#WineWednesday: Five Rosé Wines You Must Try

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Vintage glasses with pink rosé wine

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.


Photo: Willow & Olive

Rosé Pairings

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).

Pair with: Slow Cooker Chicken with Asian BBQ SauceChipotle Steak Sliders

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).

Pair with: Mint & Pea Pesto Crostini,  Puff Pastry Rounds with Crab and Chive

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).

Pair with: Creamy Avocado Pasta, Asparagus Goat Cheese Galette

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).

Pair with: Parmesan Puff Pastry Twists, Baked Brie en Croute

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  • Reply
    Easy Entertaining: Host a Wine & Cheese Party
    August 24, 2011 at 2:00 pm

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  • Reply
    June 24, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Pink wine 🙂 there was a place in my fridge for it as well. And it may or may not have been in a box too 🙂

    I am still new to Rose. I know I should try it to try something new. Love that you gave me a list here!

  • Reply
    lisa @ smart food and fit
    June 24, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    This is a great wine list. I took a wine tasting class in college! We tasted about 4 to 6 different wine varieties per class from different regions of the world. One of our classes we got to sample different food and dessert with wine and write down in our journal what we thought of the pairings. I had to stay after class a few times because I had one too many to drink! Great refreshing post!

  • Reply
    June 23, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    That photograph looks amazing with all those delicious colours – did you drink it all afterwards?
    I too have come late to Rose, but really really appreciate it now. Pink Champagne even more so!

  • Reply
    June 23, 2011 at 10:52 am

    It’s funny, I never really drank wine until I graduated and now I love it. I think it was partially that my palate wasn’t there and I think also my objectives with drinking were so different then.

  • Reply
    Barbara | Creative Culinary
    June 23, 2011 at 9:26 am

    You are so right on! I avoided Rose for many years because of the box connotation and am glad I had a wine event many years ago that I attended enlighten me to the truth of rose. Great tutorial and suggestions Maris.

  • Reply
    June 23, 2011 at 9:12 am

    I tried a delicious rose champagne from a local winery just last week!

  • Reply
    Beth @ DiningAndDishing
    June 23, 2011 at 8:25 am

    I was never much a fan of roses until trying some fabulous ones in California. I always associated them with cheap wine but you’re right – there are some excellent roses to be enjoyed! Especially lovely for typically red wine drinkers in the hot summer months :).

  • Reply
    June 23, 2011 at 7:44 am

    Rose is a lovely wine, especially for summer drinking. Summer or winter, it has a beautiful color that makes it most enjoyable. Years ago I used it to make sangria. I’ll have to look for the recipe. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…MaryTto sip

  • Reply
    Blond Duck
    June 23, 2011 at 6:47 am

    They’re all pink! 🙂

  • Reply
    Gina (The Candid RD)
    June 23, 2011 at 6:10 am

    I’m so lucky to have a wine guy at work who knows EVERYTHING about wine. Whenever I’m having a dinner party I go to him with the menu and ask what I should serve (same if I want to bring a wine to a party). It’s great! But this is helpful too, because I’ve heard a lot about the goodness of rose wines as a summer drink (I think they did something on the Today show not too long ago). Great info here! I wonder if the Dy Creek Valley would also go well with creamy avocado ice cream 🙂

  • Reply
    Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga
    June 23, 2011 at 5:57 am

    Rose…love your reviews! I love this post b/c it’s so different than the typical posts I read…unique and fresh and fun!

    I love rose wines AND rose champagne is my absolute fave thing ever 🙂

  • Reply
    June 23, 2011 at 4:00 am

    Rosés seem to be under-appreciated. I rarely drink them even though its delicious. I don’t know why.

  • Reply
    June 23, 2011 at 12:28 am

    Hi Maris, thanks so much. I’m always on the hunt for some nice pink wines in the summer!!! Cheers!

  • Reply
    June 22, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    I’m a fan of rosé. When I lived in France, wine at the supermarket was so amazingly cheap. I felt so lucky that the rosé I liked best (I do prefer sweet over dry) came in at a cool €3.49 or so. I suppose my college wine-drinking experience was a bit enchanted:)

  • Reply
    Karriann Graf
    June 22, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    Maris, this is a wonderful list and I will try to taste a few of your recommendation. Thank you for sharing! Happy Drinking!

  • Reply
    Shari @ Chicago Cuisine Critique
    June 22, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    I’m right there with you with the wine tastes. Slowly but surely I have been giving more Rose’s a try. Thanks for the recommendations! 🙂

  • Reply
    June 22, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    I love rose. Looks like a great list:)

  • Reply
    June 22, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    We’ve been trying out some different rose wines this summer. I’m going to have to search a few of these out to sample.

    My college roommate and I frequented the box o’ Franzia before we were… er…. old enough to discern good wine from bad wine. We rented this little funky house with a tree house. The tree house was strictly for Franzia drinkn’. Super classy, weren’t we?

  • Reply
    Dishes of Mrs. Fish
    June 22, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    I love this Wine on Wednesday series! 🙂 I haven’t tried very many roses, but did try one that I loved on vacation in California!

  • Reply
    Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray
    June 22, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Okay, you twisted my arm, I’ll try them 😉

  • Reply
    Lisa from Lisas Yarns
    June 22, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    I haven’t had much rose either, mostly because of my experience w/ white zin from a franzia box, too! Too funny! Rose is very popular over in France – I noticed quite a few people drinking it, which is interesting because I feel like it gets a bad rap here in the US. To me, it almost seems like there is this perception that those without a pallette drink it! I will have to check some of these out!

  • Reply
    A Plum By Any Other Name
    June 22, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    I was in NYC over the weekend and the weather was just gorgeous, and so I couldn’t resist drinking rose. I love Tavel roses too, which tend to be deeper in color and tannins and might be a nice gateway into the reds. 😉

    I feel like I should be drinking roses after reading your post … cheers!

  • Reply
    Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet
    June 22, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    I love rosés. They are the perfect warm weather wine and they go well with many types of food. I love the Grenache and Sangiovese roses though I have not had the ones you’ve mentioned. I do have a tendency to like the European roses more. Now I need a glass of wine!

  • Reply
    Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.
    June 22, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    awesome post! I love rose this time of year. They even served them in Italy

  • Reply
    The Waspy Redhead
    June 22, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    Wonderful post! I had almost the exact same rose experience, overindulgence in the bad stuff in college followed by a period of avoidance and now embrace. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for these on my next vino shopping trip. Love that you provided pairing suggestions!

  • Reply
    June 22, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Rosés are often overlooked, aren’t they? This is a great list!

  • Reply
    Nelly Rodriguez
    June 22, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Ohhh I love this list!! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    June 22, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    I’ve always been afraid of rose for the exact same reason! Oops…gotta love college. I think I’ll give it another go around now that I’ve been done with school for a year 🙂

  • Reply
    June 22, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    I sort of love how we’ve both decided that Wednesdays are for wine, I mean it has a nice ring to it right? In any case, I’m becoming more of a rose fan and will definitely have to try some of these out.

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