Rosé Anyday

Eliseo-Silva Rose Wine

It’s no secret that I’m a huge rosé fan. In fact, it is my favorite style of wine, and I’m always on the hunt for the next great rosé. In this post from the archives, I explain how Rosé Sunday came about and the five wines I mention at the end? I’m still drinking them — they’re all good values for the money. What’s your favorite rosé?

Rosé Sunday…

I know a couple – early 40’s, successful, wine connoisseurs – who is so smitten with rosé wine they actually dedicate a whole day to it. They toil all week, drinking chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon, and then when Sunday rolls around they spend it paying homage to the pink stuff.

Not just any pink stuff, though. No, these two oenophiles pop open a bottle (or two) of the good stuff. So good, in fact, it’s not available in stores and they either pick it up directly at the winery or they have it shipped to them – or both. The wine is Arrowood La Rosé, and probably retails (if you could get it) for about $20.

I’ve been on a rosé kick for the past three years, ever since I tasted Chateau d’Aqueria Tavel in Avignon, France. It was a complete revelation – a blush wine that was bone dry! My only other experience with pink wine was with sickly sweet white zinfandel that my friend Besty used to drink. And now I, too, am smitten. Ever since that fateful sip, I’ve been on a continuous quest for THE perfect rosé.

Apparently, lots of wine drinkers are discovering the joy of rosé because it seems everywhere I turn I’m reading something about a top ten list of rosés. Of course, it’s summer and technically rosé is a summer wine, but wine wonks drink it all year long, like me, because it is such a food friendly wine.

The Provence region of France is the birthplace of rosé, but every wine producing region is now making some sort of rosé. The French style is dry, crisp, with fruit in the background, and generally made with a blend of Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah.

California is producing a variety of rosés, some French-like, but also a great deal like other California wines – fruit bombs. I tend like those fruit forward rosés, like Arrowood. I just can’t seem to get my hands on that particular one. The fruit flavors in rosés tend to taste like strawberries, cherries, or watermelon, especially if Grenache is in the mix.

I would suggest that you go to your best wine store (one with a good selection of rosés and a knowledgeable staff) and buy three or four different rosé styles. Do a taste test and see what style you like. Some like the pinot noir rosés (not me). Some prefer Grenache heavy ones (me – I love the strawberry and watermelon flavors).

Here are the five rosés I’m drinking now. All of them are fruit forward. None are sweet like white zinfandel, but only the Bonny Doon is what I think of as bone dry. The sweetest, even though it isn’t really sweet, is the Chateau Ste. Michelle. All of these wines are under $20, and some under $10.

Bonny-Doon-Vin-Gris-De-Ciga

1. Chateau Ste. Michelle Nellie’s Garden Dry Rosé


2. La Vieille Ferme Rosé


3. Crios de Susana Balbo Rosé of Malbec


4. SoloRosa


5. Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare


10 replies
  1. Dana Treat
    Dana Treat says:

    This is fabulous Gwen! We drank rose all summer and loved it. I always have that moment of eek! white zinfandel! but get over it quickly as soon as I take a sip. It’s so nice to have some recommendations and I love that Ste. Michelle is in our backyard!

    Reply
  2. Kim (Edible/Usable)
    Kim (Edible/Usable) says:

    I love Rose, but I feel a little guilty drinking it after the summer. I think I’ll take your advice and keep drinking it.
    My ‘daily’ rose this summer was a Portuguese rose Famega – very light and slightly frizzante – really good on a hot day.
    I really like Muga Spanish Rose. On our camping trip this summer, we took a box of French rose, which was really great, but unfortunately I can’t remember the name of it, they’ve sold out of it at the wine store I bought it at and I can’t find it on the internet. Hopefully it will show up again next summer.

    Reply
  3. chefgwen
    chefgwen says:

    Dana…I know what you mean about white zinfandel, but it is still such a popular wine, so somebody is drinking it.

    Kim…Thank you for two (almost three 😉 recommendations. I will seek them out. Always game for a new rosé. It’s easy to drink it all year long in Arizona because of our warm weather year round. Thanks for the tips!

    Reply
  4. David DuBois
    David DuBois says:

    Thank you Gwen for the kind mention of our Arrowood La Rose. During the half dozen years we’ve been making it, we’ve made a lot of converts. Rosé can be versatile, comfortable, fun, lively, easy, fresh, bright, delicious, and believe it or not, serious.

    We traditionally release new vintages every Valentine’s Day. The wine is available through the winery.

    Reply
    • chefgwen
      chefgwen says:

      You are so welcome, David, but it is Steve and Tish, who graciously share their coveted stash of Arrowood La Rosé with me when I travel to Texas, that you should really thank. They are huge fans of yours (and now I am, too, and not just of your rosé).

      Living in Arizona, I’m able to drink rosé all but 2 or 3 days of the year 🙂 And on those days, I just quietly wait, patiently, for the sun to come back out.

      Reply
  5. Sara @ Culinerapy
    Sara @ Culinerapy says:

    I’m going to say something, and I hope you won’t judge me: the WORST part of being pregnant is not being able to drink a single sip of Rose this summer. The nausea, sore swollen feet, mood swings and weight gain pale in comparison to the agony of not sipping a dry, blushing, miraculous glass of Rose.

    Sigh.

    Thank you for at least letting me experience a vicarious thrill through your transporting words!

    Reply
    • chefgwen
      chefgwen says:

      Sara, you silly goose. I would NEVER judge you. I will, however, sympathize with you. The good news is there will be plenty of opportunities to sip rosé after the wee one arrives in February. You are going to be the best mama!

      Reply
  6. Natalie aka eatSlow
    Natalie aka eatSlow says:

    I just love you for this article! I think I know now how to describe what I like about Rose; I love Grenache and fruit-forward wines so that must be it! I’m totally going to order some of the Arrowood if I can and thanks for the list- I’m going shopping!

    Reply
  7. Heather in SF
    Heather in SF says:

    SoloRosa is a favorite of mine too! I love it that rosés are getting more popular and that you can find a decent one at retail outlets. My other favorites are Hendry in Napa and Tickled Pink by Clos Saron in No Cal. Have you attended RAP’s Pink Out? I’ve been going for years and it’s so much fun. In May on my blog I wrote about this year’s event. I think I may adopt Rose Sunday too!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *