How to Choose a Rosé Wine

Rosé 101: What to look for in a rosé
Staff Writer
Wine for Summer

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Rosé de Provence is the kind of wine that fulfills a longing for a particular time and place. Its pale salmon hue, fresh fruit aroma, and tumbling minerality evoke seaside lunches and sunset aperitifs. Typically made from grenache, cinsault, syrah and mourvèdre, the classic style is light and refreshingly dry. When the weather begins to warm, Americans have an insatiable appetite for Rosé de Provence. For eight consecutive years this bottled essence of Southern France has experienced double-digit sales growth here. As such, today we have access to more rosés from a greater variety of Provençal producers than ever before.

Achieving the elegant simplicity of a well-crafted rosé requires gentle handling of mature fruit. Corners cut in the vineyard lead to thin wines with an aftertaste that can be green or medicinal, wines that are the bad oysters of summer drinks. Good rosés should be light-bodied with mouthwatering acidity and taste of white flowers, seashells, and just-picked berries. A few bottles that fulfill this tall order are CHÂTEAU DE SAINT MARTIN Grand Reserve Cru Classé, WHISPERING ANGEL, MAÎTRES VIGNERONS DE SAINT-TROPEZ Cep d’Or, AIX, and CHÂTEAU d’ESCLANS.

Rosé de Provence is not a wine to be sipped slowly and pondered. It is meant to disappear quickly, by the magnum if possible, and its charming way of capturing the spirit of Mediterranean idyll should be delivered to the consumer without emptying their wallet.

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