Rise of Rosé

Rosé is the summer wine. With pretty pastels ranging from blush to peach; crisp, dry, refreshing minerality; and light, berry flavors, rosé evokes dreams of the South of France. And at an affordable price—you can find good bottles from Provence between $12 to $15.

In 2014 imports of Provencal rosé climbed by 39 percent in the United States, and we’re starting to drink rosé all year round. (Count me in.) Rosés with the Côte de France appellation are the classic example of this ancient European wine made with red grapes. But today rosé is vinted all over—France (Provence, Rhône or Loire valleys, and the Languedoc), Italy, Spain, Austria, United States (Oregon, California), Argentina, Chile, South Africa—and shows a range of flavor profiles.

Experts’ Pick
Rosés to Explore

Château d’esclans
Whispering Angel

a blend of grenache, rolle and
cinsaut grapes

Piano Piano
an Italian rosato from Terre de Talamo
in Tuscany; half cabernet
and half sangiovese.
(14 percent ABV)
Betty Swietek, comanager
Bev Max, Stamford

Lieu Dit Rosé de Pinot Noir
Santa Barbara County

Gobelsburg Cistercien Rosé
faint effervescence when first opened.
85 percent Austrian zweigelt and 15 percent St.
Laurent and pinot noir
Peter J. Troilo, managing director,
Nicholas Roberts Fine Wine, Darien

Château Miraval
Côtes de Provence
,
a blend of grenache and cinsaut.
(13 percent ABV)

Mouton Noir Love Drunk,
an Oregon pinot noir
Jeb Fiorita, owner
Val’s Putnam Wines, Greenwich


Guide to Drinking Pink

TALK THE TALK
French—Rosé
Spanish—Rosado
Italian—Rosato

TASTING PANEL
Strawberry, Cherry, Peach, Citrus, Lime Grapefruit, Stone, Watermelon Rind, Minerals and Green herbs

PREP METHOD
Red grapes (remember, they have white juice) are crushed, then sit with their skins briefly, no more than three days. The skin color bleeds into the juice.

GRAPES
Regional, ranging from 100 percent pinot noir to blends of grenache and sangiovese, with syrah, mourvèdre, carignan and zweigelt

PARTY MIX
A rosé makes a refreshing spritzer. Muddle seasonal fruit—strawberries, raspberries, peaches or plums— add rosé, ice, and a splash of seltzer.

WARNING
Rosés range from 11.5 percent to 14 percent alcohol by volume (ABV), and can sneak up on you. My friends and I aren’t ashamed to put ice cubes in our rosé.

FOR BOYS, TOO
Though women have driven the rosé market, “BRosé” is now a thing. Try a Spanish or Argentinean rosato by itself or with whatever you’re grilling.

PAIRING TIPS
Rosé also goes with food, from aperitif to dinner. Pair it with cheese, fruit, fish, vegetables, paella, grilled meat. Recently, I’ve enjoyed a glass of Provençal rosé with raw Blue Point oysters at Rizutto’s in Westport, and a glass of Les Valentines with sea bass with Jerusalem artichokes at The Modern in NYC. At the Greenfield Hill Liquor store, I was steered to a bottle of Juliette rosé. I brought it to a friend’s, and we drank it with Mediterranean vegetable soup topped with Parmesan croutons. 

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