An Italian Rosé and a Fresh Summer Salad for Outdoor Dining

Posted on: August 3rd, 2012 by

italian rose and fresh summer saladWould you look at this nice, sweaty-from-the fridge, Italian rosé? You just know it’s going to be lovely with a fresh summer salad and, most importantly, a group of friends. The bottle you see pictured, the Il Chiaretto from producer Azienda Agricola San Giovanni, comes in squat little bottle that has a sturdy presence on your picnic table. Digging up some information on where exactly in Italy this wine comes from, I found on importer A.I. Selections‘ website that it’s “located along the Lombardian shores of Lake Garda.” That sounds totally poetic to me. A quick spin around Google tells me Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy and is in the northern part of the country, west of Verona. And a quick spin on Flickr brought me to some gorgeous images of this lake.

Was Lake Garda created for the sole purpose of being a backdrop for local rosé enjoyment? I think so.

Lake Garda in Italy

Damn, that’s one gorgeous lake! And while you are enjoy the soothing ripple of these lake waters, you can contemplate the grapes that, working together, create a delightful rosé: Groppello, Marzemino, Barbera, and Sangiovese. While the first two grapes are certainly obscure, I’ve had plenty of red wine made from the latter duo. The Il Chiaretto is not the most pale and austere pink wine out there (which I have a predilection towards) but combines dryness with an exuberant fresh and fruity quality (think watermelons and fresh red berries of every kind). I’m kind of flat-out in love with it. It was a welcome presence with fish tacos topped by an apropos watermelon salsa, along with a fresh summer salad I made from ingredients picked up at Frank’s Quality Produce in Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market:

italian rose and fresh summer salad

Watercress, tomatoes, some tiny onions and corn. The only cooking involved was briefly roasting the corn. A salad dressing of rice wine vinegar and olive oil from California Olive Ranch (which I received as a free sample) completed this dish.
italian rose and fresh summer saladThe sweetness of the corn balanced out the very peppery watercress. And the oil, made from the Arbequina olive, was fantastic; beautiful color, aroma, and flavor. Definitely fresh and fruity, much like the rosé. Well-chilled pink wine and a fresh summer salad? What else do you need?

One final note: I was wondering about the phrase “Il vino di una notte” on the front label. Once again, I turned to Google for guidance. Apparently it translates to “The wine of one night.” If that’s accurate, I have to disagree, as Il Chiaretto is a wine for many, many nights. And sunny days in Seattle, on Lake Garda, or anywhere in between.

 Dreamy image of Lake Garda courtesy marjoleinknuit.

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