Ahhh, my favorite time of the year: Rosé season. Any restaurant I go to, I order Rosé. Any time the sun comes out in San Francisco, I drink Rose. Any winery I come across that makes Rosé, I try (or usually buy) it.
I love Rosé. I love how it’s this delicious combination of sweet and tart. I love the different tastes and shades of Rosé – though, I usually prefer Rosés of the light, peachy color. I love how when you open the first Rosé of the year, you know it’s Springtime.
Note: Please do not confuse my beautiful Rosé with the pathetic-excuse-for-a-wine White Zinfandel that I would rather ban from a river boat dinner cruise than let anyone mistakenly drink it (true story; San Antonio, Spring 2011).
My father insists that Rosé over $20 isn’t worth buying; that it’s a casual drinking wine that should be priced at $15. I’d also like to note that while there are several great California Rosés in the $15-20 range, you can’t go wrong with Southern France Rosé and it’s almost always under $15. That being said, here are my Rosé recommendations for the Spring/Summer:
2011 Navarro Rosé – $16.50. This Mendocino winery is known for producing excellent, affordable wines, especially their whites, Pinot Noir and Rosé. I bumped into them at Vintners Market last weekend and tried their 2011 Rose that they just released in March. I ended up walking away with half a case for about $86.00 (granted, I’m a club member so my discount helped a bit). This Rosé of Grenache is not too sweet with nice floral tones and crisp summer fruit flavors. Perfection.
2011 Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare Rosé – $16.00. Another Rosé of Grenache, this pink wine from Bonny Doon is light and fruity, with notes of peach, strawberry and white cherries. I also tried this at Vintners Market and adored it. I will definitely be looking for it at my local BevMo soon.
2010 Domaine Begude Pinot Noir Vin de Pays d’Oc Rosé – $12.99 at K&L. I drank about half a case of the 2010 last year, so I can only imagine that the 2011 has lived up to it’s predecessor.
2011 Argiolas Serra Lori Isola dei Nuraghi Rosato – $14. This Sardinia Rosé is flavored with berries, roasted carrots and a touch of citrus. Vibrant and flavorful with a long finish, it’s great for food pairings – especially barbecue.
2011 Chateau Revelette Rose – $18.99 on WineAccess.com. This is a great Rosé from the Provence region of Southern France. This pale salmon-pink wine is crisp, vibrant, and bone dry with harmonious acidity. Maybe hard to find in retail, but check with your local wine shop.
Even Bethenny Frankel has released a Skinnygirl Rosé that has been reported as “sweet and light” by one reviewer. While I am a huge fan of the Skinnygirl cocktails, I’m not sure I trust wine that is advertised as “low-calorie”. After all, most wines are about 100 calories per glass anyway. That being said, I will not be shy to try!
Last but not least, don’t forget about sparkling Rosé! Mumm, Domaine Carneros, and Iron Horse are some of my favorite Northern California wineries that produce sparklers. Mumm actually produces three different Rosé sparklers: DVX, Brut and Brut Reserve. Cava (Spain) and Prosecco (Italy) also make for great sparkling Rosés, and are a nice way to start off the evening before dinner.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to have a glass of my Navarro Rosé. Cheers!