The rosé season is in full swing and there is no reason to stop drinking it when you put your white pants away after Labor Day. Club W, the world’s only personalized wine club, has some incredible bottles this summer, including their latest introduction, a 2014 Cocomero Rosato from Italy.
Even though Labor Day weekend typically signifies the end of the summer, there are a few more weeks to go before the weather will cool off.
Brian Smith, sommelier, winemaker and Chief Wine Officer at Club W (who doesn’t want that job title?), provided us with a list of his top 10 favoriterosé wines, or as I prefer to call it, my summer bucket list. He also guided us toward pairings that will complement these rosé picks…and help us embrace summer while we still can.
Wine Pick: 2014 Cocomero Rosato (Club W)
Pairing: Cheese and Charcuterie
Why: Cocomero is our homage to Tuscany and the Italian love of watermelon, and it’s extra special because Italy’s not generally known for its rosé,” Smith said. “Aromas of watermelon and white nectarine and juicy fruit on the palate are balanced by high acidity for a lighter wine that’s easy to drink with a cheese and charcuterie plate.”
Wine Pick: 2013 Jolie Folle Rosé
Pairing: A Summer Salad
Why: There’s a special place in my heart for this rosé, as I make it. Jolie Folle is made from Grenache and Cinsault; it’s balanced and bright, with notes of wild strawberry, watermelon, and white fruit. Because it’s got a light, airy body and a crisp finish, it complements the flavors in summer salads and seafood dishes.
Wine pick: 2014 Sauvetage Rosé (Club W)
Pairing: Pan Roasted Salmon or Shrimp Tacos
Why: Provençal rosé is widely considered the best in the world (and the original!), and Sauvetage is a classic example of what people love about this style. It’s crisp, delicate, and dry with notes of strawberry and melon — all ideal qualities for pairing with seafood. (Pro note: rosé and seafood is a classic pairing in general.)
Wine Pick: Dragonette Cellars 2014 Rosé, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara
Pairing: Belgian Endive with Smoked Trout Salad
Why: The natural acidity in this Santa Barbara rosé pairs well with a peppy vinaigrette or other zesty crudité dipping sauces. It’s also got a touch of new oak, which provides some richness to support creamier sauces, and the light, crisp finish with juicy berry flavors makes a fresh combination with crunchy veggies.
Wine Pick: Poema Cava Brut Rosado
Pairing: Thin Crust Pizza or Eggplant Parmesan
Why: When it comes to thin crust pizza, toppings are everything — and you never know what you’ll be in the mood for. Bubbles give you flexibility with flavor (as does rosé in general), and the sub-$13 price tag makes Poema an everyday option you can easily pair with delivery — but it’ll stand with the best of your fancier flatbreads as well.
Wine Pick: 2014 Casa de Lila Tempranillo Rosé (Club W)
Pairing: Chicken Santa Fe or DIY Tacos
Why: Tempranillo is the grape of choice in Spain, so we used it to create this Spanish-style rosé. You’ll still get the classic, dry finish everyone loves in this summer favorite, but Tempranillo lends more savory notes here that can stand up to spicier dishes. Casa de Lila smells sweeter than it tastes, with some saltiness on the palate and a refreshing citrus finish — ideal qualities for pairing with Mexican food.
Wine Pick: Horse & Plow 2014 Rosé
Pairing: Raw Zucchini “Noodles” or Mango Kale Salad
Why: This rosé is made primarily from Carignane, which lends its spice and bell pepper notes nicely to raw veggies. Thin, dark berry notes, higher acidity, and medium body complement simpler veggie dishes without overwhelming them. Bonus: this wine is organic!
Wine Pick: Mouton Noir 2014 Love Drunk Rosé
Pairing: Pears with Brie and Prosciutto
Why: Love Drunk serves up serious fruit: strawberry, watermelon, kiwi, and even some cream notes. Since fruit is a great thing to pair with more fruit, this Willamette Valley rosé’s juicy characters and hint of sweetness provide a great background for your chilled fruit salad.
Brian Smith selected each wine and authored the pairing notes for every pick.