What’s rosé? This is the easy part. Rosé is French for “pink.” At its most basic, rosé is simply pink wine. However, the truth has a little more nuance. A thrilling alternative for white wine lovers, a lighter, option for red wine lovers, a seductive mash-up of red and white wine that showcases the best features of each – rosé is the global phenomenon that captures all of these. And, it’s here to stay. In honor of #NationalRoséDay, we’re busting myths about the pink drink.
MYTH: ROSÉ IS JUST A FAD.
This “fad” dates back thousands of years, almost as far back as wine! In fact, the earliest wines looked a lot like rosés, as they watered down field blends of available grapes. In ancient Greece, it was considered uncivilized and dangerous to drink undiluted or pure wines, especially with the lack of refrigeration and controlled winemaking. Hooch came out gnarly tasting without added water, herbs, and honey to tame it.
MYTH: THE BEST ROSÉ IS FRENCH.
While rosé’s international reputation was cemented in France, outstanding pink wines are made all over the world!
MYTH: ROSÉ IS SWEET.
False! This is the lingering successful marketing of terrible pink wines in the years after World War II. The Portugal wines were imported in bulk and cheaply made, with added sugar to cater to American palates. Classically, most rosés range from bone dry, to dry, with ripe fruit and freshness.
MYTH: ROSÉ SHOULD BE LIGHT PINK, WISPY, EVEN WATERY.
Provence rosés have dominated the market for so long, many people don’t realize that there are other styles! Rosés range in different hues of pink from powder pink to salmon to even light garnet. The color tells you more about the grapes, than it does the sweetness or quality of the wine.
MYTH: ONLY WINES CAN BE ROSÉS.
Absolutely not! Rosé’s success inspired distillers and brewers across the world to think pink. Today there are rosé ciders, meads, beers, and even gin!
Ready to sip? Here are some of our favorite rosés this season
- Stolpman Vineyards "Love You Bunches" Rose 2021: Precise and popping with bright energy, 2021 Love you Bunches Rose immediately wins you over in everything you want out of a scrumptious rose. Strawberry married with cool, firm peach. Breezy lemon-lime and lifting mint combine effortlessly through the light and playful palate. Smooth, with just a hint of refreshing tang as the curtain closes leaving you wanting more.
- Aegerter "MIB" Pinot Noir Rose 2019: Creators and developers, Jean-Luc and Paul Aegerter, a father and a son team, did not inherit Domaine Aegerter; they built it together, united by their passion for nature in general and the vine in particular. This crisply refreshing Burgundy rosé comes from owned vines located in Hautes-Côtes de Nuits, planted 300-400 meters above sea level on clay and limestone soil. Salmon pink in the glass, the wine is easy and impressive, with notes of cherry, rhubarb, and sweet herbs. Try it alongside light pastas, roasted poultry or even burgers. Sustainable.
- Chateau Peyrassol Reserve des Templiers 2019: Cinsault, Syrah, Grenache make for a balanced trio of fruity flavours in this crisp rose, nicely sharpened with a touch of Mourvèdre. Light pink and bursting with freshness, honeyed aromas, white peach, and bracing minerality, this crisp rose from one of the most storied estates in Provence is an ideal sipper for picnics, tapas, grilled meats and even desserts.
- B. Stuyvesant Rose Champagne NV: Marvina Robinson’s love affair with Champagne began during her college days. She and her friends would often pool their limited funds to purchase a bottle from a local shop not far from her childhood home in Brooklyn. They would toast each other and proudly sip out of their plastic cups. The cups may have changed, but Marvina’s love for the juice continued. After working in finance for some years, she launched the critically acclaimed Stuyvesant Champagne, becoming one of the few African American women to do so. Salmon-colored, dry, and crisp, this bubbly is made from about 58% Pinot Noir, 22% Pinot Meunier and 20% Chardonnay. Hints of cherry blossom and raspberry on the nose give way to fleshy red currant and cherries on the palate, with a long and refreshing finish.
- Maison Noir "Love Drunk" Rose 2021: Founded by sommelier André Hueston Mack in 2007, Maison Noir produces distinctive Oregon wines, such as this intoxicating rosé. Much like new love, this blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir clouds the brain, causes eyes to sparkle, cheeks to glow, blood pressure to rise and the lips to pucker with provocative aromas of strawberry and raspberry, followed by refreshing flavors of wild strawberry, watermelon rind and a hint of kiwi.