Everything’s Coming Up Rosé – A Few Fast Facts

‘Tis the season to drink rosé ! fa la la la la, la la la la

Memorial Day signals the unofficial start of summer, and summer is the start of rosé season! In last week’s post, one of the wines I paired with Cheetos was a popular rosé (see also: Jess hates rosé/summer here).

But there are so many luscious pink wines to choose from – do you know what you’re looking for to match your tastes? Here are a couple fast facts that might help you decide what to buy next time you’re in the wine shop.

  1. Several varieties of both red and white grapes are used to make rosé, not a blend of red and white wines mixed together. However, some “blended pink wine” is a mix of the two. Check the label before buying.
  2. Rosé wines vary in shades of pale pink to lush peachy tones. The color has nothing to do with how sweet the wine may be, however, and only indicates how long the skins of the chosen grapes were involved in maceration. The darker the color, the more contact it has had with the grape skins.
  3. As with any other wine, some are sweet and some are dry. While you interpret the labels and figure out which you prefer, always ask your wine shop staff this all-important question: “Is this a dry wine, or a sweet wine?” Tip: white zinfandel gets a bad rap, especially from me, but if sweet wine is your thing, it might be a good place to start.
  4. Forget “vintage rosé”. This is not a wine to buy and hold; it’s not one you age. Rosé is meant to be a young wine, and it’s better enjoyed that way. You want a recent year on any bottle you buy, no more than two years at absolute most. Fall harvests and spring wines make a tasty summer!
  5. You don’t need to spend a ton to enjoy a great bottle of rosé! It’s actually a very accessible wine trend. Don’t you dare pay over $20 for a bottle in the wine shop, and that includes the bold-print vineyard names you may see in magazines and on gossip pages. Dining out? You’ll pay a bit more, but chuckle at the $60+ bottles and keep scrolling the wine list.
  6. While France is the classic rosé region, don’t be afraid to try one from another region. Italy, Spain, and Napa all have worthy options to rival the often recommended Côtes de Provence bottles. (Don’t be a wine snob. No one likes them.)
  7. And finally, unlike proverbial red and white wine pairing suggestions, rosé is a versatile wine, governed more by your personal preference and tastes than any hard and fast rule. Rosé with fish? Sure! Pasta? Why not? Pulled pork? Deeeelish! (Just skip the Flaming Hot Cheetos… trust me.)

Ready for a glass of summer? Get out there and taste, try, and report back in the comments below!

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