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Wine

Best Rose Wine

If the only rose you've ever tried is White Zinfandel, you're missing out on a world full of excellent wines. There's a lot of variation when it comes to rose wine, so no matter what your tastes, you're sure to find something that's up your alley. Rose can be sweet or dry, one-note or complex, flat or bubbly. In fact, some of the best Champagnes are roses made from Pinot Noir grapes.

Rose can be made in a number of different ways, but the vast majority of rose is made from 100% red wine grapes. Rose wine is sometimes made by fermenting the wine on the skins for anywhere from a day to a couple of weeks to get its color. Once the correct color is achieved, it’s taken off the skins so that it doesn't turn into red wine. Alternatively, rose can be "bled" from red wines by siphoning off the lighter wine at the top of the fermentation vat. Finally, rose can be produced by blending white and red wines, though this method isn't commonly used and produces inferior quality wine.

Though California White Zinfandel is the most popular style of rose in the New World, rose is also commonly enjoyed in France. French roses are usually dry and floral and are very popular in the summer months. Of course, rose is made wherever winemakers put down roots from Spain to South Africa to New Zealand. With so many different rose wines to try, this is one style that definitely worth trying.

Barnard Griffin Rose of Sangiovese '12

Barnard Griffin Rose of Sangiovese '12

A winner of numerous gold medals in 2013, our favorite rose for under $20 is Barnard Griffin Rose of Sangiovese '12. This wine has an expressive nose with rich aromas of strawberry and tangerine, and a complex palate with notes of red cherry, candied orange, and raspberry. The finish is long and dry, balancing out the fruity flavors perfectly with lots of bright acidity. Though it's made in the Columbia Valley, this wine is made from a classic Italian varietal. Sangiovese is usually used to make a flavorful, fruit forward red wine but the grape also makes an excellent rose since it's naturally acidic and, despite its nearly black color, rather light in flavor.

Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Rose '12

Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Rose '12

Though better known for their high end rose wine, Tablas Creek also makes an incredible rose for under $20. Their Patelin de Tablas Rose '12 is made from three classic Rhone varietals, Mourvedre, Grenache, and Counoise. These three grapes give the wine plenty of complexity. You'll notice notes of strawberry floating on top of dark berry flavors that are accented by spice and plenty of acidity. Since the grapes are grown in limestone-rich soil, there's also a bit of minerality that helps this wine pair beautifully with shellfish.

Fairview Goats Do Roam Rose '13

Fairview Goats Do Roam Rose '13

If you're looking for a great wine at a great price that's made by winemakers doing their part to support their local economy, Fairview Goats Do Roam Rose '13 may just be the wine for you. It's made from a blend of Shiraz, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Gamay Noir, all classic French grapes that are commonly used in rose wines. Though it's made from French grapes and in the French style, this wine actually hails from South Africa. It has lots of strawberry and rose on the nose, and red berries balanced by lots of acidity on the palate. The wine is a bright salmon pink, a color that suits it perfectly, hinting at the soft berry flavors and floral nose.

Chateau de Segries Tavel Rose '12

Chateau de Segries Tavel Rose '12

Scoring over 90 points with both European and American wine critics, Chateau de Segries Tavel Rose '12 is one of the best roses around. This wine is made in Rhone, an appellation known for producing some of the world's best rose, and is blended from Grenache, Cinsault, Clairette, and Syrah. Its color is a deep dark pink, and its bouquet is rich and well developed. You'll find notes of cherry, rose, and berry on the nose, as well as pepper, currant, and raspberry on the palate. Though there's plenty of fruit to this wine, it's also perfectly dry without even a hint of sweetness up front or on the finish.

Mulder Bosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rose '12

Mulder Bosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rose '12

Made in the cool coastal appellation of South Africa, Mulder Bosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rose '12 is one of our Best Picks. Though Cabernet Sauvignon isn't typically used to make rose, the resulting wine is bold, complex, and big enough to satiate red wine drinkers. It has lots of fruit on the nose, as well as fresh cut flowers and spices. Flavors of jammy fruits are expertly balanced against bright acidity, making giving this wine a little bit of a sweet and sour feel. It's excellent on its own, but it also pairs well with spicy asian dishe andhefty fish dishes, such as tuna steaks.

