I find that there are generally two camps when it comes to rosé…those who do and those who don’t. I’m always intrigued by those who don’t because I adore everything about rosé. And there is a lot to adore. Its seductive pink hue, whether salmon, deep cherry, or just a hint of blush. Its thirst-quenching chill, whether bracingly dry or rich with red fruit. Not to mention its versatility! It has the crispness of a summer white with the tease of the tannin in a red. I am quite sure that those who do not, do not because rosé has a checkered past in California, also known as White Zinfandel, of boxed wine fame. Folks, I’m here to tell you that rosé is not White Zin. And with the weather warming up, it’s time to fill your glass with the pink stuff. Following are some of our favorite rosés, both sparkling and still, with food pairing recommendations to boot! Find them at one of our We Olive & Wine Bar locations in Costa Mesa and La Jolla.
2012 Blackbird Vineyards Arriviste, Napa Valley
This deep salmon-hued rosé is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc. It’s aromas of strawberry and spice give way to flavors of tart cherry and zesty citrus with a refreshing minerality and acidity. It’s bold flavors make it a great intro to rosé for red wine and Chardonnay drinkers alike. Try this wine at your summer BBQ, with ribs, burgers, and anything off the grill.
Try it with our Grilled Vegetable Couscous.
2011 Stepping Stone by Cornerstone Corallina Syrah Rosé, Napa Valley
This coral pink, 100% Syrah rosé is a perfect wine for warmer months. It’s crisp and dry with aromas of rose and berries and flavors of strawberries and cream. The Corallina is lovely with grilled salmon but pack it in your picnic basket as it pairs well with summer salads and sandwiches.
Try it with our Asparagus and Spring Pea Lemon Risotto.
2011 Falcor Rosé, California
A blend of 39% Pinot Noir, 27% Syrah, 17% Grenache, and 17% Carignan. Aromas of flowers and sweet red berries, flavors
of watermelon and and a sour cherry finish. A delightfully refreshing dry rosé that pairs well with spring salads with roasted beets, omelets, quiches, and other brunch dishes.
Try it with our Beet, Fennel & Tangerine Salad.
2008 Richard Grant Cuveé Rosé Brut, Napa Valley
This delicate pink sparkler is made of mostly Pinot Noir with a bit of Chardonnay blended in before the bottle fermentation. It’s crisp but fruity with flavors of grapefruit and apple, with a berry-like and slightly spicy finish. This bubbly is excellent with delicate fish and shellfish dishes but also works nicely with chocolate and fruit desserts.
Try it with our Strawberry Lemon Cake.
2006 Handley Brut Rosé Estate Vineyard, Anderson Valley
Mostly Pinot Noir, this rosé has complex aromas of of cassis, raspberry, and tea. It’s tiny bubbles offer a creamy mouthfeel with lively flavors of strawberry and citrus. This is a special occasion sparkler that pairs beautifully with rich, triple crème cheeses, Mother’s Day brunch, and oysters on the half shell.
Try it with Lauren’s Decadent Breakfast Crepes.