Even just two years ago, I may have needed to start a rosé roundup with some chatter about the wine's resurgence. That's not necessary anymore. Wine drinkers know that #roséallday isn't just here; it's here to stay, particularly in the warmer months.
Although rosé is wildly popular right now, it can still be confusing because it's a category, not a grape. Just like all red wines are not made from the same grape, rosé wines are not all made from the same grape. In fact, they can be made from just about any grape a red wine can be made from, and their taste can be vastly different. If you've tried a rosé and it wasn't to your taste, keep on trying. There are some that are lean and subtle, and others that have bold flavors.
A few other things to keep in mind about rosé:
- Don't let a screw cap on a bottle make you think it's lesser quality. Rosé is not meant to age and so the use of cork — which is the arguably the best closure for aging — is unnecessary. There's plenty of great rosé to be found under a screw cap.
- Drink it in a day or two after opening. It's been my experience that by day three, most rosés are past their prime.
- To get the most out of the aroma and flavors, drink a rosé at a warmer temperature than white wine but a cooler temperature than red. This is my personal preference. I don't like refrigerator-temperature rosé because the cold masks a lot of its sensory loveliness. If you're served a very cold glass, cup your hands around the bowl for a minute or so to warm up the wine. You'll notice a big difference in what you can taste and smell once it warms up a few degrees.
Over the past month or so, I've been popping (or unscrewing) rosés as the weather has warmed up. Now that it's Memorial Day weekend — the unofficial start of summer — it seems like the perfect time to share a few I've enjoyed.
Arrogant Frog Lily Pad Pink: Winemaker Jean-Claude Mas calls his Arrogant Frog wines "everyday luxury." The Lily Pad Pink rosé in this entry level label is a lovely medium pink color. It has aromas of flowers and ripe red fruit — strawberry and some cherry, and those fruits come out on the palate with just a hint of sweetness. This rosé made from syrah is a crowd-pleaser, at least in my group of friends. From the Pays d'Oc region of France in the Langudoc_Roussillion area in the Mediterranean. (about $10)
Simi Dry Rosé: Rosé is often associated with the south of France, but U.S. producers make lovely rosés, too. Simi Dry Rosé is coral in color and made from cabernet sauvignon, merlot, malbec, syrah, zinfandel and graciano from vineyards in various regions of Sonoma County in California. Watermelon and white flowers are the predominate aromas, and the wine has balanced flavors of berries and citrus. I paired it with flatbread topped with garlic, tomatoes and mozzarella and then drizzled with aged balsamic — a lovely pairing. (about $13)
"M" de Minuty Rosé: You'll often hear someone say that a rosé is done in the Provencial style. If you looked up Provencial style in the dictionary, this bottle from Minuty might be given as an example. Made from grenache, cinsault and syrah, this is lean but vibrant, despite its muted hue. (It almost looks like a white wine in the glass.) Made in the Côtes de Provence appellation in France, the mineral-driven aromas of the wine give way to orange after a few seconds. On the palate, it's balanced with flavors of strawberries and cranberry. Usually, the leaner rosés aren't my favorites, but this one was an absolute pleasure to drink. (about $14)
Something local: This isn't a recommendation of a specific bottle because few people have access to the wines that are local to me in the South Jersey/Philadelphia region. But, if you have a winery near you, there's a really great chance they're making a rosé that you should check out. Over the past coupe of weeks I've enjoyed Pennsylvania's Chaddsford Winery's Artisan Series Dry Rose and New Jersey's William Heritage Winery's Rosé (in a can), and I know I'll be drinking more local rosé as the summer progresses.