Not too long ago, only a few bottles of rosé lined the shelves of wine stores in America. Few people wanted the pink stuff, mostly because they had never tried it. Rosé simply needed time to, shall we say, flourish.
Today the wine has become so mainstream and trendy that the abundant selection makes it little hard to narrow the field.
Finding the perfect rosé for your palate takes time. One of the easiest and fastest ways to figure out which bottle is holding your favorite wine is to put up a good flight. Invite a group of friends over for a tasting. Mix it in with a lady’s night, couple’s night, game night, or whatever gets you sipping. Have each friend bring over a different bottle of rosé; line up three to four glasses and take flight. It’s the perfect way to compare.
“Some rosé wines are excellent, and others are average at best,” says Atanas Nechkov, a wine supervisor for ABC Fine Wine & Spirits. “My advice is to always prioritize quality by choosing domain or château wines first and négociant wines last.” Meaning, Atanas recommends rosé that comes from the maker’s property over the kind that has been produced with grapes from various small growers. You may end up preferring the mix of grapes from small growers. In the end, it’s about what you like.
“A good rosé should exhibit enticing aromas and flavors of red berry fruit (strawberry, raspberry, cherry), and field flowers or lavender, balanced by good acidity and dry finish,” Atanas says.
It’s true, some of the finest rosés are produced in France, but ABC sommelier Paul Quaglini promises some of the world’s best rosé comes from Italy, where it is produced all over the country from the northern mountains to the sun-drenched islands in the south.
“Two great recommendations that have an unparalleled quality to price relationship are Giovanna Tantini’s Chiaretto which is salmon colored with notes of fresh strawberries, citrus and spring flowers,” Paul says. “And the Ippolito Rosé which is a bit bigger in style with ripe red fruits and a rocky minerality that pairs well with summer grilling.”
The impression of a good rosé on the palate should be light and refreshing. That’s one of the reasons it is so popular during summer months. The acidity brings out the freshness which is what makes you want a second sip right after the first one. Not too fast though, you’ve got a whole flight ahead of you.
One last recommendation from Atanas if you need a food pairing for your flight night, try the Trians Rosé from Provence with grilled shrimp.