Call me basic, I don’t care! It’s almost summer and the warm weather has me ready to switch from my trusty winter reds to my flirty summer pinks! Am I a professional sommelier? No. Am I a professional wine editor? No. Am I a professional wine drinker? Also, probably no…well…maybe? Either way, I am here to share my limited knowledge of the wine I love so dearly and talk about some of my go-to’s that I think the masses would enjoy. An every-man’s guide to Rosé, if-you-will, with hope to bring a new appreciation and flavor to your summer soireés!
So let’s break it down with some of the technical stuff first!
Over the last decade(ish) Rosé wines have become incredibly popular and rightfully so- their coloring lends themselves to be fawned over on instagram daily, but more importantly they are delicious, refreshing, and come in a variety of colors and flavor profiles.
Rosé is currently produced all over the world and has been made with just about every grape variety. Yes, the same grapes you use to make your traditional reds like Merlot, Pinot Noir, Grenache, Syrah, etc., are used to make rosé! It isn’t a different type of grape but a different way of preparing the wine. Red wine grapes are juiced and left to macerate (soak) with their skins on for a day or so. Then the skins are removed while the juice is left to ferment. The longer the skins are left to macerate the deeper the pink tone (and difference in flavor). The longer it is left to ferment and left to let the natural sugars breakdown the dryer the rosé! Simple, right? I mean there is A LOT more to it but thats the general gist of things. So- ta-da! PINK WINE!
If you’re talking about Rosé production you obviously have to look at the South of France, commonly labeled as “Pays d’Or”, where most Rosé production is done and originated from. Most of the best dry rosés you pick up from this region will be a combination of Grenache, Carignan and Syrah.
Pro tip: “If you are looking for quality, seek out wines with a high percentage of Grenache, Syrah or Mourvedre versus Carignan or Cinsault. Most Carignan and Cinsault are not as complex.”Winefolley.com
Why is this important? Because, speaking from personal experience, my favorite wines on the list include just this! I do enjoy rosés from other regions, that will be listed, but for the most part- french rosé is king! I will also add if you like SWEET wine; this list may or may not be for you. I think everything should always branch out to different things but if drinking wine in general is new to you and you’re looking for something sweet- you’re better off sticking to a white zinfandel or a pink moscato, both of which…I will not touch (sorry, not sorry).
Now I’m not going to sit here and tell you that they taste like summer berries with mild hints of bumble bee booty (or WHATEVER), because honestly, that’s really hard to pinpoint for most. Do you pick up a wine because you read it has mild hints of citrus OR because someone you know said it was good and it has a pretty label? LETS BE HONEST. Everyone’s palette is different and picks up different things! Personally, I always pick up grapefruit flavors and florals quicker than most other and usually I pick up more when I’m tasting multiple types of wine at once. For me it’s easier to compare than to analyze one bottle.
I think what I like most about Rosé is that it’s easy to find a really good one for a good price. These aren’t meant to cellar and keep for years like your high end reds. It’s a quick easy hit for the summer and the next year the vineyards all produced another delicious batch!
There is much more to discuss but with that said, let’s get to these bottles! These wines i’ve chosen are the ones I pick up the most frequently and are decently priced for the average working joe. I enjoy dryer lighter colored rose’s best but I’ve included some for everyones tastes! Logistically, all of these wines are easy to find in Southern CT and prices are based off of what I’ve seen locally.
Whispering Angel -$20
We have to start the list off with the most popular and widely recognized Rosé across the US. Whispering angel is the one I find on most menu’s and is a great bottle that you can’t go wrong with. If you want a GOOD rosé and aren’t sure where to start- this is your gal!
I have to add that i’ve seen images and sold out online listings that they once made a 3L bottle that I feel like I need for a party (of me, myself, and I)! If anyone ever sees it out please contact me immediately!
The Palm – $15
Whispering Angel recently came out with The Palm. It’s slightly less expensive and I find not as smooth as Whisper Angel. This is also a bit darker and on the sweet side. It’s definitely a good option for those that like wine on the sweeter side! Also, 9/10 nice looking label for your poolside party if you want to pretend you’re at some swanky Miami hotel.
Chateau Miraval Cotes De Provence Rose – $23
I have to be honest, when I picked up this bottle a few years ago I was mostly intrigued by the bottle shape. I’m a sucker for labels and bottle shapes. It light color is definitely mirrors it’s crisp flavor. One of the most interesting draws to this, it’s actually the wine label started by Angelia Jolie and Brad Pitt. I haven’t found much information online but all I want to know is, who got it in the divorce? WHOSE WINE ARE WE DRINKING NOW?
OLEMA – $17
I promise I’ll move on from french Rosés soon, but this one is just *chefs kiss* smooth and fresh. And it has high points from all the fancy wine reviewers so maybe I’m onto something? In writing this I’ve discovered they also make a Sauvignon blanc, pinot noir and others (from their Sonoma vineyard)…definitely sounds like something to keep an eye out for.
Cabriz Colheita Seleccionada Rosé – $10
This is what happens when I send my husband to the store to buy wine. He thinks he’s slick (and he kind of is). He usually will buy a bottle or two of my favorites and then sneaks in a few reasonably prices but seemingly well-rated for the average consumer seeing if I will notice. I honestly enjoy trying new wines and yes, my bank account does a happy dance when I find a few cheaper bottles to enjoy. This one from Portugal (YES, not France!) was surprisingly palatable with a fresh fruity flavor.
THE CROWD PLEASER
Gérard Bertrand Côte Des Roses – $16
This one is just fun and I think my favorite thing about it was that someone told me once that since the bottom of the bottle is shaped like a rose, it leaves an imprint in the sand- so definitely take it to the beach, for the gimmick alone! This wine is probably the one I pick up the most as a crowd pleasing casual hang wine- it goes good with anything and is easy to drink on its own. Just don’t end up like me and spend a good 5 minutes trying to twist off the glass topper…it just pulls straight out like a cork…
THE LATEST FIND
Les Alliés Cotes De Provence – $12
I just recently found this one at my local store. It’s a great blend of Grenach, Cinsault and Syrah making it another affordable and easy to drink wine for any casual hang.
CHÂTEAU M DE MINUTY – $20
This is one of my most favorite Rosés. It’s so smooth, crisp and refreshing. On a hot summer afternoon before dinner it’s my favorite for sitting on the porch and having a glass as the evening settles in. If you’re going to buy me a bottle of wine as a gift, bring this one!
THE LOCAL FAVORITE
Wolffer Rose Summer In A Bottle – $25
I have to say that for me Wolffer vineyards, Summer in a bottle just about does it for me. It hits all the right notes, it’s semi local (Long Island, NY) and is just what it advertises. It’s summer in a bottle! Besides the outstanding flavor that goes with literally anything (cheese board anyone?). The label and bottle design itself is a huge hit and just fun to study, I know people who even use it as a little patio decor in the summer with some candles. It’s hard for me to pick favorites in this list, which is why I didn’t rank them, but this one is definitely top 5. A staple in my summer rotation.
Honorable mention: Wolffer No.139 Dry Rose Cider – If you’re looking for something a little more casual or single serve to bring to the beach or a barbecue this summer I love the Dry Rose Ciders.
And there you have it. My top picks to keep you Rosé-all-day…ing? See a favorite? Have a favorite you think I should try and put in my rotation? Let me know in the comments below!