Let’s be honest, this summer has been sweltering and relief may still be months away. The silver lining? Rosé wine. Its versatility, refreshing crispness and over all ability to make being drenched in sweat from dawn till dusk not seem so bad; rosé just might be the glass of pink relief you’ve been searching for. I’ve compiled some observations and misconceptions to help you embrace the world of pink.
All your favorite grapes…only pinker. So you’re a GSM kinda person? Great, me too. You love that big fruit from Grenache, the little kick of spice you get from Syrah, and the funky backbone from Mouvedre. Or maybe you’re a Pinot Noir drinker–you long for bright cherries, raspberries, and a soft tannin structure with a touch of acidity. Rosé wines have the ability to display all of your favorite varietal nuances, only more subtly and with the allure of tasting like heaven on a hot summer evening. If you’re new to rosé, start out by finding one that has some of your favorite grape varietals, either a single varietal or in a blend. Pay attention, I’ll bet that you pick up on some of those same flavor profiles you’ve grown to love in your usual favorites.
This ain’t your grandma’s white (pink) Zinfandel. “But is it sweet?” This is probably the most common question I receive from both genders of non-rosé drinkers when I’m recommending a glass. And don’t get me wrong; it’s a fair question. During the 80’s, in the midst of bad hair and awesome music, came white Zinfandel. Alas, the complex blush category of sweet, low alcohol wine was born. Considering it’s about as approachable as apple juice, it became massively popular and so did the misconception that all rosé wines are sticky sweet. The truth is most rosés are dry and off dry; many have great minerality and can even have some funk to them as well.
If rosé had a match.com profile. Don’t even pretend you haven’t at least thought about using online dating. If rosé were to put itself out there to woo potential suitors, its profile would read something like…”Must have willingness to think outside the box and get in touch with wine’s feminine side.” And “Hey, life is short and summertime is even shorter. Let’s sit out on the porch, have some laughs and good conversation.” Maybe even, “Easy on the eyes, nose and mouth…” Scandalous. Not to mention rosé wines generally have a lower price point than their red varietal counterparts and who can find that unattractive?
Here are some tips when buying/consuming rosé:
- Buy recent vintages. This way you get all the acidity and light tannin structure without losing the lovely fruits.
- If you like deeper rosé wines with lots of big fruit on them, try a bottle from Australia, South Africa, Chile or Argentina made from Grenache or Shiraz/Syrah grapes.
- Try French and Spanish rosé for dry and interesting.
- For bright fruit and aromatic herbs look for rosé from Napa Valley.
- Pair rose’ with everything from seafood to grilled goodies, prepared to be amazed.
Some of my favorite rosé go-to bottles:
Jean-Luc Colombo Cape Bleue Rosé- Provence, Syrah, Mourvdre, Counoise blend, delicate pink in color, complex with cherries, raspberries and a touch of fennel on the palette with peach, and some pepper on the nose. Can be purchased at or ordered online from Boulder Liquor Mart, $16.99.
Robert Sinskey Vin Gris- Napa, 100% Pinot Noir, dark salmon pink in color, wild strawberry, cranberry, watermelon on the pallet and lovely herbs on the nose. Order from RobertSinskey.com, $28.
Infinite Monkey Theorem- Colorado, equal parts Cab Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Petit Sirah, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, dark fuchsia in color, pomegranate, watermelon and a bit of tobacco leaf on the finish with lots of strawberry and floral on the nose. Find at Argonaut, $16.99.
I hope with these tips and my gentle prodding you will go out and find your very own favorite bottle of rosé. Cheers!