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Rosé
Credit: Kiara Horwitz

Last night, I was lucky to score a seat at Petaluma for their third Rosé Wine Tasting event of the summer.  Five different Rosés from California, Italy, and France were slated for pairings with hits from the Upper East Side favorite’s menu.  Manager Albert was incredibly welcoming and friendly.  He demonstrated a love of hospitality, not just with us but with all of the other guests as well.  Everyone was engaged in and experiencing their meals, rather than just eating them.

Credit: J. Benjamin Ryan

The first stop on our tour of all things pink was a 2016 Sangiovese from Sonoma.  The Ferrari-Carano Rosé is fruit forward with notes of strawberry and raspberry.  It seemed bold to me, and paired well with Petaluma’s Fried Olives.  Coated lightly in flour and deep fried, the salty cure of these addictive green beauties was tamed by the wine.  My husband was good, only having a few of the olives.  I gladly took the rest and devoured them.  The wine makes your mouth water, so it really was a perfect accompaniment to this round of finger-food.

Credit: J. Benjamin Ryan

The Sicilian Planeta, a 50/50 blend of Nero d’Avola and Syrah, was a little spicier than the previous rosé .  Paired with Petaluma’s cheesy Pizza Margherita, it drinks a little more loudly than it’s fragrance in the beginning, but then opens up to pepper the pairing well.  The crisp and thin crust is topped with bright fresh pomodoro, a mozzarella that seems more cured than what I have become accustomed to on a margherita.  It seemed more appropriate for a pizza.  Stringy when hot and dressed with chiffonade of fresh basil.  The pizza brings out notes of tomato and clay in the wine.

Credit: J. Benjamin Ryan

A martini glass with five Jumbo Shrimp on a bed of greens next to a simple cocktail sauce comes to the table and is set before us.  Shrimp is shrimp.  There isn’t much you can do to make it stand out or special, but there is a lot you can do to mess it up.  Clean and cool, served in an icy chilled glass, the shrimp were thoughtfully prepared.  We awaited our shellfishes’ partner and Albert came over and presented our next rose.  A Cote de Provence, Whispering Angel, had a bit of petrichor on the nose and tasted of citrus, especially with a shining grapefruit finish.  It paired well with the cocktail for sure.  Go light on the cocktail sauce with this one so the flavor isn’t over powered.  There may also be a hint of mustard, deep below the floral and round taste, that the pairing highlighted.

Credit: J. Benjamin Ryan

Gears shifted when a representative from Wine Source, a distributor, came over to present us with our next wine.  A predominantly Grenache Cote de Provence, from Maplier was generously poured for us.  This was a very ready-to-drink wine, with a nice balance between pepper and berries and acidity.  The edge of this wine was a pleasant contrast with one of Petaluma’s best menu items, the Chicken Meatballs.  Served up in a neat little row, atop a pretty pink puddle of a fontina a la vodka sauce, these bites would be great on their own as a snack, but fit this evening perfectly.  The wine was well balanced and graced the thy and delicate meatballs.

Credit: J. Benjamin Ryan

Our Rosé Party was coming to an end.  Well wined down, and quite happy, we were offered a delightful Limoncello Mascarpone cake.  It was light and fluffy and perfect after we had snacked quite a bit throughout the evening.  Albert brought out one last wine.  Clementine, a citric and juicy rose, echoed the cake and our dessert course became a lovely duet of lemon and orange.  The acidity finished the meal and our palates so that we weren’t going away heavy, but happy.

Credit: J. Benjamin Ryan

The Rosé Party was a hit..  Not just with us, but with all the neighboring tables as well.  A $59, price tag got us a lot of wine and food and a really great hospitality experience.  According to Albert, there may be a few more similar events this summer.  Petaluma has been in the neighborhood at 1356 First Avenue at 73rd Street since 1984, and for good reason.  They are very welcoming, and their food is delicious.  There is an outdoor cafe, and a private dining room that can accommodate a 70 person event.  Petaluma can be reached online here or you can call 212.772.8800 for takeout or reservations.