Must-Have Rosé For Summer Sipping And BeyondThere’s been more than a change in the weather. After years of being considered second-class citizens or worse, typecast as sickly sweet, rosés have emerged as the first option for wine lovers in search of warm weather refreshment. The impressive range of pink wines sees appealing juicy styles that are ideally suited to the picnic table as well as crisp, complex models that would be at home on even the most elegant of dinner tables. There’s also a growing selection of characterfilled sparklers that tickle the taste buds and go a long way to explaining why we love rosés.
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The Dinner Party
Anyone who has lingered over a plate of Niçoise salad while soaking up the sun and sipping on a local rosé during a vacation in the South of France knows only too well how refined and sophisticated pink wines can be. With its historic appreciation of the good life, the region wrote the book on how to vacation in style. So why not apply that joie de vivre in your daily existence? The appeal of those refreshing and tantalizing rosés wasn’t solely that you were on vacation — eating and drinking without a care in the world. Beyond the idyllic content, the appeal was that they were well-made wines that balanced fruit flavours and acidity. This equilibrium is one of the keys that make any wine memorable. Vital, vibrant wines work best with food, which is why we recommend these bright, charming and zesty bottles as ideal dinner companions
Casa-Dea Estates Winery 2009 Cabernet Franc Rosé Prince Edward County $16.95; Fielding Estate Winery 2010 Rosé Niagara Peninsula $15.95; La Vielle Ferme 2009 Côtes du Ventoux Rosé Rhône Valley, France $14; Malivoire Wine Co. 2010 Ladybug Rosé Niagara Peninsula $15.95 ; Marqués de Cáceres 2010 Rosado Rioja, Spain $12.95; Masi 2010 Modello delle Venezie Veneto, Italy $10.95; Ravine Vineyard 2009 Cabernet Franc Rosé St. David’s Bench, Niagara Peninsula $18
The Picnic Table
One of the reasons that rosé gets typecast as a summertime wine is that its possible spectrum of pinkish hues — from onion skin to salmon to neon cherry — is best appreciated in brilliant sunlight. But isn’t that simply another reason to embrace pink wines even when the dog days of summer are a distant memory? A good rosé is the perfect memory aid to evoke a sunshine state of mind. Part of that blissful mindset is the no-fuss aspect of warm weather entertaining. When the sun’s high in the sky, all you really need to make a summer get-together work are some retro tunes, a grill at the ready and a thoughtful selection of tasty rosés that are pleasingly round and fruity with a burst of acidity that cleanses the palate. These tumbler-worthy options are going to be the star of our al fresco gatherings right up to Thanksgiving Day.
Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery 2009 Blanc de Noirs British Columbia $19.99; Douglas Green Wines 2010 The Beach House Rosé Western Cape, South Africa $9.95; Featherstone Vineyards 2010 Rosé Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula $14.95; Inniskillin Wines 2010 Pinot Noir Rosé Niagara Peninsula $15; Oliver Twist Estate Winery 2010 Patio Passion Rosé Okanagan Valley $18; So Grape Gazela Rosé Portugal $8.95; Viña Cono Sur 2010 Carmenère Rosé Reserva Colchagua Valley, Chile $11.95
The Festive Occasion
The way we see it, the rosy tint of pink wines say festive and fun like no others. The fashionable cast makes them stand out in the glass. That star power becomes all the more desirable when you consider that the first taste is always with the eyes. For some, there’s a romantic allure to rosé sparkling wine that its watery, white sibling lacks. There’s also a distinction to be made about the way that pink bubbly tastes, with a pleasing red berry note that punctuates the exhilaratingly dry, relatively rich character of classically made sparkling wine. But rosé can offer a joyous personality even without fizz. No matter if they are sensibly, sustainably, organically or biodynamically made, refined or relaxed pink wine like these ones offer integrity, charm and elegance to any event. Want to turn a bash into a soirée? Arm your guests’ glasses with one of these luxurious examples.
De Bortoli Emeri Pink Moscato Riverina, Australia $14.95; Henry of Pelham Family Estate Cuvée Catherine Rosé Brut Niagara Peninsula $29.95; JoieFarm 2010 Rosé Okanagan Valley $21; Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé Brut Champagne France $99.95; Quails’ Gate Winery 2010 Rosé Okanagan Valley $14.99; Southbrook Vineyards 2010 Connect Organic Rosé Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Peninsula $18.95; Yellowglen Pink Sparkling Australia $11.95