It is no secret that the world — and the U.S. in particular — has gone rosé mad, with American sales of pink wine topping $200 million last year. And why not? Rosé is a perfect spring and summer wine — it can be served cold with almost any food; comes in sparkling, sweet, and dry interpretations; and is usually quite affordable.
Although rosés made from grenache or pinot noir often get the most critical attention, the wine can be made from practically any red grape from any wine-producing region. Here is a representative sampling of 15, all but one priced at $20 or less — introduced by five sparkling wines and five fragrant whites that are also very spring-worthy.
Castello del Poggio Veneto Moscato NV ($11). Low alcohol — 7 percent — with a refreshing note of ginger to go with its tropical fruits and melon flavors.
Mas Fi Cava Brut NV ($11). A somewhat savory type of cava, more of a food wine than a sipping one.
Casa Belfi Colfondo Prosecco NV ($15). Warning: This is not a bubbly for everyone. It’s unfiltered, with a cloudy look that resembles that of hard cider, and it tastes a bit like one. It's also tangy, a little like a sour beer. You could have fun making wine-based cocktails with this one.
Tiamo Prosecco di Valdobbiadene NV ($15). Well-balanced and apple-flavored, with a finishing tanginess.
Bosio Moscato d’Asti 2016 ($18). A quite refreshing bubbly, even lighter in alcohol than the Castello del Poggio — 5.5 percent, in this case — with fragrant tropical flavors and a touch of sweetness, but with good balancing acidity.
Faisão Vinho Verde Branco 2017 ($8). Quite nice for the price, offering lime and green gooseberry flavors that should appeal to sauvignon blanc lovers.
Fetzer "Shaly Loam" Monterey Gewürztraminer 2016 ($10). Lightly sweet, but balanced, with taffy-melony flavors.
Kim Crawford Pinot Gris 2017 ($15). Spicy, green flavors — tart apples, kiwi, lime — with good crispness.
Zuccardi “Serie A” Cafayate Torrontés 2017 ($15). A tarter, leaner interpretation of this grape, less fragrant than usual — though there’s a note of honeysuckle in the finish —and more food-friendly.
Pazo Cilleiro Albariño 2016 ($20). Lightly fragrant, with an interesting blend of berry flavors and herbal savory notes.
Faisão Vinho Verde Rosé 2017 ($8). Crisp and clean and dark in hue, with red raspberry flavor and a little lingering spritz.
Mont Gravet Rosé 2017 ($9). The basics — nice, simple, crisp, straightforward.
Hecht & Bannier Languedoc Rosé 2017 ($11). Crisp and a bit greenish –— a rosé for someone who drinks Marlborough sauvignon blanc.
Ferraton Samorëns Côtes du Rhône Rosé 2017 ($13). A little spritzy, with concentrated flavors of cherries and a little of that dried-herb, savory flavor the French call garrigue.
Le Charmel Côtes de Provence Rosé 2017 ($13). Very crisp, with light strawberry flavor.
S. Pratsch Rosé 2017 ($13). A light and pleasant Austrian entry based on organic zweigelt grapes, showing candied cherry fruit, with good acidity and a touch of tannins.
E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône Rosé 2017 ($14). A lighter wine in texture than might be expected, with matching light cherry flavor and a good finishing grip.
Rosé All Day Pays d’Oc Rosé 2017 ($14). A middle-of-the-road pink from the South of France, with a touch of creaminess added to its cherry taste.
Hecht & Bannier Côtes de Provence Rosé 2017 ($15). A grenache-cinsault blend with a dollop of vermentino to add crispness — mellow, with a lightly candied finish.
Vidal-Fleury Côtes du Rhône Rosé 2017 ($15). A refreshing and somewhat complex blend of fresh citrus and citrus peel flavors.
Cline “Ancient Vines” Contra Costa County Mourvèdre Rosé 2017 ($17). A little gamey and a little vegetal — perhaps the type of pink wine one would drink at a health spa.
Château Mont-Redon Reserve Côtes du Rhône Rosé 2017 ($17). Lovely — aromatic and crisp, with a fruity-berry flavor that would go well with anything in a flaky pastry shell.
Gustave Lorentz “Le Rose” Alsace Rosé 2017 ($20). A nice bit of gameyness lingers behind the cherry trees here.
Pascal Jolivet Sancerre Rosé 2017 ($20). Another good food wine, with lightly tart, lightly tangy flavors.
Ferry Lacombe “Haedus” Côtes de Provence Rosé 2017 ($22). Very nice — apricots blended with light cherries and mild tannins in the finish.
Wines for review were provided by their producers or importers at no cost to the writer.