The Best Rosé's to Sip on this Summer
Rosé is always in fashion for summertime. And with all the options out there, making a decision on which pink wine to pick up can be difficult! To save you time in the wine aisle, we asked Ryan Curry, the owner of Golden 8 Wines and certified CMS and advanced WSET, a few questions about picking the perfect rosé and which ones made the top of his summer sipping list!
What makes a great rosé wine?
"For me, a good rosé needs to be varietally correct, easy to drink, and delicious," Ryan says. "A great rosé needs to include a good mouth feel, or texture, and a lengthy finish." Although the options are endless, it can be difficult to find an exceptional rosé. "There are a lot of good rosés and a lot of crappy rosé on the market, but very little great rosé."
When shopping for rosé what should you be looking for?
Start by looking for a rosé that is low in alcohol. "Rosé should be refreshing, which means it should be relatively low in alcohol. Certain grape varieties like Grenache and Mourvèdre tend to produce higher alcohol wines, but I avoid anything over 13 percent." Some varietals are especially lower in alcohol and are great options for a refreshing, crisp taste. "I personally love the rosé from Sancerre and Bandol in France along with the new world wine's that emulate their style. I can't ignore rosé champagne which can be phenomenal; it is consumed as regularly as still rosé at my place."
Is the color of a rosé important in determining its quality?
When deciding between a light pink rosé and dark pink rosé Ryan says the lighter pink options tend to be better quality. "But the color of the wine isn't the only indicator of quality. I think most of the finer rosés are lighter in color because they want to clearly separate themselves from the low-quality blush and white zinfandels of the past."
What are the different types of rosé?
There are many different types of rosé. "The seriously made ones are made very similarly to a white wine: the grapes are harvested, then go through the wine press, and finally are fermented in your vessel of choice, which is usually a stainless steel tank. To get the rosé color, still red wine is added at the end of the process or the grapes are allowed to pick up color from the skins before they go into the press." There is a type of rosé that is made, as Ryan says, "as an afterthought." When making red wines, "winemakers sometimes 'bleed' the tanks, which means they take some of the fermenting juice out of the tank of wine. The remaining juice has more contact with the skins and becomes more full-bodied. Rather than sending this "bleed juice" down the drain, some people make rosé out of it. It is never good because they end up being high in alcohol and lack acidity."
What are some good food pairings with rosé?
Rosé is the most versatile wine out there. "The classic pairing in the Mediterranean countries are with fresh fish, but it goes well with anything that comes from the grill such as, grilled chicken, shrimp, lamb, sausages, and vegetables. It really deserves a place at your table year round in California. There isn't a better-suited wine to pair with a salad and produce driven cuisine. It pairs great with French fries too!"
Ryan's Go-To Rosé Wines
1. Salt Vine Rosé of Pinot Noir- Sonoma County, USA
"This rosé is a premium Pinot Noir Rosé that is made with fruit from Sangiacomo Family Vineyards. The wine emulates a Sancerre rosé. It is a very pale pink, lighter style of rosé with vivid flavors at just 12 percent alcohol. The wine has a sensual mouth feel and flavors of wild raspberry, peach, and blood orange. It has refreshing acidity and a long finish."
Pairs well with: oysters, grilled shrimp, chicken and grilled vegetables. It is a great wine to start the night with but is enough to take you through your main course
Where to buy: www.golden8wines.com
2. Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé- France
"This is the most famous Bandol rose and is solid every year. It is a slightly larger type of rosé made mostly from Mourvèdre. It is pale pink in color and encompasses watermelon, cantaloupe, and strawberry aromas."
Pairs well with: richer fish preparations, grilled lamb seasoned with rosemary and garlic, and Ratatouille
Where to buy: www.klwines.com
3. Francois Cotat Sancerre Rosé- France
"I love this Sancerre Rosé. It is very pale pink in color and is made from Pinot Noir grapes. It has flavors of raspberries, peaches, white pepper, and forest floor.
Pairs well with: shellfish, roasted chicken, and charcuterie
Where to buy: www.crushwineco.com
4. Dom Perignon Rosé Champagne - France
"I had to include this splurge worthy rosé with bubbles. It is made from mostly Pinot Noir with a touch of Chardonnay. It is a very serious and powerful wine that can stand up to a smoky grilled rib eye steak. It is a far more serious wine than most people give it credit for and should not be relegated to an aperitif or caviar pairing." The rosé encompasses aromas of strawberry, blood orange, and sea spray.
Pairs well with: wild game, mushrooms, and roasted vegetables.
Where to buy: www.totalwine.com
5. Domaine Comte Abbatucci Ajaccio Rosé "Cuvée Faustine" - Corsica
"There is some phenomenal rosé coming out of Corsica right now. Made from the Sciaccarellu grape and copper in color, the aromas include wild herbs, peach skin, and white flowers."
Pairs well with: cured meats, cheeses, and whole grilled fish.
Where to buy: www.kermitlynch.com
6. Penville Grenache Rosé - Santa Barbara County, USA
"Grenache makes a fuller bodied style of rosé. This Penville rosé is pink in color with aromas of strawberry, red plum, and watermelon, and is perfect for summertime."
Pairs well with: all the flavors of a Summer BBQ
Where to buy: www.penvillewine.com