It seems that every summer there is a new competition involving the imbibing of adult beverages, but four years ago, Roofers’ Union and its downstairs component, Jug & Table, declared war. A kinder, gentler war of pinkness.
War of the Rosés, where wines are pitted against each other by popular demand, was born from the new interest in the pink, blush wine that comes from nearly every wine-producing locale in the world. The winner ends up on the summer menu featured prominently, but the losers never disappear.
On a hot day in June that yielded to tropical downpours, putting a damper on the roof portion of the evening contest, guests enjoyed selections of rosés from around the world handpicked by new Wine Director Chas Jefferson.
This year pitted four European wines against each other. Austria offered up a robust, deep pink Loimer-Niederösterreich Zweigelt against France with a classic Château Platon Bordeaux Rosé Cabernet Franc for the event. France did, after all, put the name to the wine.
Spain’s Armas de Guerrero-Bierzo Mencía took on the Italy-born Fontaleoni Toscana Sangiovese, also falling into the hearty and bold category, that is, for a pink wine.
“Instead of the pink wines like White Zinfandel, rosés are now very light,” Jefferson said as he poured rounds at the bar of Jug & Table. “I like to think I was personally responsible for men drinking rosés.
“Rosé is made by treating red grapes like white wine,” he said. “Hours on the skins, days of fermentation make them very light now. But sweet rosés like Lambrusco are not really on the market anymore.
“People are starting to understand that it’s not just a color,” he added. “You can find character all over.”
With the growing popularity of summer drinks like frozeé, where the wine is whipped into a Slurpee-like texture, the restaurant decided to hold the annual event to welcome in summer with a refreshing, non-conflictual competition.
“It’s an opportunity to celebrate summer,” said general manager David Delaplaine, who opened the triplex eatery after the closing of its sister restaurant, Ripple. “What wine is better for summer? We certainly have fun putting the countries up. Each year it is a different competition — Old World vs. New World — we wouldn’t put up all New World.”
The wine is still struggling to win over converts.
Daisy, who was visiting from the United Kingdom wasn’t having rosé, despite the deep discounts for the event.
“I’m not a fan of rosé,” she admitted. “Whenever I have rosé I wish it was a white wine.”
Menu items like Jug & Table’s Rosé burrata with watermelon and mint were available to pair with a bottle or to nibble on throughout the evening. A compelling grilled flatbread with mozzarella and nectarines was a summery light twist on food accompaniments to the refreshing wine.
Maybe, if enough people vote for them, these nibbles will last through the summer, with a view from the top of the roof.
Roofers Union and Jug & Table are located at 2446 18th St NW in Adams Morgan. The eatery also hosts live music in its rustic downstairs, and the roof boasts one of the best views in the city. Other offerings are craft beers like Black Currant Blonde, a Hibiscus Margarita and “Anti-Oxidant” Caipirinha with Acai Berry and blueberry tea.
Ah … summer sipping and relaxation have new fuels to pull from.