Call it liquid sunshine. A glass of the chilled stuff just makes me feel good. And isn't the whole point of life to feel good? Rosé is such a happy wine and will take you to far off places if you aren't there already. It's great all year round but especially amazing in the summertime when the sun is shining and you are dining al fresco with friends. Comme la vie est belle!! :)
For optimal selection, you must seek out the experts and head to the wine boutiques. They know what's up and are there to help you so skip the regular liquor store and enjoy a wine buying experience. In Calgary, you can have this at any of the following stores: Vine Arts, Metrovino, Bin 905, Kensington Wine Market, J.Webb, Wine Ink, Vine Styles.
Here are a handful of my (mostly French) favorites to get you through the heat.
Domain Houchart Provençal Rosé $22 Provence, France
Everyone's loves this wine. It comes in a more traditional Provençal rosé bottle and tastes exactly like the south of France en milieu d'été. It has body and character and is still super approachable to the "I don't usually like rosés" palate. But you don't need to worry about that because all your friends like rosé, obviously! Just in case, you can serve anyone this and they will be delighted at their new found love. Bien sûr!
Domaine Montrose Rosé $17 Languedoc-Rousillon, France
Another French favorite of mine. The Montrose is a no brainer and is so affordable you should just buy a case at once. Really, it's just standard awesome pink drink.
Whispering Angel - Chateau d'Esclans $33 Provence, France
Super dry, very elegant and especially great to pair with food. This is more of a "fancy" rosé in my books. Imagine yourself in your luxury brand of your choice sunglasses sitting in a crowded café along La Croissette whilst you gaze at the crystal blue water of the Mediterranean sipping on a perfectly chilled glass of this. AH OUI! Mais c'est vraiment magnifique! :)
Chateau Miraval Rosé $30 Provence, France
Just looking at this bottle will make you want to drink it. I guarantee it. The Miraval is a more complex rosé with a good weight to it. This wine could stand up nicely to a grilled tuna and tomatoes Provençal lunch under the olive trees of the Jolie-Pitt owned property of which it is grown.
Chateau Ollieux Romanis Rosé $22 Corbières, France
Soft and delicate. I love the floral quality of this wine. So great for summer and ideal for a picnic lunch in the park.
Vina Zorzal Garnacha Rosado $19 Bierzo, Spain
First tried this beautiful dark pink pick at Pigeonhole, one of my new favorite restaurants here in Calgary. It's such a fabulous easy drinking no-fuss wine. Completely different from the Provençal style, I associate this more with Spain for obvious reasons. It's exactly what you might be found drinking street side while the sounds of little niños speaking Catalan drone in the distance and whaffs of freshly sliced Iberico fill your senses. There might even be a lonesome street dog that has taken up residence beside your feet. This is where the Zorzal takes me. I hope it does the same for you. If not, try reciting its name over and over to your friends with a Spanish accent and see where the conversation goes. ;)
Raventos i Blanc La Rosa $28 Sant Sadurní d'Anoia, Spain
I am a fan of all of the Raventos wines, especially after going to the vineyard. The family and people that work there are so lovely and genuine and very passionate about what they do. I'll drink to that and I'm sure you will too. La Rosa is a beautifully feminine rosé with lush fruit flavors and excellent balance.
Loimer Rosé $25 Kamptal, Austria
Über dry and grown up. This is rosé for the serious wine drinker, so NO smiling please. ;) A great food rosé as it drinks slightly less like water, as more of the warmer climate ones do (not a bad thing). Loimer is arguably one of the best producers in Austria and this rosé is a prime example of why. Take this to your wine snob friend's house for a summer backyard bbq dinner. Would be lovely paired alongside a bbq'd salmon in honey glaze, chilli prawns, or a sweet ass roast chicken. YUM!
Domaine Maby La Forcadière Tavel Rosé $24 Tavel, France
Tavel is so good. It's a more intensely flavored style of rosé, as evident in it's color and weight on the palate, yet still totally quaff-able sans snacks. I often think of macerated strawberries with hints of thyme and rosemary if that makes sense.. Think of a savory sweet jam. As with most Southern France rosés, this drinks well with goat cheese, figs, tapenades, niçoise salads, etc. When it comes to wine pairing, always think of the food of the region of what you're drinking and go from there. The concept of Terroir works beautifully for pairing your wine and food.
Chante-Cigale L'Apostrophe Rosé $18 Rhône Valley, France
Love this rosé! Traditional Provençal style. Super fruity on the nose and palate, yet still dry and pleasurable to drink without food.
Tombú Prieto Picudo Rosé 2014 $22 Castile and León, Spain
Made entirely with the Prieto Picudo varietal (yes, that's the grape name). This is a fun, fruity, and slightly effervescent wine with nutty undertones, totally unique and different from the others. Would be delicious alongside some tuna stuffed piquillo peppers and grilled squid with olive tapenade.
And of course, while you are drinking rosé, you might want an apropos music selection. Here are a handful of classics to get you seeing through rosé colored glasses:
- Crepuscolo Sul Mare - Piero Umiliani
- Brazil - Django Reinhardt
- The Girl From Ipanema - Stan Getz, João Gilberto, Antõnio Carlos Jobim, Astrud Gilberto
- La Vie en Rose - Louis Armstrong
- 5. Que reste t'il de nos amour - Charles Trenet
- C'est Si Bon - Eartha Kitt
- I Only Have Eyes for You - The Flamingos
- L-O-V-E - Nat King Cole