It’s a great time to drink rosé in America. We came late to the pink wine game, to be sure; for decades the category was dominated by the saccharine blush of White Zinfandel. Now, however, thanks to consumers’ seemingly bottomless thirst for all things pink, beautifully balanced rosés are flooding the market from winemakers around the world.
It took us by surprise. While we’ve come to expect great rosé from, say, Provence, some of our favorites this year hail from Sicily, California, and Bordeaux. We were similarly excited to taste excellent rosés made from Pinot Noir, Zweigelt, and indigenous Italian varieties, in addition to traditional Provencal blends.
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Prices are reasonable, too. Our top rosé of 2019 comes in at just $21, and most cost less than that. Only two wines on this list surpass $30.
To compile our list of the 25 best rosé wines available in 2019, we gathered a panel of drinks professionals and tasted a lot (no, seriously, a lot) of pink wines over several weeks. We rated them based on quality, of course, but our final ranking also considered availability and value. All prices are courtesy of wine-searcher.com.
Here are VinePair’s 25 best rosés of 2019.
This slightly spritzy Austrian rosé is made from Zweigelt grapes, and features juicy watermelon and strawberries on the nose followed by citrus for balance. Like an Aperol Spritz, it’s not overwhelmingly complex — but that’s the point. Average price: $12.
From Italy’s evolving Puglia region comes this friendly, well-priced rosato with carbonic, bubblegum notes on the nose followed by a bright, crisp palate. “It’s like an artisanal candy made with all-natural ingredients that costs $6 at Whole Foods,” one taster said. They meant it as a compliment. Average price: $13.
Funky and crisp, this dry rosé from a family-run, pioneering Oregon label has a somewhat divisive nose (“Does anyone else get soy sauce?”) and rich, juicy palate. It would be an excellent foil for seafood, salads, and even burgers. Average price: $20.
An outlier in all the best ways, this pale honey wine has Riesling-esque aromas (rubber tire, beeswax) and savory and oxidative flavors reminiscent of sherry or skillfully oaked Chardonnay. If you’re hoping to impressive your wine-snob friends with a cerebral, unusually delicious rosé, look no further. Average price: $67.
“It smells like strawberry shortcake,” one panelist said. Others got notes of peach cobbler. A second-label release from a quality producer, this wine has balanced acid on the palate and an accessible price point. Average price: $19.
Lean and minerally, like a glass of ice water on a granite countertop, this rosé has classic Provencal aromas of peaches, strawberries, and juicy citrus, as well as a sharp, savory palate. Average price: $14.
“It’s the color of my childhood bedroom,” commented one panelist upon seeing this Barbie-pink rosé. Made in Sancerre from Pinot Noir, the wine has cherries and strawberries on the nose, plus a rich, round palate and lasting finish. Average price: $23.
Bone-dry tannins and acidity, plus floral and strawberry aromatics, give this easy breezy Provencal widespread appeal. It would be a great addition to a summer picnic, pool party, or aperitif spread. Average price: $17.
With white pepper, white peach, and ginger on the nose, this salmon-colored wine from Chiaretto is crisp and expressive — and an absolute steal. “Put me on Lake Garda with a bottle of this and I’ll be good,” one panelist said. Average price: $14.
“You can taste and smell the terroir,” said one taster of this sophisticated, Pinot Noir-based rosé from Oregon’s Willamette Valley. It has a floral nose with ripe notes of melon and guava, followed by a round, beautifully balanced palate. Average price: $25.
Pinot Noir also headlines this pale pink bottle from Oregon. It’s crisp and fruity, with white pepper on the nose, a shimmering golden color, and a complex palate with juicy honeydew, crisp mint, and tropical coconut. Average price: $16.
This dark-hued rosato from Montepulciano packs a punch at an unbeatable price point. It looks and smells like black cherries and tastes big and juicy, with refreshing notes of lime oil and mint. Average price: $12.
Austria’s Zweigelt grape provides tannic structure in this very refreshing, slightly sweeter rosé that also offers fantastic value. “It tastes like liquid strawberries,” one panelist said approvingly. Average price: $12.
