Make Pink Wine Your New BFF with this Handy Guide to the Carefree Wine of Summer
I’m a serious believer in drinking rosé all year-round, but there’s something special about the warm summer weather that calls for a lip-smacking, thirst-quenching pink wine. Relaxing in the sun and enjoying a juicy pink drink is one of the many rewards of summer. In this list we will delve into some of the best offerings to enjoy between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
There is a bottle for every occasion, so explore them all, from the light salmon-hued wines of Provence to the rich copper-colored rosés of Spain and Italy. These fresh, zippy wines call for lighter summer cuisine such as, shellfish and poultry. They even match with fresh summer salads of citrus, avocado, and berries. Whether it’s in a bottle or a can, it makes no difference, so long as it’s good!
Gents, please remember, rosé is not just for the ladies − real men drink pink! In fact, the category is so hot, brosé is a term often thrown around the wine bar.
These are the best 15 rosés for all occasions of summer and the foods with which to pair them:
At the Beach
Enjoying a cold glass of rosé on the beach just as the sun is setting for golden hour is one of my favorite moments of summer. The ocean is sparkling, the crowds make their way inside for dinner and you have the entire beach to yourself. Savor this special time with one of these fresh and luminous pink wines.
- Ramona, Sicily, Italy ($19.99):
On your next beach trip, enjoy this lightly sparkling, organic Sicilian pink wine, blended with natural ruby grapefruit. It conveniently comes in a slim portable four pack of 250ml cans that fits right in your beach tote. This bubbly rosé has a touch of sweetness, is light-bodied, fruity, crisp, and fun! This is a retro wine cooler with a modern twist. Serve with a Cajun blackened fish po’boy, or simply, with a bag of Old Bay seasoned popcorn for the perfect beach snack.
- 2016 Terre de Mistral Rosalie Provence Rosé ($19.99):
This stunning rosé is perfumed with hints of red berries, rose petal, and violet. It has juicy, refreshing acidity with a smooth texture. The bright acidity and freshness make this the perfect beach wine for the season. Pair with salty potato chips, chicken fingers, or anything fried.
At a Backyard BBQ
Fire up the grill! These rosés are begging for delicious grillables.
- 2014 Arrumaco Garnacia Rosé, Valencia, Spain ($5.99):
This is one of the best values in rosé to be found this season. This 100% Garnacia from Valencia, Spain is lively, crisp, and juicy enough to make your mouth water. Bright tones of peony flowers, and citrus shine through. At $6 per bottle, you can serve a crowd at your backyard gatherings without breaking the bank. Pair with light salads with citrus dressing or even BBQ chicken.
- 2012 Clos DuBreuil Clara Rosé ($29.99):
This deeply colored rosé from the Saint-Émilion region of Bordeaux drinks like a light red rather than rosé. With more body and complexity, this wine can stand up to a grilled burger, so treat your guests to this juicy, bold rosé – they will surely be impressed. Rich, fresh strawberry notes along with highly concentrated aromas of blackberry and pear are pronounced. Bright acidity keeps the wine in perfect balance.
- 2016 Vicchiomaggio San Jacopo Rosato, Tuscany, Italy ($12.99):
A classic summer wine from Vicchiomaggio of Tuscany. Light pink in color with aromas of fresh cherries and strawberries. Tangerine and orange peel follow on the long finish. Serve with open-faced sandwiches with crisp asparagus, prosciutto, and melted cheese all cooked on the grill.
At an Outdoor Concert at Wolf Trap
Break out the gingham blanket, the straw picnic basket, and pink wine! It is time to enjoy the wonderful summer concerts at Wolf Trap this season. Here are the best rosés for picnics, outdoor movies, and concerts.
- 2016 Aureillan Rosé Cotes de Provence Rosé, Provence, France ($19.99):
A serious style of rosé with structure, backbone, and richness, this is a wine to savor in the sun. Bright, tart acidity, cranberry, cherry and rose petal on the nose and palate. Owned by the Fabre family, this vineyard dates all the way back to 1910 in Saint-Tropez. Pair with a cheese plate of mild, soft cheeses like, Gruyère, Havarti, and Monterey Jack. Don’t forget the charcuterie for the best picnic snack.
- 2016 Domaine de la Chezatte Sancerre Rosé, Loire Valley, France ($24.99):
Made from 100% Pinot Noir, this French rosé features a lovely salmon hue with orange glints to the eye. It is a subtle, dry, elegant wine with superb quality offering notes of white plum, violet, white flowers, and citrus. Serve with a rosemary flatbread with olives. The Mediterranean flavors are amazing and it travels well for enjoying outdoors.
- 2016 Hendry Rosé, Napa Valley, California ($19.99):
The Hendry family has been farming the same vineyard in Napa since 1939. The ranch is composed of 203 acres situated in the hills northwest of Napa. The 2016 Hendry Rosé is a blend of 48% Zinfandel, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15.5% Primitivo, 15.5% Malbec, and 2% Cabernet Franc. Summer-fruit flavors are prevalent on the nose, like strawberry and watermelon. Hints of jasmine, cherry blossoms, and pear dominate the palate. Pair with Maryland crab cakes for a true taste of summer.
Rosé for Celebrating
Savor these wonderful pink bubbles for special summer occasions or when you’re just in the mood to pop some delicious sparklers!
- La Tordera Cuvee di Gabry Spumante Extra Dry Rosato, Veneto, Italy ($17.99):
A blend of Merlot and Incrocio Manzoni, an indigenous grape from the region, this is a delightful sparkler from the Veneto. Offering bold, tropical fruit flavors, it has a lovely, slightly off-dry finish, with a hint of lemon and clementine citrus. Pair with strawberry sorbet.
- Montaudon Grand Rosé Brut, Champagne, France ($39.99):
Go ahead and splurge a little on this true Champagne (and probably my favorite wine on this list). This wine is delicate and features pronounced aromas of red berries, dragon fruit, rhubarb, and toasted brioche. A hint of savory spice and cinnamon on the finish. This is a special celebratory pink Champagne to match with festive desserts like a not-too-sweet dark chocolate and raspberry tart, chiffon cake with strawberries and cream, or try a savory dish like tuna sashimi.
Visit Elyse Genderson at Schneider’s of Capitol Hill at 300 Massachusetts Avenue, NE. For more information, visit www.cellar.com.