Rosè Around the World: Your Guide to Choosing a Delicious Bottle of This Summertime Favorite
If you've spent the first part of the summer sipping a favorite Provençal rosé and are looking for your new crush, here's what to try next.
We've got the Côtes de Provence region of France to thank for the current rosé renaissance: The delicate, dry, petal-pink wines that Provence is now famous for single-handedly reinvigorated the rosé category and ignited an entire lifestyle craze. Where once rosé was thought of as a sticky sweet wine only a grandma could love, after we all "discovered" Provençal rose (thanks to brands like Chateau Minuty and Whispering Angel) and Instagram feeds were flooded with people relaxing poolside with glasses of rosé, it was official—rosé was the symbol of an aspirational summertime lifestyle. Now that rosé is white hot, it's an excellent time to explore other rosé styles from around the world.
France (Beyond the Côtes de Provence)
There are several other French regions that produce heavenly rosés. If you're looking for tremendous value, look no further than the Languedoc-Rousillon region which sits on the Mediterranean, just west of Provence (and just on the other side of the Pyrenees from Spain). The Languedoc has the largest number of organic vineyards in all of France, and the rosé offerings are top-notch. Wonderful, wallet-friendly options include Gerard Bertrand Cote des Roses 2018, which is lively and fresh with pretty red fruit aromas, and Domaines Paul Mas, Cote Mas Rose Aurore 2018, which is juicy and refreshing with lots of playful bright cherry notes—plus, it's perfect for entertaining a crowd in its one-liter bottle.
For something completely different, look to the commune of Tavel in the southern Rhône, which is the only appellation in France where the only wine they produce is rosé! Based on the Grenache grape, Tavel is a deep ruby pink with a fuller, richer mouthfeel, a savory edge that can even be a little spicy, and an elegant structure—if you've been looking for a 'serious' rosé to pair with steak, try Tavel like Chateau D'Aqueria Tavel Rosé 2017.
We've moved far beyond the white zinfandels that used to be the main U.S. rosé offering. Now there's a lot of good rosé coming from California and Oregon. From Napa, our pick is Clos du Val Estate Pinot Noir Rose 2018, which is pale pink with light whispers of strawberry and watermelon. If you prefer a rosé that isn't quite so dry, Bonterra Organically Grown Rose 2018 brings a touch of delicate sweetness in an easy-drinking and smooth wine that would be refreshing splashed over a little ice!
From the Sonoma Coast, Gundlach Bundschu Rhinefarm Rosé is a fun, crisp, and food-friendly choice because of its zippy acidity. In Oregon's Willamette Valley—where pinot noir is king—there are some lovely rosé wines. Stoller Pinot Noir Rose 2018 is a benchmark example, with mouthwatering berry and stone fruit flavors ending in a dry and mineral finish.
Italy Is the Land of Rosato
Rosés are commonly labeled as rosato wines in Italy. In Tuscany, the sangiovese-based Il Poggione Brancato Rosato di Toscana IGT tastes like bright cherry fruit balanced with a dusty earthiness and some savory and herbal aromas like rosemary and bay leaf; and Tenuta Ammiraglia Alìe Rosé brings the tanginess of pink grapefruit and lovely citrus aromas that mellow out into wild strawberry tones as the wine evolves.
If it's a fun, juicy, and expressive fruit explosion you're looking for, explore the southern Puglia region where the wines are based on negroamaro and primitivo grapes: the round and lovely Masseria Altemura Rosato 2018 is a crowd pleaser.
Finally, for a full-bodied and deep rose that can pair with barbecue and also easily transition from summertime into cooler temperatures, Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo is an unusual and completely delicious option. Try Masciarelli Villa Gemma Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo 2018.
Try Spain for Some New, Interesting Bottles
Traditionally labeled as rosado, the rosé wines from Spain are the "cheap and cheerful" rosé wines that have been popular for decades. Recently the Rioja region has been developing very high quality, premium rosés and they are reason to be excited. This "new" class of rosés are gorgeous but still quite affordable. Bodegas Muga Rioja Rosado 2017 is sophisticated and elegant, with strawberry and apricot notes; it pairs beautifully with [spicy foods] thanks to its creamy texture and slight hints of white pepper in the finish. And Bodegas Beronia Rioja Rose 2018 is incredibly easy drinking with fresh floral aromas and nectarine flavors; it's a medium bodied wine with great intensity of flavor—which is a welcome experience to those who feel Provençal roses are too light and subtle.
Head to Argentina for Brilliant Budget Varietals
From this South American wine destination where the malbec grape reigns supreme, you can find awesome roses—and even better, most of our favorites are under $15! Cristobal "Malbec-Rosé" 2018 is a perfect crisp, dry, aperitif-style sipper and an excellent choice to stoke your appetite and start your evening.
Santa Julia Organica Malbec Rose 2018, is intense and flavorful, with strawberry and blackberry tones—this is perfect mixed into a summer sangria! It was also just released in a can format; in case you were planning a camping trip or a beach weekend—even if glass bottles are prohibited, you can still enjoy a lovely rosé!