Warm spring days mean it is “rosé all day” time. For many of us, this means picking up a few bottles of delicate pink Provençal rosé (we’ll never deny you that Whispering Angel), but there is more rosé to be had. And if you’ve been turned off by some of the South of France plonk that’s found its way into many a frosé over the past few summers, we highly recommend looking for others. There is a rosé for everyone.
Provençal rosé: This is the big deal. Provençal rosé is having a moment—exports to the US have more than tripled in the past few years—and its delivery to wine shops literally marks the beginning of warmer days. Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault, and Mourvèdre are the common grapes you’ll find, with light peach, citrus, and berry flavors.
Look for: Château d’Esclans, Domaine des Diables, Domaine du Grand Cros, Château Puech-Haut
Loire rosé: The wines of the Loire River Valley generally make excellent wines for summer sips. Their rosés rely on the Loire’s star, Cabernet Franc. If you’re a fan of bone-dry wine with orange citrus notes, look for Chinon rosés. Children of the 80s may remember their parents picking up a bottle of sweet berry-rich Rosé d’Anjou. Those rosés have grown in sophistication but are still packed with strawberry and watermelon flavors. They are made with Grolleau, Cabernet Franc, and Gamay grapes.
Look for: Charles Joguet, Jean-Maurice Raffault, Monmousseau, Barton & Guestier, Remy Pannier
Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo: There are a few types of rosato made in Italy, but you must try Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo. Coming from hillsides near the Adriatic, Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo must be Montepulciano based which creates a more medium-bodied wine with notes of cherry, strawberry, and tart red fruit.
Look for: Cataldi Madonna, Valle Reale
Rosado: Like Italian rosatos, Spanish rosados have a darker hue than Provençal rosés. The best bets are those from the Rioja, whether it’s Garnacha/Grenache or Tempranillo-based (or a blend of both). If sparkling is more your speed, pick up a nice bottle of Cava Rosado.
Look for: Bodegas Muga, Marqués de Cáceres, Mont Marcal
Pinot Noir: With so much Pinot Noir around lately, some does find its way into rosé. These wines still have Pinot Noir’s signature berry and cherry notes, they’re just subdued. An important appellation for this type of rosé is Sancerre, but you can also find bottles from the West Coast.
Look for: Carmel Road, Ponzi, Summer Water
Food Pairing Tip: Rosé may be wonderful because it evokes warm summer beach days, but that’s not all it’s good for. It’s actually a great wine for pairing with spicy, flavorful fare. We’re especially big fans of pairing a good bottle of Chinon or 100% Pinot Meunier rosé with our favorite Mexican and Indian dishes.