Spring has sprung and what better way to kick off warmer temps than with a great glass of rosé! This past weekend was not only Easter, but my birthday weekend…so what better time to test out several different rosés and share the findings with you! Don’t get me wrong, the bubbly is my first love…but a good rosé is so nice in the spring and summer. I have slaved all weekend, over several bottles, to bring you my reviews. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.
What exactly is rosé? Some people just think it’s a Zinfandel ( gross. no) Or a single type of grape. Some think it’s also the same as ‘Pink Champagne’–wrong again. (will get into that more later) Before we begin with the reviews, let’s have Rosé 101.
First, mixing red and white wine together is not how you make true rosé. Although, we did try that in college–do not recommend. To make most rosé wines, red grapes are lightly crushed and left to macerate with their red skins for less time than a RED wine (anywhere from a few hours to a few days). After which the juice is strained out from the solid stuff (called “must”) and fermented. The longer the grapes’ skins are left sitting in the wine, the darker the color of the finished rosé.
Rosé isn’t made from a specific grape or region; it’s just a genre of wine, like red or white. The biggest producers by volume are France, Spain (where it’s “rosado”), Italy (“rosato”), and the United States. But there’s also excellent stuff coming from South America (Chile, Uruguay), Germany, and Australia, and more corners of the world.
Most rosé wines are blends of multiple grapes. Some of the most common grape varieties used in dry/European-style rosé are Grenache, Sangiovese, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Cinsault, and Pinot Noir. The 4 most popular varieties are below. The flavor notes can be REALLLLLY yummy. When you find a good rosé, that isn’t to sweet (or you may like that), try it with the food paring suggested below. It can be totally amazing when you hit the right note on a wine/food pairing. #DaBomb
Quick PINK Champagne sidebar. How exactly does rosé Champagne come to be? By mixing red and white, of course. In fact, the Champagne Region in France is the only region in the world where you can legally blend red wine and white wine to create a rosé. Crazy! (Time for a field trip!) To make pink/rosé Champagne, wine makers are allowed to use the following three grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, the last two of which are red grapes. Champagne is usually white because the flesh and juice inside red grapes are free of pigment, so once the grapes are pressed and removed from the skins, the final product is white. In the Champagne region, many of these red wine grapes are harvested to produce still red wines, which are then added to the sparkling wine to create a lightly pigmented sparkling rosé. Though light in color, these wines are often more powerful in flavor than your regular Champagne, thanks to the punch packed by the still red wine. winemaker generally blend 15 percent of still red wine into the final sparkling rosé wine production.
Another way that rosé Champagne is produced is via the saignée method, a winemaking process commonly used around the world to create still rosés. I do NOT understand much about this, other than they ‘mix it’… and it’s considered NOT a true method for ‘still’ rosés….so that is all we will talk about that. LOL #movingon
Rosé, unlike red wine & Christie Brinkley, does not improve over the years — so don’t hoard it in your cellar for half a century. There’s no shame in drinking something with last year printed on the label. You shouldn’t drink anything that’s dated more than two or three years back. And if you find something dated over several years back…it will probably taste like rubber bands and/or vinegar. #drinkItNow
You can totally use Rosé to make cocktails & spritzers….1/2 & 1/2 Rosé & club soda, a squeeze of lemon juice and crushed fresh strawberries. OMG…so good. Want Rosé lemonade with a kick? 5 parts Rosé, one part vodka, top off with 1/2 fresh squeezed lemon (or 3 tbsp lemon juice, stir and garnish with a lemon slice). Serve both over ice.
