These are my favorite rosé wines. With a bit of acidity, berry flavors, and complex notes, they’re perfect for pairing with a wide variety of foods.
As you may have noticed (here, here and here) – I’m a big fan of dry rosés. The main reason being that, in my opinion, there is no more versatile wine for pairing with food. Rosés are known for their strawberry and raspberry aromas and flavors. This isn’t your aunt’s blush wine. Today’s rosé wines are sophisticated yet relaxed, with complex notes ranging from sweet to savory to fruity – Think patio BBQs or light lunches.
I like to think of rosé as the WHITE wine for RED wine lovers. It is actually made from red grapes which can be from any region or grape varietal (i.e. Cabernet, Pinot Noir, etc.). Rosé also begins its life much like a red wine would – The grapes are de-stemmed, crushed and placed in a fermenter. However, unlike red wines, which spend two or three weeks with the grapes skins in contact with the juice, the skins of a rosé are removed after a brief period – a few hours to a couple of days depending on the type of grape and the style the winemaker is hoping to achieve. This brief contact with the skin provides body to the wine and adds complexity. It is also what gives the wine its pink color – which can range from a light bubblegum to a brilliant ruby depending on how long the grape skins are left in contact with the wine.Unlike bold reds, rosé wines do not need to age in your cellar for years to be delicious. Just the opposite actually. It’s best to purchase them young and drink them young. The majority of wines that I sampled were from the 2014 vintage. Rosés are at their best when served chilled. However, when too cold they loose their delicate aromas and flavors. If served too warm, the residual sugar in many rosés will produce an unpleasant, cloying sensation.
I set myself to the difficult task of tasting and selecting five great rosés for you, all coming in at under $10. BONUS: They’re all so beautiful, anyone would have a hard time believing they’re bargain wines. Here are my favorites:
Azulejo Rosé ($7.99)
Region: Vinho Regional de Lisboa – Portugal
Grape Varieties: Camarate and Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol Content: 9.5%
This wine has a beautiful pink color and predominant ripened red fruit aromas. It is medium bodied with good minerality and acidity.
Domaine de Pellehaut Harmonie de Gascogne Rose ($8.99)
Region: Gascony – Southwest France
Grape Varieties: Merlot and Tannat
Alcohol Content: 12.5%
Pale salmon in color. Aromas of fresh, summer red fruits, characterized by cherry and strawberry which blend with floral notes. Very aromatic. Nicely balanced with fresh acidity.
Grape Varieties: Vinhão, red Azal and Borraçal
Alcohol Content: 10.0%
A light and spritzy rosé, with red berry and watermelon flavors and a crisp finish. One of my absolute favorites!
Region: Southeast Spain
Grape Varieties: Bobal
Alcohol Content: 13.0%
This fuller-bodied rosé offers aromas of vibrant red berries and a slight minerality. These aromas carry on to the palate and are accompanied by black cherries, a hint of spice, and a soft, yet refreshing acidity.
Grape Varieties: 20% Syrah, 40% Grenache, 20% Cinsault and 20% Carignan.
Alcohol Content: 12.5%
Very light salmon in color. Light berry and citrus fruit with a lingering and refreshing soft finish.
So, what should you have with your rosé wine? SO MANY things!
- BBQ is a great option – Warm weather and rosé are a match made in heaven. Plus, the tannins of the rosé pair beautifully with a grilled steak, kabobs, fish, or anything doused in barbeque sauce. (Try this Peruvian Grilled Chicken with Creamy Green Sauce)
- Thai food really benefits from a rosé that matches the acidity found in the cuisine. Plus the flavors are complex and enough to stand up to the spiciness found in most dishes. (Try this Lemongrass Thai Chicken Salad)
- Rich creamy dishes, also get a boost from a yummy rosé. The acidity in the wine helps to balance out and lighten up the heavy mouth feel of a dish. I loved the pairing of rosé with this Beef Stroganoff.
- When in doubt, or feeling overwhelmed, choose a rosé from France, they are generally dry, light and beautiful.
- If you’re like me, and LOVE to enjoy your wine outside, I highly recommend this Wine Chiller Aerator & Pourer – It keeps your wine cold and has a gravity lid to keep pesky fruit flies at bay. These Cooling Wine Glasses are also a great option. OR, for a quick and cheap way to keep your wine cool, try freezing some grapes and popping them into your wine glass!