Rosé Season is here!

2020 rosé is just beginning to arrive! Rosé from Provence and other southern regions in France tend to arrive first; Spain and Italy ship closer to late April and May. While we await the Txakoli, Vajra Rosabella, and Chiaretto, we still have a lot of rosé to enjoy. The question always remains, how to choose? Well, here are a few considerations.

Provençal rosé has won fans for its delicate, floral aromas and a refreshing acidity. Grapes are picked just for making rosé, instead of picking the red grapes that are ready for making red wine. Contact with the skins of the grape may last only a few hours, extracting little color and a bit of tannin. Instead of fruity flavors, hints of grapefruit, quince, and citrus add to a sense of lightness and freshness. Outside of Provence, look for Cinsault, a key grape for bright, refreshing acidity. 

As we move west in the South of France, Grenache and Syrah become a bigger part of the blend. Silkier textures, a bit more weight, and hints of strawberries, pomegranate, and red currants tend to emerge. Winemakers may be picking those ripe grapes, pulling a bit of juice from the process of making an intense, bold red. Here, the dark color in rosé doesn't necessarily mean sweet as much as softer, fruitier. 

The days of pink mean sweet are far behind us, but a slightly off-dry rosé can be refreshing. Just as a bit of sugar can balance out lemonade, a touch of sweetness can bring out the fruit flavors and soften the edges. Instead of looking at color, the percentage of alcohol can be a better guide here. A Vinho Verde may be closer to 11%, but with bright acidity. It will feel more thirst-quenching than sweet.

Each grape brings a different flavor and character. Pinot Noir tends to be light, yielding strawberries and mint. While Cabernet Franc and Carignan offer more savory notes and bright acidity. Bring those rosé out of the fridge before you serve. Rosé shows off its aromas and flavors closer to 50-60 degrees. While we love to sip rosé, these wines are incredibly versatile with food. Exploring different grapes and region for you rosé can help you discover a fun pairing for your favorite spicy tacos or seafood dish.

Looking for your favorite or have questions? Send us an e-mail, or give us a call, 202-780-9236.