Everything’s Coming Up Roses

Spring is here and with it comes a fresh crop of wines.  One style that is most widely anticipated is that of the rosé or “pink” wine.  Once derided as a wine that was always sweet and, due to its color, “only for women”, today’s rosés vary from dry (no sugar) to sweet and the category has broad appeal.  In 2019 alone, 15 million cases of rosé were consumed in the United States and market share was increasing 2.8% per year in an otherwise flat wine market.

But the key to finding great rosé is to know what you’re looking for. Like bubbles?  Rosé Champagnes have been produced for over 250 years, but the new kid on the block is Prosecco Rosé.  Made from a blend of Glera grapes with the addition of 15% or less Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir), this wine packs the easily enjoyable and aromatic character of Prosecco and brings the fun and red fruit notes of a pink wine.  While most Prosecco must age a minimum of 30 days, Prosecco rosé must age a minimum of 60 days leading to a broader mouthfeel in the palate and potentially more intensity.   It’s newly imported to the United States this year and is bound to be a new superstar wine.  Josh Cellars, a popular from California, has teamed up with an Italian winemaker to produce this new and popular wine in a stunning package.  With its beautiful pink color, consistent fizz and notes of flowers, blackberries and ripe melon, this fresh and bright wine is sure to please.

Rosé from Provence, France is a classic wine and first dates back almost 2,600 years to when the Greeks planted and produced wine in the area.  However, it wasn’t until the 1990’s that this style became popular and a mainstay of the region.  The most popular style of rosé from this area is dry with brisk acidity and aromatic notes ranging from citrus to melon, berries, candy, floral and even tropical fruit notes.  A great choice is Chateau Peyrassol with notes of Meyer lemon, ripe peach, and a floral lift all at a reasonable price of under $20/bottle.

An often-overlooked category of rosé is that of White Zinfandel.  This wine ranges from off-dry to sweet in style and typically has a beautiful, ruby-pink color.  A classic wine with unctuous candied red fruit notes and distinctive sweetness, you might be inclined to think it would be cloying.  Yet, the best examples are balanced with notable acidity; enough to keep you clamoring for more. Sutter Home was the first to craft White Zinfandel in the 1970’s and continues to produce this popular wine at a bargain price of under $10/bottle. Pure watermelon notes and fresh acidity adorn this wine and the sweet entry and crisp finish makes it a crowd pleaser for those looking for sweet-styled rosés.

From dry to sweet, bubbly to still, and pale to richly pigmented, the rosé wine category is diverse.  Luckily for us, with all the rosé options available, it’s never been more fun to drink pink!