“This is literally mouthwatering,” a VinePair taster said of this stellar aperitif wine. Made by a family-owned winery in the Ste. Victoire Mountain sub-appellation of Provence, it has orange blossom, peach, and subtle pepper aromas, plus a tart, cranberry-esque palate. Average price: $12.
A well-priced Sicilian option, Planeta Rosé features a blend of Nero d’Avola and Syrah and a pale, “almost platinum” color. The very fruity nose is followed by a strong, acidic bite that begs for a cheese plate or bowl of salty Marcona almonds. Average price: $13.
It’s all about incredible value with this easy-drinking wine. A sweet, fruity nose gives way to a very dry palate, and some tasters noted a slight petrol taste on the considerable finish. Average price: $13.
Another quality American rosé made from Pinot Noir, this Anderson Valley wine has a peachy nose balanced by herbs (“I get fresh bay leaves” commented one taster). Its sweet-tart balance reminded one panelist of “Greek yogurt mixed with strawberries — a breakfast rosé.” Average price: $24.
“Straight up rose petal,” said one taster, sniffing a glass of this expressive Provencal rosé. It’s a pale salmon color and has strawberry, citrus, and herbal notes on its slightly spritzy palate. We would love to pour this alongside a cheese plate, charcuterie board, or Caprese salad. Average price: $18.
This dry Provencal rosé has earthy aromas (“There’s some weed on that nose!”) followed by berries, citrus, and white-pepper zing on the palate. It’s made of a blend of southern Rhône grapes (Grenache, Cinsault, Carignan, Mourvèdre, Syrah) and pours a lovely, pale-pink color. Average price: $18.
6. Clos Du Val 2018 Estate Pinot Noir Rosé
A bright, light-bodied palate is followed by a punchy finish with sweet strawberry notes in this richly flavored rosé from Carneros, Calif. Made from Napa Valley Pinot Noir, it has concentrated, fruity flavors that never edge into cloying territory. Average price: $30.
Napa native Kathleen Inman was inspired to make her consistently impressive Endless Crush line after tasting elegant rosés on her honeymoon in Provence. Made from organically farmed Pinot Noir, the 2018 release has lots of acid balanced by ripe, juicy watermelon flavors and scents. It’s one of the most expensive bottles on our list, but it’s worth it. Act fast if you’re looking to splurge — production is limited to just 1,215 cases. Average price: $38.
This Grenache blend from California’s Central Coast (specifically, Santa Barbara’s Santa Ynez Valley) has a somewhat boozy, fruity nose, followed by lean and lovely structure. Its medium body and bright acid make it an excellent food wine at a reasonable price. “You can drink any rosé by the pool, but this I would bring to dinner,” one of our panelists said. Average price: $18.
Ballet-pink and bone-dry, this classic Provencal rosé provides a lot of glamour for less than $20. Its floral, honeyed nose meets lime, peach, and pear flavors on the palate, and it’s tasty and accessible without sacrificing sophistication. Pair it with crudos, salads, and rolling fields of lavender. Average price: $17.
From the banks of Bordeaux comes this super-savory, high-acid rosé with what one panelist called “a really good concentration of flavor.” Translation? It smells vegetal and spicy (bell peppers, bonjour!), and tastes bright and zippy, like jalapeno-spiked melon. It would be a stellar accompaniment to those big green salads you keep meaning to eat, and is friendly enough to enjoy without food, too. Average price: $15.
“This is what I want in a rosé,” a VinePair panelist sighed as they sipped this small-production Sicilian wine. Made from Nerello Mascalese, a dark-skinned red wine grape grown in Etna’s volcanic soil, this copper-colored rosato has the perfect balance of fruit, acid, and tannins. Our tasters loved the spiced berries on the nose, and the palate has satisfying acid with a lengthy finish. Pick up one more bottle than you think you’ll need — this tasty, affordable rosé is an absolute crowd-pleaser. Average price: $21.