So… we are oonllllyyyyy a daaaaayyyy awaaayyyyy from the official kickoff of summer: Memorial Day weekend! I’m sure summer means lots of different things for you, but one thing it means for me is refreshing cocktails, and that includes a delicious bottle of cold Rosé.
The sad thing is, I think Rosé gets a bad rap, and I’m here to set the record straight: the stuff is tasty. So, let’s hop to it!
What the heck is Rosé?
A Rosé gets its pink hue because it only holds some of the red grape skins – obviously not enough to make it a red wine. It’s the oldest type of wine, because it’s often made using the most traditional method (skin contact). Although popular Rosés are pink in color, this varietal can range in color from very pale to deeper orange. Of course, it also ranges in flavor and textures, just like any other wine – it can be sparkling, bone dry, all the way to very sweet, line a white zinfandel.
How do I order/buy the right Rosé?
Think of Rosé as a type of wine, and not necessarily from a certain region, because it’s not. Just like you can get red or white from pretty much anywhere, the story’s the same for Rosé.
When ordering, region won’t particularly be an issue, since it’s produced in many corners of the world, however if you’re looking for a dry version, look for European grapes such as Grenache, Sangiovese, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Cinsault, and Pinot Noir.
Now, I don’t want to knock the white zinfandel, because I’m not a wine snob. But, it’s not a wine I like, and it’s mass produced and very sweet. If you don’t like sweet, you can ask about the dryness of the wine you might order.
The more dry it is, the less sweet. Those European grapes are going to offer the dryness, whereas Rosé produced in other areas of the world will be more sweet.
One of the most important things to pay attention to when buying or ordering a Rosé is the year – Rosé doesn’t get better with age, so the newer the better. Don’t drink anything older than two years.
What are some delicious Rosés to try?
The great thing is, just like other types of wines, you can get a delicious bottle of Rosé for under $20. Score!
Domaine St. Aix ”Aix” Rosé, $17
A bright, pale pink wine, this rosé has a crisp acidity to it that makes it a great match for pairing with light salads and Asian food.
Bieler Pere Et Fils Rosé, $13
A blend of syrah, grenache, and cabernet, this elegant rosé is marked by strawberry and watermelon flavors.
Club W’s “Summer Water”, $18
A deliciously light and airy Rosé made from pinot noir, this is the perfect sipping wine for summer afternoons.
Charles and Charles Rosé, $14
This Syrah-based rose presents loads of fresh picked strawberry essence and herbal spice on the nose. Elegance, ambiance, and packaged with some serious bottle appeal, the 2015 rose from Charles and Charles delivers exceptional citrus, earthy minerality, sizzling acidity and a dry, crisp, food-friendly finish.
…And there you have it! I don’t see a ton of Rosé options in my local grocery store, but there are a lot of wine shops around. I hope you give Rosé a try if you haven’t, because it really is perfect for summer!