The wine culture in America is finally catching up with Europe, and there’s no better example than rosés—zillions of gallons of which are drunk in Mediterranean cafes all summer long. Here, we’re gaining traction. Rosé sales climbed an impressive 40% in the last year!
What makes rosés great are their double identities. The best are as snappy and thirst quenching as white wine, but they have the flavor intensity of many reds. Rosés can be made from almost any red grape varieties, and they come in all shades of pink. Know this though: with rosés, color intensity is not a tip off to the intensity of the wine’s flavor. So a faint pink wine can be as intense as a darker one.
And roses are definitely not the same as blush wines like white zinfandel. Blush wines are usually quite sweet and basic in quality. The experience is essentially soda pop. True rosé, on the other hand, is bone dry, screamingly fresh, vividly flavorful, and it makes you want to gulp it down with all sorts of food, especially anything with… garlic. Yup. It’s a little known fact, but rosé wines are one of the only wines that work really well with garlic—just ask the French who always serve rosé with the garlic mayonnaise known as aioli.
After tasting 30 rosés recently, here were the six wines that stood out:
CHARLES & CHARLES Rosé 2013 (Columbia Valley, Washington State) $13
Our top pick was also the least expensive wine in the tasting. Like diving into a pool of wild raspberries and strawberries.
LASSETER FAMILY WINERY “Enjoué” Rosé 2013 (Sonoma Valley, California) $24
Not going to the French Riviera this summer? Let this wine take your there.
JUDD’S HILL Rosé 2013 (Napa Valley, California) $24
Beautiful almost creamy fresh strawberry flavors.
KELLER ESTATE Rosé 2013 (Sonoma Coast, California) $30
So vivid, splashy, and rich, you could drink it all day.
INMAN FAMILY Rosé of Pinot Noir 2013 (Russian River Valley, California) $25
Elegant and delicious with the texture of strawberry whipped cream.
PONZI VINEYARDS Rosé of Pinot Noir 2013 (Willamette Valley, Oregon) $20
Beautiful harmony of strawberry and citrus flavors.