In college, white zinfandel, in all its too-sweet glory, always seemed to have a place in the refrigerator that my roommate Sarah and I shared. I’m happy to report that
when we turned 21 as our palates matured, so did our tastes in wine.
As my taste in wine evolved, I wish I could say that I immediately appreciated rosé wines but likely scarred from my sub-par experience with the big pink box of Franzia, I immediately moved on to white wines and later, slowly, to reds (and I’m still kind of working on the latter).
With the summer here, there is a new kind of wine perfect for hot days, picnics and cookouts and while it resembles the dreaded white zinfandel, it’s quite a bit tastier and comes in many varieties.
Rosé wines, typically a pink-ish, blush color are versatile and food friendly and thought they have a reputation for falling on the sweeter spectrum of wines, they’re actually run the gamut from sweet-enough-for-dessert to dry enough for the discerning wine drinker. Fun fact: the color of a rose can depend on what kind of grapes are used in the wine.
With the help of some of my friends I’ve pulled together a list of five rosé wines to try this summer if you’re looking for something a little different, no matter what the occasion.
Moncontour Crémant de Loire Brut Rosé: Dispelling rumors that all blush wines are bright pink – and dare I say girly? – this dry rosé has a bright copper color and fresh aromas of strawberry, raspberry, and flowers. It’s clean and dry on the palate with a hint of cream (~$18).
Pair with: Cajun Shrimp Lettuce Wraps, Kung Pao Shrimp
2008 M. Chapoutier Belleruche Grenache Rosé: A pale pink wine with hints of cherries, raspberries and grapefruit, this wine has an earthiness you might not expect from a rose. It is fresh and well-balanced, with a clean, crisp acidity (~$15).
2009 Copain Rosé “Tous Ensemble: No wine round-up would be complete without a varietal from California. This wine has a light blush color, deep notes of strawberry and raspberry and hints of grapefruit. It’s long finish and grassy notes lend to a balanced, easy-to-drink finish (~$15).
2009 Quivira Dry Creek Valley Grenache Rosé: The coral-pink wine is refreshing and balanced with notes of tart, juicy cherries, plums and berries. It’s tart, fruity notes really stand out and would be amazing with grilled meats or anything rich and decadent (~$20).
2009 A to Z Sangiovese Rosé: Ever since I visited Seattle for the first time in March I’ve been obsessed with wines from the Pacific Northwest. This Oregon wine is perfect for drinking on its own – on a porch, balcony or patio, perhaps – as an apertif or after-dinner wine. It has a bright, pink color and hints of strawberries, cherries and melon (~$10).