Best Rose Wine
If the only rose you've ever tried is White Zinfandel, you're missing out on a world full of excellent wines. There's a lot of variation when it comes to rose wine, so no matter what your tastes, you're sure to find something that's up your alley. Rose can be sweet or dry, one-note or complex, flat or bubbly. In fact, some of the best Champagnes are roses made from Pinot Noir grapes.
Rose can be made in a number of different ways, but the vast majority of rose is made from 100% red wine grapes. Rose wine is sometimes made by fermenting the wine on the skins for anywhere from a day to a couple of weeks to get its color. Once the correct color is achieved, it’s taken off the skins so that it doesn't turn into red wine. Alternatively, rose can be "bled" from red wines by siphoning off the lighter wine at the top of the fermentation vat. Finally, rose can be produced by blending white and red wines, though this method isn't commonly used and produces inferior quality wine.
Though California White Zinfandel is the most popular style of rose in the New World, rose is also commonly enjoyed in France. French roses are usually dry and floral and are very popular in the summer months. Of course, rose is made wherever winemakers put down roots from Spain to South Africa to New Zealand. With so many different rose wines to try, this is one style that definitely worth trying.
Best Rose Wine:
If you only know rose wine based on one or two bad experiences with White Zinfandel, it may be time to give this style another try. When putting together this list of our favorite roses, we looked for wines that were dry or off dry, and perfectly balanced between fruity, floral, and acidic flavors. These wines have also scored well with critics, and many of them have received awards in international competitions. Though you won't find any White Zinfandel on this list, we didn't favor one varietal over the others, so you'll find a number of different types of roses on this list.
Fresh fruit flavors are well balanced by the dry finish of Caves D'Esclans Whispering Angel '12. Though the color is an incredibly pale pink, this wine is bold, with plenty of flavor to satisfy red and white drinkers alike. Made primarily from Grenache, this wine has a complex bouquet and is ready to drink right away.
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If you're looking for a big, bold, off-dry rose that will give flat White Zinfandel a run for its money, MacPhail Sonoma Coast Rose of Pinot Noir '12 is an excellent choice. This wine has lots of fruit on both the nose and the palate, as well as a nice aroma of roses, and just a hint of sweetness on the tongue. The finish is acidic and clean without being overly harsh or dry. Read Full Review
If you're looking for a bold, incredibly flavorful French rose, Chateau de Saint Martin Cuvee Eternelle Favorite Rose '12 is one you should definitely try. This wine has lots of strawberry on the nose that's complemented by exotic flowers and a little bit of sweet-sour pink grapefruit. This rich aroma is followed by flavors of ripe fruit, flowers, and citrus fruits as well as a crisp, acidic finish.
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Hailing from Paso Robles, California, Tablas Creek Dianthus '12 is a complex rose with a slightly spicy finish. It's made from a blend of classic French grapes that are grown from French cuttings planted in 1994. This wine has lots of bold fruit flavors, floral aromas, and an incredibly long finish. Read Full Review
A robust rose with just the slightest hint of color, Goldeneye Anderson Valley Vin Gris of Pinot Noir '12 is one of our favorite roses. It's fruity and spicy, with just a hint of sugary sweetness on both the nose and the palate. This sweetness is perfectly balanced by a high acidity, creating a wine that's crisp and refreshing and perfect to enjoy on a warm night. Read Full Review
Best Rose Wine under $20:
Though you can spend $50 or $100 on a great bottle of rose, there's no need to because there are plenty of excellent rose wines for under $20. The wines that made this list are all well regarded by professional wine critics, scoring in the high 80's or low 90's. These wines are also complex, flavorful, and well-balanced. For this list, we have selected wines that are slightly sweet, off dry, and extra dry so no matter what your tastes, you're sure to find something that you love. These wines are also made from a variety of different grapes, including classic rose grapes such as Grenache and Mourdevre, as well as grapes not usually used for rose, such as Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Made of 100 percent Sangiovese, a dark, almost black Italian grape, Barnard Griffin Rose of Sangiovese '12 is our top pick for rose wines under $20. This wine is fruit forward and acidic with a long, dry finish. It's excellent on its own, or paired with seafood or a light, fresh meal. Read Full Review
A California rose made from French grapes, Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Rose '12 is an excellent, incredibly dry rose. Though it has lots of strawberry and wild berry flavors, it's not at all sweet. Instead, it's features a dry minerality and bright acidity that helps it pair beautifully with shellfish. Read Full Review
A certified fair trade wine from South Africa, Fairview Goats Do Roam Rose '13 is one of our Best Picks. This wine is flavorful, acidic, fruit forward, and dry, and is made from a blend of four different French grape varietals. It's also incredibly easy on the wallet, at under $10 a bottle. Read Full Review
Dry and a bit floral, Chateau de Segries Tavel Rose '12 is an excellent French rose. This wine has notes of red berry, rose petals, and just a hint of spicy black pepper. It's quite acidic and finishes incredibly dry. This is a great wine to enjoy before dinner or with a light meal that features seafood or fresh pasta. Read Full Review
A vibrant wine with big fruit flavors and just the right amount of sweetness, Mulder Bosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rose '12 is one of our favorite roses for under $20. It has jammy fruit flavors, an acidic finish, and a bold nose with notes of berries, flowers, and spices. This is a great wine to try if you like the sweetness of White Zinfandel but crave a complex, well-balanced wine. Read Full Review