May 20, 2019
Rosé wine seems less pretentious than white or red wine. You rarely hear anyone—even wine professionals—alienate others by going on and on about how pink wine tastes and smells. We tend to just drink rosé! And, along with its inherently appealing visual appearance, light, fruity, crisp character and flavours, its popularity is soaring in Alberta. We cannot get enough of the pink stuff!
But not all rosés are created equal. There are many different styles of blush-coloured wine, and we pride ourselves here at Co-op Wine Spirits Beer on steering you towards wines you like, while helping you avoid the vino you may not. For the best success at choosing the right rosé for you this season we offer this brief style guide on the different varieties of Rosé wines.
Light & Dry
This is easily the most popular style of Rosé on the planet, and believe it or not, the most common. These wines tend to be very pale in colour, light-bodied and dry—“dry” as in, no sugar left in the wine.
Flavours of watermelon, strawberry and often an appealing citric tang can be expected. Because these wines tend to be very light, with moderate alcohol levels, they are dangerously easy to drink. Provence is the spiritual home of this style of pink wine, and whether you are at a beach, on a patio, or at the dinner table, light, dry Rosé wine is the unofficial wine of warm-weather fun. We recommend The Social Collection BIN 117, St. Valentines Cotes de Provence, Bertrand’s Cotes de Rosés, Sokol Blosser Pinot Noir Rosé and Matua Rosé.
Full-Bodied & Complex
This style of rosé is for red-wine lovers looking for something chilled. These darker rosé wines have an intense ruby colour that suggests they are a shade away from being considered a full-on red wine. They are dry, intense, and heavier than their pale-coloured pink counterparts. They will not wilt when paired with an intensely flavoured meal, and will potentially provide more complexity than the sometimes underwhelming lighter styles of rosé wine.
Classic versions come from regions like Tavel in Southern France and the Navarra in Spain. This type of rosé is often made from grape varieties like Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Cinsault and other dark skinned, full-flavoured grapes delivering a bigger, darker style of rosé. Great paired with grilled dishes and casual summer event. Try Montes Cherub, M. Chapoutier Tavel, Los Clop Malbec Rosé, Bonterra Rosé, Marques de Caceres Rioja Rosado and Adorado.
Fresh & Off-Dry
Sometimes, the inherent tart tang of dry rosé can be too much for some peoples’ tastes. A dainty kiss of sugar can balance out a wine’s sourness. You’ll know these wines are a little off-dry or slightly sweet by looking for alcohol levels ranging from 10-11.5% abv. These wines are friendly, fresh, and perfect for picnicking, but they’re also great as a pairing for spicy food. Slightly sweet wine calms the heat of fiery foods, allowing you to keep going back for another bite. Rosés from the Okanagan Valley, Washington State and France’s Loire Valley are well known for this style. Try Mission Hill 5 Vineyards Rosé, Beach House Rosé and Peller Estates Rosé.
Fruity & Medium-Sweet
Sweet rosés are getting harder and harder to find, but White Zinfandels from California continue to provide a sweet, easy drinking pink option for wine consumers. You will love these if you have enjoyed a Moscato, or are new to drinking wine and want a friendly, juicy gateway into the world of vino. Mateus is the O.G. of these pink wines, launched in 1943 and still going strong today. Add some fresh lime, mint and some club soda for an easy summer cocktail!
- Eric Southward
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