Now let’s get into the reviews of my weekend of Rosé
First, let me start by saying that NONE of the Rosé on this BLOG is more than $27.00 a bottle. Click on the photo or the name of the Rosé, and it will take you to the product page of each. #GoodDoesNOThaveToBeExpensive #IAmNOTGettingPaidToReviewANY #IJustLOVERosé #TipsForMyReaders #YouAreWelcome 🙂
Friday was my 39th birthday…again. The BFF and I enjoyed Whispering Angel on the patio at one of our local favorite spots, Spirits. This Rosé is from estate Chateau d’Esclans in the region of Provence, France, close to the Mediterranean coast. She & I REALLY both liked this one. The main grape is Grenache and it has Syrah as well. Not tart and not to sweet either. VERY light hints of mango, honey, strawberry…even lighter notes of pink grapefruit & cherry. I’m not a fan of cherry or honey and I LOVED this. The French know their grapes y’all. #WhisperToMeOneMoreTime #corkedTop
NOTORIOUS PINK Rosé
Well, well, well. Not only was this NOTORIOUS PINK Rosé SUPER yummy, but it has the COOLEST bottle and a GLASS cork! FANCY! I got watermelon, strawberry, peach & pear. This is a 100% Grenache grape Rosé from the south of France. The hubby and I enjoyed this and we will be getting this one again & again. It had a crisp, fresh this is probably the most versatile of the ones I’ve tried this weekend. REALLY ENJOYED! #GlassCork
Yes, for you…I even tried Rosé …..In a Can. JillHammer
Oh my. Where to begin? There is a reason that Champagne and Rosé come in a bottle and not a can. I will have to try this one in the bottle form so that I can give a review of the taste of the Rosé. My grandmother always said if you don’t have anything nice to say, keep your mouth shut. #MovingOn
And Why am I MR. PINK. I could not find this anywhere on-line to direct you their web site…maybe my stalking skills are lacking. (doubtful, LOL) This Rosé is about $11-$15 a bottle, one of the less expensive ones. It is from Washington State and from the Sangiovese grape- a dark-berried vine, is the most widely planted grape variety in Italy. It was ‘ok’. Would I drink it again? Yes, in a pinch. Would be good for large parties, if you had to buy a lot of bottles. It is pretty dry…AKA tart af. If you like sweet…this is your Rosé!
Don’t cry for me Argentina and there is no crying for this one either, I mean in a good way, it’s pretty good. El Libre Rosé is from the Mendoza region. It’s by far the largest wine region in Argentina. Located on a high-altitude plateau at the edge of the Andes Mountains and considered a “rare blend” is a term Wine-Searcher uses to identify rosé wines made from unusual or rarely seen combinations of grape varieties. Indicative Blend: Torrontes, Chardonnay & Malbec. Vanilla, berry and a little spice with this one. Rich and fruity. Not my top pick of the weekend….but not bad. I would drink it again.
Meiomi Rosé This is from pinot noir grapes from California. My favorite red EVER is from Cali, so I had very high hopes for this Rosé. It opens with flavors of watermelon and orange. It was nice. I didn’t get any rose or strawberry (as the wine maker boasts). Maybe my palate isn’t as heightened as it should be. I know I like it and that is all that matters.
Vie Vite’ is 30% each Sinsault, Grenache, Syrah, and 10% Carignan grapes from the Provence region in France, 21 km from Saint Tropez. I tell ya….the French; they know how to relax AND how to make wine. Which came first, the relaxing or the wine? This Rosé was one of my favorites. And it just wasn’t because of the view on the balcony with my cute hubby. It was VERY nice, crisp, soft & fruity (mostly berries) but was not tart or overly sweet. #AlreadyBoughtBottleNumber2
Well, I hope this list of my Rosé picks and reviews…including a few that were ‘so so’, helps you navigate the spring selection stress! Picking out new wines can be intimating at times. At the least, this can help you get through spring break.
While most wine makers and wine regions treat Rosé as icing on the cake, the Provence region, in the south of France, treats it like the MAIN DEAL….it’s NOT second fiddle to Red or White, Rosé is big business. If you are ever in the French Rivera…check out the top 12 Rosé to Drink in the Rivera. …..And take me with you, lol