The Rosé Conundrum & Central Market’s amazing Italian festival

jeremy parzen wine blog

One of the most remarkable things about the recent consumer tastings I did for Cantele in Texas last week was how people were so taken with Cantele’s rosato from Negroamaro.

(That’s me, btw, pouring wine at Central Market in South Lake, near Dallas on Wednesday.)

But the even more amazing thing was how many people didn’t want to taste it.

I was nonplussed by how many people said to me, “no, I’ll go straight to red. I don’t drink rosé.”

But then I would insist (gently, of course) that they try it anyway.

“You can always spit it out,” I would say, “in my dump bucket here if you really can’t stand.”

And then it dawned on me: they expected it to be a sweet wine.

As the tastings progressed, I began to talk to the guests about how our parents were taught to like wines like “blush” and “white Zinfandel.” And I would tell them about how those wines, even though they were called “wine,” were really “wine coolers,” to which, in some cases, sugar was added.

As soon as I could get people to taste the Cantele Rosato, they went crazy for it.

“It’s a red wine that drinks like a white wine,” I would tell them. “It’s got the rich fruit flavor of a red wine but it’s got the freshness of a white wine.”

In the end, where the Rosato was available, we moved a lot more of it than the Primitivo, which also showed great.

It was fantastic to watch people light up when they tasted it.

central market passaporto italian foodThe other really cool thing about the three tastings was how each store was decked out — from top to bottom — with Italian food products and Italian flair.

Each location — South Lake (Dallas), Houston, and San Antonio — had its own take on the festival and while each was great, San Antonio definitely won the prize.

That’s the café dining room in San Antonio, where they had painted a mural of the Gran Canal in Venice on the far wall of the space. Super cool…

The staff at each venue was super pro and very geeked about the many wine tastings they did over the course of the festival. I was really impressed with the organization and the cool vibes at each store.

It’s always fun to pour Cantele… great job, Central Market! You did Italian wine and food proud!

Jeremy Parzen
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