Wouldn’t it be nice to know that wine can be easy to understand, easy to buy, easy to pair with food, didn’t require aging or decanting and was easy to drink? If you could produce a wine like this, people would beat a path to your door — and they do. We are talking about dry rosé, a small but growing segment of the wine market that has captured the attention of insiders and won the hearts of anyone willing to give it a chance.
Like white wines, rosés are affable and easy-drinking wines, but they take it a step further by being super food-friendly. Being lighter hued wines made from red grapes, they have an affinity for a wide range of food, and probably go with an array of recipes that are more diverse than any other style of wine. They also don’t require or even benefit from aging, nor is a decant necessary. They do like to be chilled (45 to 55 F), but that is what makes them so appealing on a spring or summer afternoon or, say, at a football tailgate.
The French already drink more rosé than white, and they arguably make the finest white wines in the world.
There is one caveat. It might take a while to get used to drinking pink wine — for men, anyway. It took me three years to get used to the idea, but now I’m hooked. Rosés are some of my favorites, particularly with food.
The French pioneered the dry rosé style, but the market has responded quickly. We tasted wine from most European countries as well as California, Oregon and Washington, but rosés seem to be coming from everywhere. Just look at our list of recommended wines.
Rosés were originally produced when winemakers bled (saignée) the juice from a barrel of red wine to concentrate the juice; rather than waste the bleed juice, the winemakers would ferment it into wine for the locals. There is one village in the southern Rhône (Tavel) that only makes rosé using this method. But the Provençal wine makers turned the wine world on its ear by making a very lightly colored wine using a very gentle press method, which minimizes skin contact and produces an ever-so-slightly colored wine. Pale pink and salmon can best describe the light colors of these popular wines. Other producers, particularly in the southern Rhône, have emulated the style.
We tasted an assortment of rosés, along with goat cheese, crackers, olives, and salami, to give you some ideas, but honestly, they were all refreshing and enjoyable. So try different ones over the summer and see what you like best, but get with it and get your pink on before summer gets here.
Free Times Rosé Reviewscore – notes – region – price
La Gordonne ’11 Côtes de Provence ★★★★ Best of Tasting — France, $18
Charles & Charles ’12 Rosé ★★★★ Very Nice and Best Buy — Washington, $10
Belle Glos ’12 Sonoma Coast ★★★★ Another Star — California, $18
Guy Mousset ’12 Côtes du Rhône ★★★★ Delicious and Best Buy — France, $10
A to Z ’12 Oregon Rosé ★★★★ Another Best Buy — Oregon, $13
Ontañon ’11 Vetiver Rosado, Rioja ★★★★ Tasty, and a Best Buy — Spain, $12
Marqués de Cáceres ’11 Rioja Rosé ★★★½ Another Winner — Spain, $12
La Rabiotte ’12 D’Aix en Provence ★★★½ Favorite and Best Buy — France, $12
Dom. du Vieil Aven ’11 Tavel ★★★½ Nice Color and Aroma — France, $13
Dom. Fontanyl ’11 Rosé, Provence HHH Group Favorite — France, $15
Santi ’11 Infinito Rosé ★★★ Good Value Here — Italy, $10
Colombo ’11 Cape Bleue Rosé ★★★ Nice Easy Wine — France, $12
Sofia ’12 Rosé, Monterey County ★★★ Nice Bottle, Nice Wine — California, $14
Our four-star rating system and how it might compare to the Wine Spectator 100-point scale:
★ Good (80-84), ★★ Very Good (85-87), ★★★ Very Good/Excellent (88-89), ★★★★ Excellent (90+).
All ratings are only opinions of our tasters and not meant to detract from your personal favorites.
Four Miles, Twelve Doughnuts
Winston’s Wish aims to increase knowledge and understanding of children with autism, and you can help by participating in the 4.donut Race on October 25th. Start at Edventure Children’s Museum, run 2 miles to Krispy Kreme, eat 12 doughnuts, and run back! Registration is required and can be done here before October 23rd at 5 p.m.
Bluegrass, Bidding, and BBQ
Join The Palladium Society Thursday, October 23rd from 7-10 p.m. for its 11th annual silent auction, featuring music by The Mustache Brothers and catering by Bourbon and The Oak Table. Tickets are $30 at the door and include admission, drinks, and food. Get yours online now!
King Lear in Finlay Park
October 16th-18th and 22nd-25th, the South Carolina Shakespeare Company presents William Shakespeare’s King Lear. All performances held at the Finlay Park Ampitheatre at 7:30 PM. For tickets and more information, click here or call 803-665-2000.
3LAU on Sunday, October 26th and the Unofficial Skrillex Mothership Tour After-Party on the 27th. More information and tickets for both can be found here. VIP tables available.
The Other Place at Trustus Theatre
Juliana Smithton is a successful neurologist whose life seems to be coming unhinged. A mystery unfolds as fact blurs with fiction, past collides with present and the elusive truth of Juliana’s mental health boils to the surface in The Other Place, running at Trustus Theatre October 17th through November 1st. There will be a talk-back following the matinee on October 19th. Tickets can be purchased here or by calling the box office at 803-254-9732.
SEARCH FREE TIMES
Local business is searching for new associates who are looking for a fun environment to earn great wages. Great position for college students/recent graduates. Must be well-mannered with excellent customer service skills/work ethic/ability to lift heavy items/must have valid Driver’s License. Call 803-376-4884 or email resume: email@example.com.
Currently seeking a friendly & detail-oriented individual for an Administrative Assistant/Data Entry Clerk position on our Administrative Office team. Primary responsibilities include: Data entry, process incoming & outgoing mail, good communication skills required. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cupcake now hiring a closing manager. Must be outgoing, customer service focused, able to work evenings and weekends. Apply in person. 1213 Lincoln Street, Columbia SC 29201. freshcupcakes.com
U.S. Security Associates
Now hiring immediately for armed and unarmed security officers. WE TRAIN YOU! Columbia & surrounding areas. ussecurityassociates.com
Real Estate Spotlight
Mungo Homes. Celebrating 60 years of our family building for your family. mungo.com
Town Center Apartment Homes in Lake Carolina THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. Bran new apartments inside award-winning Lake Carolina. towncenteratlakecarolina.com