Guys, rosé rules. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. You’ve probably seen dudes rosé-ing all day, seen the pink wine sold in forties, and most likely heard the term brosé at least once in your life by now. We’re not here to talk about any of that (directly, at least). We’re here to talk about the wine itself and, more specifically, why you should be drinking it this spring and summer.
Already drinking rosé? Skip to the bottom to check out some of the best rosé wines for your next hot date, guy’s night, or solo Netflix binge. Otherwise, here’s our countdown of the seven biggest reasons to hop on the rosé train.
7. Rosés Aren’t a Trend — They’re Here to Stay
“Rosé wines in their varying styles have taken a permanent seat for themselves at tables around the U.S., not to mention beaches, happy hours, parties, and more. That’s why winemakers are deciding it would make the perfect addition to their portfolios,” says Harry Hansen, director of winemaking at Sterling Vineyards of California.
6. There’s a Rosé for Every Beer and Whiskey You Love
There’s also a common misconception that all rosés are overly sweet and taste the same, which is so not the case. The world of rosé is huge, with styles that range from dry to sweet and hues from nearly-colorless pink to red.
This huge variety not only means there’s a bottle of rosé out there for every white- or red-lover, but for regular beer or whiskey drinkers as well — so long as you can man-up and get over the “pink” factor.
5. There’s No Reason to Care about the Color
More or less, a rosé is the combination of red and white grapes. (There are no pink grapes, kids.) “Winemakers create rosés of varying shades of pink by managing the length of contact between the juice and red grape skins during the winemaking process,” says Hansen.
Yes, it’s pink. So f*cking what? It’s not as if you’re not allowed to be seen with something pink on your plate or in your glass. In fact, a perfect medium-rare steak is pinker than rosé. A classic Hemingway daiquiri? Pink. Would you argue that a cocktail made by one of the manliest men that ever manned would not be manly simply because of the color? No. And not just because he’d knock you out for even suggesting such a thing.
4. It’s Not White Zinfandel
When a lot of people think of pink wines, they think of white zinfandel, a cloyingly sweet wine that is best reserved for the Solo cups of relatives you don’t care much for at family barbecues. True rosés aren’t all sweet like white zin is. Sure, some can be sweet, but over the last few years, winemakers from around the world (mainly France, the U.S., and Italy, the world’s largest producers of rosé) have been making rosés across the spectrum of sweet and dry. If the thought of overly sweet wine turns your stomach, never fear. There is still a rosé for you.
3. You Look Cultured
Rosé is the wine of choice for many people in the warmer months. The cool crispness of a nicely chilled bottle helps while the hours away while sitting at a street-side café in Paris or Milan. Not heading overseas anytime soon? Just think of it this way: Do you want to seem like a jerk who scoffs at rosé when the girl you’re trying to get with orders some?
Answer: No. No, you don’t. If you do, that means you’re going home alone.
2. They’re Classic as Sh*t
Winemaking had to start somehow, and it’s widely recognized that it was with wines that would resemble the rosés we know today. There was some contact between grape skins and juice — because they were stomped or squeezed by foot/hand — but not to the level that is done by machine today to achieve the dark colors we find in wines like pinot noirs.
1. They Pair Well with Tons of Foods
Just like reds and whites, rosés pair well with food. I mean, like really well. It doesn’t matter if it’s an outdoor brunch, a picnic, or even a barbecue, there is a rosé for the occasion. When you’re thinking of pairing combinations, typical rosé flavors fall closer to the white side of things, so light, fresh foods are a surefire hit — think fish, seafood, and salads. Plus, drinking rosé with dinner won’t leave you feeling stuffed and bloated.
Best Rosé Wines
To get you started, here are ten different rosés we think you should try, whether you’re looking for a cheap international bottle or you just want a healthier drink for post-workout relaxation.
2016 Sterling Vintner’s Collection Rosé
Rich and full-bodied, the 2016 Sterling Vintner’s Collection Rosé produced in California at Sterling Vineyards balances light and dark in the perfect rosé for a traditional red wine drinker. Aromas of freshly-picked berries play off flavors of pink citrus, jasmine tea, and orange blossom. However, unlike your vintage reds, this bottle was made to be enjoyed in its youth. We prefer a glass on its own before dinner or delicately paired with fresh oysters and scallops. (Guys’ night? Pair this bottle with an epic charcuterie spread.)
