The sunny South of France isn’t the only place to find refreshing pink-tinged bottles.
Wine lovers heeding the call to “drink pink” may immediately turn their thoughts to the pale bottles on shelves and lists that hail from Provence. No disrespect to this region or its wines, which quench thirsts and often lead to daydreams of sun-drenched afternoons spent picnicking next to lavender fields, but rosé production doesn’t stop at the French border.
These bottles from around the world—made with white and red grapes in a variety of methods and styles—can just as easily pique palates who won’t settle for white or red, no matter the season.
2017 Early Mountain Vineyards Rosé ($25)
This mineral-driven stunner from Virginia might just be the best example coming out of the state. It’s made from a blend of varietals that are specifically grown for this rosé, including Merlot, Syrah (which lends most of the color and flavor), Malbec for fruity freshness and Cabernet Franc for an herbal character. Its pale salmon color may actually have you mistaking it for a Provençal bottle, and hints at the aromas of white peaches, flowers and strawberries you’ll find in the glass. A great acid backbone makes it super food friendly, and the finish shows wet stone and pleasingly bitter citrus. This wine works best with delicate foods that will complement rather than overshadow it, like roasted cod with herbs, pasta with white sauce or oysters on the half shell.
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2017 Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé ($10)
When the first vintage of this rosé was released in 1999, it was one of the very first wines of its kind from South Africa. Rather than being produced with the byproduct that remains after fermenting a red wine, this one is produced with grapes that are especially grown for rosé. Fresh and aromatic, it boasts a shocking pink color (gleaned from all the color found in thickly-skinned Cab grapes) and a profile that’s fresh and aromatic yet structured, with aromas of blood orange, cherry and blackcurrant, and flavors of ripe cherry and watermelon. It truly straddles the gap between a white and a red and can be enjoyed with everything from chicken and fish to filet mignon and duck.
Kim Crawford New Zealand Rosé ($12)
Sure, the Kiwis are known for their Sauvignon Blanc, but they also make some pretty zesty and refreshing rosé, too. This pink pick from the lauded New Zealand producer is produced with Merlot grapes from Hawke’s Bay on the North Island, the country’s oldest wine region, which dates to 1851 and offers a variety of soil types and terroirs suitable to lots of varietals. The juice macerates on the skin for three hours, lending a pretty pink hue in the glass. Berries and tropical fruit on the nose are joined by soft and luscious flavors of strawberry and watermelon, and crisp acidity. Serve it as an aperitif or with grilled shrimp salad or roasted chicken.
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2015 Vivanco Tempranillo Garnacha ($15)
This lively, showy rosé from Spain is made with the country’s two signature red grapes: Tempranillo and Garnacha. Aromas of red licorice, raspberry and strawberry with a whiff of rose and violet are followed by a palate that’s fresh and zippy with good balance and a bright, fruity finish. It’s the perfect barbecue wine with everything from pulled pork to ribs to chicken drumsticks slathered in tangy sauce, and can stand up to full-flavored dishes like curries and spicy Asian stir-fries.
2017 Meiomi Rosé ($22)
Grapes from three wine regions on the state’s coastline—Monterey, Sonoma and Santa Barbara Counties—go into this California wine. (For this vintage, they were predominantly Pinot Noir.) The first region adds bright acidity and minerality, the second gives strawberry and rose petal notes, and the third lends stone fruit and a creamy, viscous mouth feel. They were all gently pressed and fermented in stainless steel with the goal of producing a light, delicate wine. Its ballet slipper color opens to aromas of watermelon, orange peel and rose petal, with a lush palate of strawberry and stone fruit and a finish that’s dry, crisp and mineral-tinged. Sip it alongside baked brie, miso-and-ginger-coated roasted pork tenderloin or broiled crab cakes.
2017 Wölffer Estate Estate Rosé ($18)
This wine hails from one of the Hamptons’ premiere wine estates, founded 30 years ago on the North Fork of Long Island. The property’s unique combination of loam soil and cool breezes from the Atlantic Ocean just several miles away lend a great balance of juicy ripe fruit and vibrant acidity. A melting pot combination of red and white grapes (Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling and Gewürztraminer) leads to a whole greater than the sum of its parts. Orange-copper in the glass, this wine is mineral-driven and chalky on the nose, with flavors of cantaloupe and apricots, a lush yet elegant mouthfeel, and a clean, pure finish. Try it with smoked salmon, poached lobster, tuna tartare and soft cheeses.
Kelly Magyarics, DWS, is a wine, spirits and lifestyle writer, and wine educator, in the Washington, D.C. area. She can be reached through her website, www.kellymagyarics.com, or on Twitter and Instagram @kmagyarics.