My younger friends' children and my older friends' grandchildren start back to school tomorrow.
I have my last Red Butte tickets, to John Prine, tonight and it looks like rain.
Yup, summer is coming to an end. The season that's always too something—too late or too early, too hot or too dry, too soon to end—has one aspect I never complain about: lots of rosé wine. Utah summer and rosé wine is just about as close to heave as I expect to get—I've never been too ambitious.
We started the summer of rosé with a patio dinner at Copper Onion, where Jimmy Santangelo poured course after course of Chateau Esclan
to go with Ryan Lowder's family-style fare. The wind heightened the feeling of anticipation and caused everyone to talk too loudly, inspiring an embarassed pink tint to many faces.
Chateau Esclan's presentation was structured from palest pink to pale pink, the point being in their winemaker's opinion, that a pale hue means better wine. We were given a handy rosé barometer, like a paint swatch to compare the relative rosiness, leading to a lot of vocabulary discussions about pink things.
This past Monday night, we marked the end of summer with a rosé dinner presented by Scott Evans and Evan Lewandowski at Pago.
Again the meal was served family style on the patio and was marked by dramatically high winds, but this time featuring dramatically wilder rosés. They ranged in color from petal pink to deep salmon to golden pink
and included wines from Spain, Germany, France, Italy and the California. Yes, we were looking at the whole world via rosé-colored palates.
And we were eating pork (porchetta with wild mushroom, housemade sausage and hazelnut-mint gremolata over polenta) because, as Lewandowski pointed out, "Pink and pork are a match made by whatever deity you're inclined to give credit to."
Or something like that.
This was probably the best meal I've ever eaten at Pago and I've eaten there a lot.
From the appetizers—fried risotto-basil lollipops and little wedges of fleur de maquis with shallot-lavender jam on pine nut lahvosh—to the dessert—a biscuit made with Snowy Mountain Creamery Strawberry Peak cheese split and filled with raspberries and chantilly cream
each course was a beautifully balanced delight, and the amazing thing was that each dish showed off the subtle differences of the rosé wine it was paired with. Quite a feat. Quite a mouthful.
Obviously, you don't have to stop drinking rosé just because it's almost autumn. In fact, you can duplicate some of my Pago experience throughout the restaurant's "Rosé Advocacy Week," now through August 25. Three courses—including that dessert I described and the salad of compressed seared watermelon and cucumber with avocado creme and jalapeños
—for $35, plus $24 for the wine pairings.
Pago also has a list of great rosés available at some DABC stores, for you to sip at home.
So don't give up on summer just yet—keep a rosé-colored bottle of it in your fridge to remind you of the sunshine as the temperatures drop.