In South African Wine
on 17 Apr 2014

Sometimes it feels like rosé season has to happen one day at a time: spring seems to have arrived, then you get a week of temperatures in the twenties, then you get one 70-degree day and you have to seize it with some rosé and snacks on the porch before it turns cold again.

DeMorgenzon DMZ Cabernet Rosé 2013 with cheese

I celebrated the beginning of the 2014 growing season with my vineyard boss and his family with a bottle* of DeMorgenzon’s cabernet sauvignon rosé a few weeks ago. South African rosé, heartier and richer than most of the world’s rosés, is fun to pair with Wisconsin cheese, so I picked up a fenugreek gouda (pictured in the center) that looked tasty along with a few milder options.

This wine has an herbal, wheat character at first sniff, like the first smell of new grass in the yard at the end of a long winter. Florals arrive as it warms up (I start my rosés slightly chilled and then enjoy the opening-up process as they warm to room temperature), with rosewater and a flower Dave and I couldn’t name. Mary said, “Chrysanthemum petals!” And she was right.

Wild blueberries on the mouth back up the beautiful acidity on the finish. It’s 13.2 ABV, medium-weight and afternoon-friendly, and I wish I had some every day at lunchtime. The fenugreek gouda was our favorite of the cheeses as a pairing; thanks to Fromagination for putting it out for sampling or I’d never have thought of it!

The best thing about surviving the toughest winter Wisconsin’s had in twenty years? Sunny spring days are truly worth celebrating.

  • This wine was received as a sample.

Julia Burke is a wine educator and writer.