Rosé for Every Mood: What to Bring to Any Summer Occasion

By Linnea Covington  |  July 25, 2013

Over the past few years, rosé wines have been in the spotlight as a versatile beverage that doesn’t need to age long to be prestigious, and that you can pair with an assortment of foods from smoky barbecue to summer salads to creamy pasta dishes. But, when you see a line up of light cherry, deep magenta and bright pink wines, the question remains, does a rosé by any other name smell as sweet? The answer is yes; it just depends on what you are looking for.

Beach or Picnic: Since it’s still high summer outside with equally high temperatures, most of us want a refreshing rosé that you can carry to the beach, a picnic or to your friend’s barbecue. This type should be light-bodied, inexpensive and go down easy. For this category, try Wölffer Estate’s rosé table wine ($16). Made with 54% merlot, 21% chardonnay, 9% pinot noir and 8% each of cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc, this New York wine proves buoyant on the palate with light traces of citrus-berry and floral essence. 

Poolside: Another great bet is Vievité Rosé ($17) from Saint Tropez, a stylish bottle that looks like it should be by the pool, and has such a refreshing cherry and strawberry undertone, you'll forget all about tiki drinks. On the sleeker side of this category, try a bottle of Touraine Pineau d’Aunis 2012 ($15) - this light rosé tastes super fresh with accents of strawberry and bit of cranberry tang. This blend is made in the Loire Valley in France where the Pineau d’Aunis grape is from, and sometimes you can find the same varietal under the guise Chenin Noir. 

Party Rosé: When it comes to sparking rosé, one fun blend to pop open is the friendly Hi! Rose ($15), produced in Veneto, Italy. This bottle proved medium-dry with earthy notes of strawberry. It’s a tasty way to say “hi,” and also, a great gift idea. If you;re looking for a bottle closer to home, the Gruet Rosé ($17) from New Mexico plays well with food, and given its hearty berry notes and floral bouquet, we aren’t surprised. On the higher end of the bubble world, give a bottle of Ferrari Rosé ($37) a whirl. Done in the classic method, this sparkling wine consists of a blend of Pinot Nero rosé and Chardonnay, which is harvested by hand in Trento, Italy. With notes of almond and current, this dry blend proves stately and respectable with a lingering finish.

To Pair With Lunch: Moving way from flirty pink bubbles, the 2012 Sancerre Rosé Authentique from Thomas Labaille ($23) in the Loire Velley offers a subtle effervescence and whole lot of character. With crisp minerality meshing with sweet-tart raspberry notes, a bottle of this goes great with fresh oysters or even a nice, juicy hamburger. A bottle of Clos LaChance ($11) from California’s northern central coast also pairs well with a burger, or any rich meat dish for that matter. This dry rosé comes off bright and berry-like on the nose, but on the palate, it’s subtler with traces of strawberry and a strong grapefruit finish.

Also Try: Finally, for an excellent New York vino, you can grab a bottle of Lemberger Rosé 2012 ($17) from Fox Run winery in the Finger Lakes. Lemberger grapes are also known as Blaufrankisch, a black-skinned variety that grows well in this region and impart a fruit-forward mouthfeel, yet in this wine, the bright berry notes still manage to remain refreshing.