As a rule of thumb, I avoid rosés from regions that are really well-known for their reds and just happen to make some rosé on the side. For example, vineyard land is expensive in Burgundy and Bordeaux, so those producers are going to focus their efforts on making high-quality reds which makes me wonder what sorts of grapes are going into their cheap rosés.
Tips on how to shop for rosé wine.
Get to know the regions in Europe that are truly committed to rosé.
We are all familiar with the pinks of Provence, but less know that the rosés of Tavel, from the neighbouring southern Rhône, were once the preferred wines of kings and considered to be better than Rhône reds. In Italy, the area around Lago di Garda is a hotspot for producing a specific style of rosé called Chiaretto. Abruzzo produces a unique rosato called Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo. So getting to know rosé entails getting to know the names of a few regions and styles you might not yet be familiar with
The tint of the wine can often—but not always—be your guide.
Bright, bold rosés that fall in the watermelon-to-sundried-tomato end of the color spectrum tend to work really well with barbecue, burgers, heartier foods. Paler rosés often pair better with seafood, chicken, salads, and so on.
Don’t be afraid to judge a rosé on its looks.
I love rosé because there is absolutely no shame in choosing one by its appearance. With every other style of wine, aroma and flavour are of utmost importance. With rosé, looks come first. At the Centre de Recherche et d’Expérimentation sur le Vin Rosé in Provence, the first thing the scientists measure when they receive a new sample is the wine’s colour. I love that!
Excerpts from Wine Exert Katherine Cole