By Doc Lawrence

The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta faces fabled Peachtree Street where the world premiere of Gone With The Wind took place in 1939. Just a few blocks away is the white marble tomb of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the nearby Jimmy Carter Presidential Center. The regal Ritz-Carlton is widely viewed as occupying the pinnacle of luxury in this region and is the centerpiece of Atlanta’s global reputation for Southern American hospitality. It’s no surprise that the hotel and its gourmet restaurant enjoys an unmatched reputation for fine dining and great wines and continues to be a top choice for visiting celebrities and heads of state.

Esteemed wine professional Brian White serves as the landmark hotel’s sommelier and we sat down recently to discuss the wines of D.O. La Mancha.

“I think that La Mancha is a region whose time has come,” White said. “Not to overstate the obvious, but why wouldn’t the world’s largest wine region produce some gems? La Mancha is a workhorse region producing wines from a multicolored rainbow of grape varieties. The single varietal and blended wines coming out of this region are great for a dinner party, backyard barbeques and easy sipping.”

The conversation confirmed that variety, affordability and utility are attractive advantages D.O. La Mancha wines offer.

We discussed some of his favorites from La Mancha. “The rosé, or rosado, wines are particularly intriguing,” he said, “because they are fresh, vibrant, and a great value at ten dollars or less at retail. These wines are made from Garnacha, Tempranillo, and many other grape varieties, and they range in color from light pink and salmon to almost a violet or lavender hue.”

White advised wine shoppers to “look for sparkling wines from La Mancha in the rosé category.” (These are also found under Rosado.)

On of White’s favorite D.O. La Mancha wines is actually a sparkling, Gotas de Plata, Brut Rosado, produced by Viñedos y Reservas S.A., Bodegas. “This is a delicious summer sparkler with dense and fragrant strawberry aromas and flavors.”

The interesting thing about rosé wines, continued White, particularly the ones he selected from D. O. La Mancha, is that they have been overlooked by Americans for decades.

“I for one am very happy to see things turning around for this forgotten warm weather wine,” White added.

We both agreed that terrific rosés like these from La Mancha deserve a place on the wine menu of a heralded restaurant. “These are just some of my picks to look for from this often overlooked region.”

Doc Lawrence is a veteran wine, fine dining and travel journalist and is managing editor of Wines Down South in Atlanta and food and wine editor of Today’s Texas Woman published in San Antonio.