Whether you’re sitting poolside with friends or enjoying a lovely dinner for two, a glass of rosé wine has become a signature summer drink. It’s the best of both worlds in one glass: a light red combined with a bold white, in a beautiful, blush-colored hue.
We asked Elizabeth Keyser, wine buyer at Zachys Wine and Liquor in Scarsdale, to compile a list of five great summer rosés. At the store, she encourages customers to be adventurous when selecting this type of wine.
“There are so many fantastic rosés packed with a powerful punch that you need to step outside of your comfort zone,” Keyser said.
Here are her top picks, all of which are sure to complement any meal and provide a refreshing respite from the summer heat.
Costieres de Nimes Rosé Grande Cassagne 2012: A classic Rhone blend of cinsault, grenache, syrah and mourvedre, with hints of red currant and a strong mineral component. Keyser said this vintage has a long, fresh finish with a “spike of acidity,” and it shouldn’t be reserved solely for a poolside party. With a refreshing, yet restrained, taste, she recommends pairing this wine with summer fare like shellfish and salads at the dinner table. $10.99
Cotes de Provence Rosé Chateau de Pampelonne 2012: An elegant and inviting nose of white flowers and strawberry leads to a rich palate of strawberry, raspberry and touches of citrus fruit, fresh acidity and impressive structure. A blend of grenache, cinsault, syrah and tibouren, Keyser said this is the most delicate rosé available at Zachys. “The unexpected and impressive elegance of this wine is a sure crowd pleaser,” she said. Keyser suggests sipping it on its own, or pairing it with white fish, gazpacho or charcuterie, because of the ethereal combination of the fruit of a Provencal rosé with the weight of one from Tavel. Keyser emphasizes this rosé comes at great value for the serious palate you get. $22.99.
La Calandria Sonrojo Rosé 2012: Field strawberry and ripe raspberry on the nose, and tastes bright with vibrant acidity, strong notes of candied fruit, strawberries and tart red currant with secondary notes of cinnamon and spice. Long clean finish. For those who are bold with their wine selection, Keyser said this garnacha from Spain is not only “delicious as a base for sangria, but it is great on its own.” One of Zachys’ most versatile rosés, the vibrant fruit blended with cinnamon and spice makes for a strong, lip-smacking flavor. Keyser urges customers to “seriously, try it on its own” or to pair it with chicken, fish, crudité and light cheeses. $16.99
Wolffer Rosé 2012: A local wine! This rosé from Long Island has flavors of black fruit, fresh berries and hints of spice. Smooth texture, delicate floral notes on the palate with a vibrant finish. This “kitchen-sink-blend” rosé is a combination of five different wines — merlot, chardonnay, pinot noir, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon — offering rich and full-bodied flavor. With floral notes, Keyser persuades drinkers to take advantage of the flavors and to be adventurous with pairings. “Pork tenderloin or halibut fresh off the grill with olives are excellent dishes to have with Wolffer,” she said. $14.99.
Arnot Roberts Rosé 2012: Wine-geeks, take note: This California rosé, a blend of 80 percent touriga nacional and 20 percent tinta cao, is a roller coaster of flavor, with bold, tropical fruit, focused salinity and mineral backbone and a long 30-second-plus finish. As one of Keyser’s personal favorites, she said that “Arnot Roberts is the rock star of all rosé.” The wine is made with the same grape varietals as port, and Keyser said paella or ceviche are perfect pairings. “Since these varietals are indigenous to Portugal, this rosé can stand up to the spicy fare of these dishes,” she said. $21.99.
If you go…
Zachys Wine & Liquor, 16 East Parkway, Scarsdale, 866-922-4971, www.zachys.com.
Originally published on July 24, 2013