As most grapefriends know, I drink rosé all year round. Most people, however, associate it with summer and really that’s fine with me if that’s what it takes to get people to try it out.
One thing I’ve noticed lately is that people have serious rosé preferences for either pale or ruby. I get that you might be more in the mood for one or the other, but I don’t get why you’d only drink one type. That bugs me as much as when people say the only drink red wine or only drink white – you’re missing out on half the wine world!
As with any wine, the color of rosé comes from the skin of the grape and the time spent on those skins during the winemaking process. The thinner the skin and lesser the time, the lighter the color will be.
So the pale salmon rosés come from Pinot Noir grapes (like awesome ones from the Willamette Valley) or more popularly from Grenache and Cinsault grapes in Provence. Deeper ruby ones generally come from thicker-skinned grapes like Sangiovese or Tempranillo – lots of good ones from Spain (where it’s called rosado) and Italy (rosato).
I love the pales on a hot day with a light shellfish lunch – total perfection. And if you’re kickin’ it waterside, the pales will also be your grapefriend. But when you’ve got heavier food, like a tuna nicoise or steak salad, a ruby one is amazing. Got a charcuterie plate? A ruby’s gonna blow your mind. And when you’re eating spicy stuff, I usually find that the pales don’t totally hold up and would go for a rosé somewhere in the middle.
There’s a whole range of rosé out there – taste the rainbow. Here are a few of my faves (of all shades):
One of my fave rosés EVER. It’s a Grenache-Syrah blend that’s made biodynamically so it’s just packed with flavor – raspberry, strawberry, ripe peach. Mind blower. Can’t recommend it more.
My go-to. Watermelon and peach, perfectly priced. And the label is just cool.
This is made from Pinot Noir but has a little more heft to it than you’d expect. Strawberry and white cherry, pink rose petals, and excellently balanced with a stony minerality. I opened this with a few friends and everyone agreed it was fantastic.
This one is totally funky and cool – it’s from Hungary (not kidding) and made from Cab, Syrah, Cab Franc, Merlot, a grape I’ve never even heard of, Kekfrankos. It’s got a good ripe strawberry thing going on, but then also something savory and meaty. Would be great with charcuterie and even aged Gouda or cheddar. Plus, just cool to be a little different and serve a rosé from Hungary.
Love this one! Gorgeous, elegant yellow apple, peach, just-picked strawberry, and a spritz of orange. The winemaker made it for her husband on their 20th anniversary to honor their never-ending crush on each other. Lucky for us, we get a great wine out of it!
Lovely and light white peach and apricot flavor. This is from the Coteaux Varois in Provence and mostly made with Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah. My grapefriend Diane opened this poolside and it was a perfect pairing.
other good rosé reads:
rosé fun facts
how it’s made (not by mixing red & white)