I’d like to discuss something very important—rosé. We first need to establish two truths. One, rosé is delicious. And two, many of us deprive ourselves of it between October and May. In 2016, 85 percent of all bottles of rosé sold were purchased between March and September. To that I say: We’re all being ridiculous, and it has to stop.
When I ordered a glass of rosé with my dinner early this March, our waiter gave me the full “Are you kidding me?” shoulder-raise-neck-extension combo and asked me to repeat my order. Was it 23 degrees and sleeting out? OK, yes. Should that mere fact have limited my scope of “appropriate” drink orders to red wine and whiskey drinks? No. This waiter was clearly unaware that #roséallyear is even a hashtag now.
It’s time we dispense with this blind adherence to “seasonal appropriateness.” What service is it providing us? I’m not mad if I happen to catch Love, Actually playing on cable in June. Even if you can’t get behind that particular brand of insanity, I think we can all agree that Reese’s Eggs should be available at a CVS near you all. Damn. Year.
Rosé is the Reese’s Egg of wines: marketed for a particular season (of course this is the media’s fault—sad!) but fantastic whenever you can get your hands on it. So, my fellow rosé enthusiasts, for your consideration this spring and beyond:
Chateau d’Esclans Rosé: Whispering Angel 2016 ($22) and Rock Angel 2015 ($35)
These wines kind of started it all. Château d’Esclans is a prestigious French estate and winery that produces some of the only rosés you have likely heard of. Whispering Angel has a well-deserved cult following, and Rock Angel is its slightly lesser known but arguably even more delicious sister wine.
Summer Water Societé ($350; hear me out—that’s for nine magnums, delivered to your door all summer. That’s $19 a bottle!)
The name of this wine, while hilarious, does fly in the face of my entire argument. That said, this rosé is way too good to hold that against them. It’s super light and drinkable, and after selling out every year since its inception, they’ve just launched an ingenious wine club: You can join to get three magnums (a magnum is the equivalent of two bottles and is more than twice as cool) a month all summer. If you need more convincing, here’s this: Summer Water’s creators (in collaboration with Winc), Nikki and Erica, swear that it pairs well with “absolutely everything except key lime pie.” Done.
2016 Wolffer Estate Rosé Table Wine ($18)
Wolffer Estate is actually in New York, which is not a region well-known for cultivating great wines. But it should be, because the Bridgehampton loam soil and Atlantic Ocean breezes create Bordeaux-like conditions. Wolffer created a fantastically balanced wine that’s light and not too sweet—as all rosés should be.
Veuve Clicquot Rich Rosé ($67)
This champagne is intended to be customized through mixology and poured over ice. It’s a little sweeter than the Veuve you’re used to—the extra sugar enhances the taste in cocktails. Try it with grapefruit zest (or most any of your favorite fruits and veggies). Delicious.
Planeta Rosé ($16)
This wine is an evenly split blend—50 percent Nero d’Avola (Sicily’s signature native grape) and 50 perent Syrah. It’s super smooth, light, and elegant. You’ll taste notes of wild strawberry and a touch of spiciness.
Balletto 2016 Rosé of Pinot Noir ($18)
This new release from Balletto Vineyards is a must-try. It’s fruity, medium-bodied, and well-balanced. Their 2015 vintage sold out in July and later went on to earn a spot on Wine Enthusiast‘s Top 100 Wines of 2016 list. The 2016 vintage is sure to do the same!
Josh Cellars Rosé ($15)
Josh Cellars is already known for reds and whites you love, so we were thrilled to hear that the vineyard has just released a brand new rosé varietal. We’re happy to say it does not disappoint! It’s very drinkable and refreshing, and we found it to be a great balance between sweet and dry.
Elouan 2015 Oregon Rosé ($22)
Glamour‘s wine tasters agreed this was “a great rosé even for people who don’t like rosé.” It’s balanced (neither too sweet nor too dry) without an overwhelming aftertaste. It feels more like a red than a white, which also contributes to its versatility.
Jean-Luc Colombo Cape Bleue Rosé ($13)
Produced using the “saignée method,” this wine is a blend of 67 percent Syrah and 33 percent Mourvèdre, offering flavors and aromas of fresh raspberry and strawberry and notes of local herbs. It’s well-balanced and fruit-forward, and we’d believe you if you told us it cost $113.
Barrymore Rosé of Pinot Noir 2016 ($18)
This one launched in May 2016, and we give it two big thumbs up. Let Drew Barrymore (who collaborated on this rosé) do the talking, “Irresistibly refreshing, our rosé reminds me of times spent with friends and family gathered around the long table, sharing food and laughter on an endless summer day.”
Santa Margherita Brut Rosé ($22)
Santa Margherita is famous (and loved) for their pinot grigio, which is all the more reason to try their other varietals too. This dry sparkling wine is made primarily from white Glera grapes (which are used to produce prosecco), with a splash of Malbec added for richness and color. It’s exactly how you’d hope a sparkling rosé would taste.
Santa Cristina Cipresseto Rosato Toscana 2016 ($15)
This was actually one of the first rosé wines to be produced in Italy, and its longevity is evidence of the palate. It’s got a tangy taste in the best possible way and is crisp, bright, and balanced. We also love the packaging, which is an equally valid reason to pick it off the shelf!
Rotari Brut 2013 Rosé ($20)
This sparkling rosé is perfect for lovers of dry champagne, especially if you’re looking to spice things up a bit. The fruit peeks through really elegantly. This is a great wine to pair with fish. Also, give it a try with fruit-based desserts—fantastic.
Bachelor Wines The Final Rosé ($16)
Just in time for your Bachelorette premiere watch party on May 22, everyone’s favorite weekly reality dramedy has come out with wine. Talk about knowing your audience. Cheers, Rachel Lindsay!