make lively, beautiful pink wines that retain that nice spicy flavor. One in particular that comes to mind is the “Rosa” from the Umathum winery in the Burgenland region of Austria. This wine is a blend of all three red grapes mentioned above and is an explosion of fresh, brambly raspberries and complex minerality all in one bottle.

Like this delicate yet powerful rosé, Beethoven's Minuet in G definitely takes you by surprise as it unfolds in complexity.  Originally composed for orchestra, the minuet only survived in a piano transcription and has been re-orchestrated since. The French three-beat dance made up of minute steps – a favorite of Louis the XIV – was to the Baroque era what the Viennese waltz became for the Romantics: a dance that personified the spirit of the times and defined socially acceptable displays of intimacy between men and women. By composing a minuet in the late 1790s, at a time when it had fallen out of fashion and when the waltz was in full bloom, Beethoven seems to send a tongue-in-cheek message to his contemporaries and challenge their tastes.

Listen up purist red or white wine drinkers, and hark Beethoven's message: you don't know what you're missing! Just as the successive tastes of the rosé unfold gradually, in an almost orderly way, the minuet's structure allows each melody and phrase to unfold to the fullest within its strict shape. The acidity of the minuet's high notes and ternary rhythm echo the wine's fruity and playful fragrances; its deep bass line mimics the wine's ample and structured nose; and its repetitions and variations will definitely make you want to refill your glass!