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Arming yourself with a supply of chilled rosé is one of the best decisions you can make during the summer. No matter its country of origin, rosé is consistently food-friendly and complements an array of summertime staples, while providing pairing possibilities for any season’s dishes.
Thankfully, the rosé market continues to grow, adding new and enticing options to try beyond the always heavenly Provençal rosés. And with the average price of rosé at less than $20, it’s the perfect wine for stocking up.
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To help make your next backyard shindig a success, VinePair asked beverage professionals from coast to coast which pink wine offers the best overall value. Read on to learn about recommended varietals and emerging rosé regions to keep your eye on.
“I love to drink local, and here in Southern California, you can’t get more local for me than Santa Barbara. One of my absolute favorites is the rosé ‘Love You Bunches’ from Stolpman Vineyards. It’s 100 percent Sangiovese with tart cherry and mouthwatering watermelon flavors that will leave you with an empty bottle before you know it.” — Marianna Caldwell, Assistant General Manager and Sommelier, Cassia, Santa Monica, Calif.
Donate: The United Sommeliers Foundation
“The 2019 G.D. Vajra Rosabella Rosato is a tart and tasty rosé that retails just under $20. With crisp notes of strawberry blossom and cherry, Rosabella shines on its own or paired with a picnic in the park.” — Kaitlyn Gibbs, Beverage Director, Louie, St. Louis
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“2019 Gaspard Rosé. Made exclusively for New York-based natural wine importer Jenny + Francois, this quaffable rosé always hits the spot. Made in the Loire Valley of France from local grape varieties using sustainable winemaking practices, it is the definition of a crowd pleaser.” — Luke Sullivan, Head Sommelier, Gran Tivoli & Peppi’s Cellar, NYC
“La Vieille Ferme Rosé, made by the Perrin Family of Château de Beaucastel fame. This Grenache-Syrah-Cinsault blend is widely available and over-delivers at its sub-$10 price point. It’s a perfect weekday wine for any couple, and if you’re hosting a summer cookout for a large group, it’s available in box format, which brings the price down even more.” — Andrew Pattison, Beverage Director, Sushi Note, Los Angeles
“I first tasted Maison Noir’s ‘Love Drunk’ rosé years ago, and it’s never been far from my mind since. André Mack — the founder of Maison Noir, and the first African American to win the title of Best Young Sommelier in America — has created the platonic ideal of a rosé: zippy, fresh, with enough complexity but not too much. After all, don’t you just want to drink?” — Jamie Harrison Rubin, Former General Manager, Ambra Restaurant Group, Philadelphia
Donate: Jamie Harrison Rubin Venmo
“Las Lilas Vinho Verde Rosé from Portugal is one of my faves. A blend of indigenous varieties, this rosé is light and bright, bursting with juicy red cherry and floral notes. This wine makes me think of the beach, and the best part? It retails at around $8.” — Etinosa Emokpae, Wine Director, Friday Saturday Sunday, Philadelphia
“Domaine Maestracci ‘E Prove’ Rosé 2018. When talking about valuable and high-quality rosé wine, Corsica is always my first thought. High level of production, just as [good as] the Provençal neighbors, lesser known and more affordable, and above all, a touch of distinctiveness that you would expect from [such] an independent land as Corsica. Located in the northwest of the islands, between the Monte Grossu and the Mediterranean Sea, the family-owned Maestracci estate produces this refreshing and delicate yet deep and elegant rosé from traditional grapes of the islands: Niellucciu, Sciaccarellu, and Grenache. I strictly recommend it with the classic Corsican bouillabaisse [Provençal fish stew]. — Mariarosa Tartaglione, Head Sommelier, Ai Fiori at The Langham, NYC
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“Rosés from the south of France, specifically Provence, are probably the most widely celebrated, and many international vintners model their juice after this style. Clean, bright, crisp, tangy — all the zing of a mineral-driven white wine, with the lifted texture and berry profiles of a light red. Domestic and other New World rosé tends to be a lot more fruit forward and a little fuller on the palate, more melon and bubblegum notes, and occasionally a lactic quality, almost like fruit-at-the-bottom yogurt. Some of my personal favorites are from Spain in Basque Country: Txakolina (pronounced cha-ko-lee-nah) is often white, but the producer Ameztoi makes a sensational rosé style called Rubentis. It’s like the strawberry limeade of wine with a touch of prickly effervescence and without the sweetness.” — Kyle Pate, Sommelier, Tinker Street, Indianapolis
“Commanderie de Peyrassol, Côtes de Provence Rosé. This wine was a staple on the list every spring and summer at a former restaurant I worked with, and with good reason. The estate is located in the heart of Provence, and the first recorded harvest took place in 1256. Madame Rigord began to bottle and sell the wine in 1981. She wrote a book titled ‘Le Dame de Peyrassol,’ which discussed her role as one of the only women being at the forefront of winemaking at the time. The wine is such a classic and still remains to be so unassuming while over-delivering in a category that has become synonymous with marketing and brand recognition. Their farming and vinification practices are organic — no fungicides or pesticides are used in the vineyards. The wine expresses each and every vintage while still remaining complex and clean.” — Madeline Maldonado, Beverage Director, da Toscano, NYC
“For the last few years, Forlorn Hope’s ‘Queen of the Sierra’ Rosé has been at the top of my list for quality-to-price ratio. Matthew Rorick and the team at Forlorn Hope are making characterful yet accessible wines using natural principles, and their wines are a great introduction to new-school California wine for those unacquainted. Bright, zippy, with strawberries playing against a refreshing salinity, this unfiltered rosé will appeal to natural wine drinkers, while also pleasing fans of more conventional wine with its energetic freshness. I love fuller-bodied rosé, and this medium-bodied offering is an accessible way to dip one’s toes into expanding their rosé horizons.” — Brendan Biggins, Beverage Director, Grand Army, Brooklyn
Donate: Food Issues Group Venmo & Service Workers Coalition.
Brendan also suggests two resources for groups providing wine training to BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities, here and here.
“Thibaud Boudignon is one of my all-time favorite producers in the Loire Valley. His rosé of mostly Cabernet Franc is bone-dry but has beautiful fruit and a really amazing salinity. Boudignon is practicing biodynamics in the Loire, and this direct-press rosé just over-delivers.” — Theo Lieberman, Beverage Director, 232 Bleecker, NYC
Donate: 232 Bleecker Gift Cards
“POP 300, Rosé of Pinot Noir, Napa Valley, Oakville, Calif. 2018. This is a rare and delicious rosé made with grapes from arguably the most famous vineyard in Napa Valley: To Kalon Vineyard. Yes, you read that correctly. There is Pinot Noir planted in To Kalon Vineyard. Winemaker Luke Russ has had access to this fruit for a little while now and is producing small lots of this delicious summer sipper. Notes of underripe cranberry and cherry intermingle with aromas of fresh red flowers. The palate is satisfyingly juicy with a lightning bolt of freshness on the mouthwatering finish.” — Carey Vanderborg, Sommelier, PRESS Restaurant, St. Helena, Calif.
Donate: Feed Our Families – Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Helena and Calistoga