Alìe 2017 Frescobaldi
A dry summer and just enough spring rain made for an optimal growing season for this elegant rosé from Alìe, made from blending Syrah and Vermentino (grown near the sea in the coastal town of Maremma, Italy). Delicate on the top with wildflower, strawberry, and citrus peel, there’s an earthy mineral base that grounds the wine making it a lengthy, complex drink. Don’t confuse this rosé with a light spritzer — it’s strong enough to hold its own. Pair with heavily spiced dishes.
Bonterra Rosé 2017
While classic rosés lean on aromas of strawberry and orange, the Rosé 2017 from California’s Bonterra Organic Vineyards goes out of the box with key lime, rosewater, and hints of pineapple, along with notes of ripe peaches, watermelon, and pomegranate. This inaugural vintage from Bonterra’s Grenache-based rosé was crushed from certified organically grown grapes and is the perfect storm of flavors and dry crispness. We’ve found this rosé pairs great with Asian-fusion and poached salmon.
Underwood Rosé Bubbles
Bottles are nice, but cans are quicker. Oregon’s Underwood Rosé Bubbles sparkling rosé is ready-to-travel and far more approachable for guys accustomed to beer, but with an interest in trying something new. Think camping a.m. Rosé-mosas (a mimosa with sparkling rose instead of champagne) or moonlight hot tubbing in Aspen. Underwood’s tasting notes also lean toward the bold, bringing together wild strawberry, tart cherry, and fruit cocktail. Wrap a Koozie around the can and your buddies won’t even know how fancy you are.
M de Minuty Rosé 2017
A dry rosé that stands out with aromatic peach and candied orange, this more translucent pink wine, M de Minuty Rosé 2017, is the epitome of a perfect, fresh summer rosé (probably because it’s French). The light and bright color is the result of blending Grenache and Cinsault, forming a nose packed with intense orange peel and red currant aromas. That being said, Minuty is smooth in the mouth with a nice acidic crispness. Perfect with fresh-caught prawns and apricot pie. The slim bottle adds a touch of modern.
Raimat Rosada Rosé 2017
If you’re new to the wine game in general, let us tell you a secret: you can get a bunch of great bottles for under $15. In fact, most women don’t like spending tons of dough on their rosé, and neither should you. The Spanish Raimat Rosada Rosé is $12 a bottle but tastes out of your budget. The 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Tempranillo rosé is pleasant and fresh (not too acidic), and sustainably grown — which you usually have to pay extra for. Pour a glass alongside a plate of pasta.
Stoller Pinot Noir Rosé 2018
The winemaker at Oregon’s Stoller estate has referred to this rosé as “plugged-in” and it’s easy to see why. The color is hypnotic and practically neon. The flavors are multiple, with nice cherry and kiwi notes and a nice lightning bolt of acidity. Gone are the days of Willamette Valley producers making decent rosés out of the worst fruit in the vineyard. Winemakers are increasingly growing fruit specifically for the style, meaning a lot more quality for your buck.
Isenhower Cab Franc Rosé 2017
Cab Franc makes for a great red wine, but it might be even better as a rosé. This one from Washington has pronounced berry and rhubarb flavors and is made in the Loire style. In other words, minimal skin contact but a surprising amount of color and flavor. Rosé doesn’t have to be overly complex nor does it have to be boring. Isenhower’s falls somewhere in between.
Folk Machine Gamay Noir Rosé
This offering from Hobo Wine Company in California is made for spicy Thai food. Made entirely from Gamay Noir, the wine is full of red fruit, a bit of earth, and enough tannin to take on most entrees. The alcohol content is nice and low at around 10%, making it an ideal choice for afternoon sipping. It’s even bottled in a vessel made with a decent amount of recycled material and wears one of the better-looking labels out there. Gamay Noir is no longer just juice for Beaujolais, it’s dynamic and delicious in all kinds of forms.
Illahe Tempranillo Rosé 2017
Dallas, Oregon winery Illahe is turning out some tasty wines at the moment. The name comes from the Willamette Valley’s indigenous Chinook tribe and roughly translates to “earth” or “place.” Fitting, as this rosé tastes a lot like where it comes from. Soft and layered flavors of Mt. Hood strawberries lead to a squeaky clean finish. It’s further proof that full-bodied reds like Tempranillo are all the better dialed back a bit as lighter, fresher rosés. This one is built for a nice grilled chicken salad.
Article originally published by Sam Slaughter on August 25, 2017. Last updated by Mark Stock.