Summer’s calling, and so is that chilled glass of rosé at 5 ‘o clock. No matter where you drink it, rosé always adds just a little hint of vacation to any evening, which can be a welcome addition to a season where everyone seems to be jetting off on a moment’s notice.
So, to help you better plan for your next post-workday escape, we asked Chief Wine Officer at Winc, Brian Smith, what rosés he’d recommend for under the non-vacation-budget price of $25. Below he shares his top five.
1. 2014 Clos Cibonne Côtes de Provence Cuvée Tradition Rosé; Provence, France ($25)
This is a pretty funky style of Provençal rosé. First, it’s made from Tibouren, a grape rarely seen on its own and almost never seen outside of Provence. The wine is pumped into 100-year-old neutral wood barrels called foudres where it’s aged for one year under a thin veil of yeast known as fleurette. The yeast actually protects the wine from oxidation to some extent while imparting its own unique flavor to the finished wine. This is the only Provençal rosé I know of made in this fashion.
2. 2015 Stift Gottweig Messwein Rosé; Kremstal, Austria ($18)
I hadn’t had this in years and just found it again on my friend’s list in Venice. Stift Gottweig is a Benedictine winery (the winery of a monastery), and it’s been producing Messwein, or altar wine, for centuries. This rosé is made from Pinot Noir and crafted in accordance with the “Reinheitsgebot” (purity law) of the church. According to these laws, Messwein must be natural and unaltered — and you must have permission from the bishop to make it! This wine is one of the most delicious and complex rosés I’ve had this year. It’s truly holy water.
3. 2015 Jolie Folle; Vin de Pays de Méditerranée; France ($15)
There’s a special place in my heart for this rosé, as I make it. Each year we’re right around 50/50 Grenache and Cinsault. It’s exactly what great French rosé should be: light and airy with a crisp, snappy finish. The best part is that it comes in a larger one-liter bottle, so it’s an amazing value. There are always a few extra glasses to go around.
4. 2015 Ruza Zinfandel Rosé; Lodi, CA ($13)
This is a craft take on an American classic: White Zinfandel. Unlike the blended sugary product that rose to fame in the 70s and 80s, this wine was handled with care from the very beginning. The vineyard was farmed specifically for rosé, and there was just a hint of sweetness left in the wine after fermentation. The result is a pale pink porch-pounder. Amazing wine for day drinking and those tough-to-pair spicy dishes like Thai and Indian food.
5. 2015 Summer Water Rosé; Santa Barbara County, CA ($16)
If you want to live the “rosé lifestyle,” look no further than @yeswayrose on Instagram. This wine is a delicious combination of high-quality winemaking and the rosé-colored dream world of Yes Way. Made in a classic French style, this Grenache-Syrah blend hails from two high-quality vineyards in Santa Barbara County. Summer Water is the must-have accessory this season.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy rosé?
Image via Gillian Stevens