As you know by now I love wine! I love all types of wine but in the summer, I’m not sure there is anything better than a chilled glass of Rosé. Rosé wines are produced in most all of the wine regions of the world. Rosés might be the oldest style of wine produced since they have a simple and fast production. They get their pink color from a short one – three day skin to juice contact.
Rosés come in different shades of pink; they can range from copper to salmon to bright strawberry pink. They range in flavors from sweet to dry, so you can be sure you’ll find one that suits your palette.
My love of Rosé led me to have a Rosé themed tasting party. Guests had to bring a bottle of Rosé and we opened them all. We ended up sampling upwards of 18 different bottles.
There are so many varieties of Rosé on the market that we didn’t double up any of the bottles. Most of the bottles tended to be on the dry end of the spectrum, meaning they weren’t sugary, sweet wines (I think most people tend to think of Rosés as very sweet) and the colors — we had salmons, oranges, coppers and pinks.
Each guest tasted and judged every wine in four different categories: color, nose, taste, balance.
For color they judged it with options of of the colors I mentioned above; the majority of the bottles were in the salmon or copper range. For nose, they judged the wine to see if it had a low aromatic nose, moderate or very aromatic. Most Rosés we found have low aromatic qualities, although our number one pick had a very aromatic nose. For taste, we judged if the wine was dry or sweet, and all of our options had a dry taste. Lastly, we looked at balance. We wanted to see if the wine was balanced over all or if it leaned more on the acidic or alcoholic side.
We had great fun trying all these Rosés and learned a lot about what we like and don’t like. Many of my guests had never even tried a Rosé prior to this party and we have now opened them up to a whole new world of wine! My take away from this experiment is that I found my favorite Rosés are always made with some Tempranillo — no big surprise there since this Spanish grape is used by my favorite wine maker Mark Herold. Secondly, I discovered a nice Rosé comprised of Cabernet Franc, which I had not had before; it’s fast becoming a favorite. Both Tempranillo and Cabernet Franc seemed to be the go-to’s of our mostly red wine drinkers, so the wines really seemed to have a fuller body to them.
After I tallied all the points, I found that almost all of my guests’ favorite was a Rosé from France. It is Château de Campuget from Nimes and it is made with 30% Grenache Noir and 70% Syrah. It has a salmon color, a big bright nose and it is dry and very balanced. It retails for around $12.
Here is a list of all the wines we tasted:
- Rosé of Zinfandel from Michael Chiarello (the TV Chef on Foodnetwork) This was a bottle I had bought on one of our trips. The interesting thing about this wine was that it was unfiltered, so it was cloudy.
- Doyenne Rosé from DeLille Cellars in Woodinville, WA. It is 60% Grenache, 22% Cinsault, and 18% Mourvedre.
- Domain Fontanyl from Provence, France.
- Broadbent Vinho Verde Rosé, Portugual. This one ranked pretty high with my guests. The nice thing about a Vinho Verde is that they typically only have 8-10% alcohol and they have that nice effervescence.
- Kestrel Vintners Rosé. I’m a member of this Wine club in Woodinville, WA. 84% Sangiovese, 11% Mourvèdre and 5% Cabernet Franc
- Lobo Hills, Yakima Valley. 100% Cabernet Franc; this wine was another favorite of my guests.
- Domaine Sorin, Provence, France
- Ontañón Clarete, Spain. 85% Viura and 15% Tempranillo
- Bandol Rosé, France
- Clos Alivu, Corsica. This wine had notes of Hibiscus, which was interesting.
- Cleto Chiarli. This was a sparkling wine from Italy and it was nice sparkling option at about $12.
- Miradou, Provence France
- Perles Fines, Brut from France. This sparkling option was more expensive than the Italian bottle we had and we all preferred the Italian over this one.
- Sae, Cor Cellars, Washington. 100% Cab Franc.
- Michelle, Sparkling Rosé, Domaine Ste. Michelle
- Farm Girl, Smansne Cellars, WA. 69% Tempranillo, 7% Grenache, 8% Petite Sirah and 6% Zinfandel
- Gilbert Cellars, WA- Wahluke Slope.
I hope you’ll go out and pick up one of these Rosés this weekend and enjoy a chilled glass in the Seattle sun! What is your favorite Rosé, tell me in the comment section below!