Rosé is hot. Rosé is cool. Rosé is the wine of summer, every summer, but it somehow seems even more so this year. Wine writer Bob Ecker’s third annual Rosé Today competition, judging 239 entries from around the country and the world (it grows every year), was held on March 22 this year. In May, sommelier and wine writer Victoria James published Drink Pink: A Celebration of Rosé, a veritable paean to pink wine in all its variations and all its glory. The same month saw La Nuit en Rosé, a three-day festival (first held in 2014) devoted to you-know-what on a yacht in New York City (there are other versions of the event in Miami, Los Angeles, and the Hamptons). This month, on June 11, we observe National Rosé Day. And Joey Wölffer, co-owner of Wölffer Estate Vineyard on Long Island’s South Fork recently announced that he was opening, yes, a rosé drive-thru, to be open at the winery over the Fourth of July and Labor Day weekends.
We’re sort of Rosé Central at The Daily Meal. We love the stuff, and have covered it amply over the years. Among other things, we’ve written about rosés for Mother’s Day, rosés for springtime drinking, rosés for the warming weather, the best places in New York City to drink rosé in summer, which rosés the celebrity crowd drinks at Cannes, rosés to close out summer with — and even rosés suitable for fall.
And every summer we come up with our selection of the rosé wines we like best for drinking right now. To arrive at this list of warm-weather quaffs, we asked wine-savvy friends for suggestions and scoured the wine press (digital and otherwise) for rankings and reviews. Then, over a couple of weekends, a small group of us sat down and tasted about 80 samples, choosing our 50 favorites. They’re not ranked because they are so different in style and intention that they’re often, well, if not apples and oranges, then cherries and strawberries (two fruits they frequently evoke).
The wines include examples from 11 countries (including our own) and four American states. They're made from 30-plus grape varieties, including pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah, grenache (lots of grenache, sometimes under the name garnacha), cinsault, sangiovese, and more — including a few varieties that may send readers to their wine reference books (trepat, anyone?).
They are arranged here in ascending order of price, but remember that prices vary, sometimes widely, from state to state and store to store. Rest assured, though, that some 34 of them are priced at $20 or less, with eight under $10 — a bargain for the veritable taste of summer that these wines provide.