Caves D'Esclans Whispering Angel '12

Caves D'Esclans Whispering Angel '12

An incredible wine in the tradition of classical dry French roses, Caves D'Esclans Whispering Angel '12 is our top pick for high-end rose. This wine is made from Grenache that's skillfully blended with Vermentino, Syrah, Cinsault, and Tibouren. Though this wine is a blend of white and red varietals, the pink color doesn't come from the blending white and red wines but rather from leaving the wine on the dark colored Grenache skins for a short time. In terms of flavor, this wine is intense and complex. It shows off notes of wild berries, cherry, peach, and strawberry without a hint of sweetness. It's dry from start to finish, and isn't overly acidic, qualities that make it a refreshing wine that's ideal on a summer evening.

MacPhail Sonoma Coast Rose of Pinot Noir '12

MacPhail Sonoma Coast Rose of Pinot Noir '12

Made in the Saignee method, wherein rose wine is bled off the top of barrels of red wine, MacPhail Sonoma Coast Rose of Pinot Noir '12 is a deeply colored wine with plenty of complex flavor. It's quite full-bodied, and easily pairs with a wide variety of foods, especially seafood, poultry, and thanks to a hint of sweetness, spicy dishes. The aroma has lots of strawberry and rose to it, while the palate focuses on flavors of watermelon and honey. The acidity is well-balanced and prominent enough to give this wine a clean finish. Thanks to its malolactic fermentation, this wine is also silky smooth, with an almost buttery mouthfeel.

Chateau de Saint Martin Cuvee Eternelle Favorite Rose '12

Chateau de Saint Martin Cuvee Eternelle Favorite Rose '12

Chateau de Saint Martin Cuvee Eternelle Favorite Rose '12 is an award-winning wine hailing from Cotes de Provence, a French appellation known for making some of the world's best rose wines. Dark in color for a French rose, this wine is a deep peach with dark pink tones that are nearly purple. It's made from Tibouren, Carignan, and Grenache, all of which are flavorful grapes that lend this wine complex aromas of grapefruit, strawberry, and fresh cut flowers. The flavor profile has fruity notes of blackberry, apricot, and tropical fruit, as well as floral notes of pansy, and acidic notes of citrus fruit, making it a well-balanced wine that can be enjoyed as an off-dry aperitif or as an accompaniment to a rich French meal.

Tablas Creek Dianthus '12

Tablas Creek Dianthus '12

Blended from transplanted French Mourvedre, Grenache, and Counoise vines, Tablas Creek Dianthus '12 is one of our favorite roses. It gets its beautiful color from 48 hours spent fermenting on the skins of these deeply colored grapes. After the wine is drawn off, it's finishes its fermentation in steel vats where it's blended with red wines from the same vintage as needed to deepen the color or improve the complexity of the wine. The result is a cranberry pink wine that's dark and rich enough to appeal to stalwart red wine drinkers. It has flavors of plum, pomegranate, lime, and strawberry, and aromas of rose, plum, and stone. The finish is very long and just a little spicy, making it an excellent wine to pair with slightly spicy dishes, such as Mediterranean food.

Goldeneye Anderson Valley Vin Gris of Pinot Noir '12

Goldeneye Anderson Valley Vin Gris of Pinot Noir '12

Made from 100 percent Pinot Noir, Goldeneye Anderson Valley Vin Gris of Pinot Noir '12 is one of our Best Picks when it comes to top-end roses. The wine is left on the skins for just 22 hours after pressing, giving it just a touch of color. Though incredibly light pink, the nose and palate are richly complex. The nose shows off aromas of cherry, strawberry, sweet bubblegum, and just a touch of cinnamon. The palate has the same notes of berry, sugar, and spice, as well as a creamy texture and a perfectly dry finish. This is a refreshing wine that's ideal to sip on during hot summer evenings.

Crystal Beran
Crystal Beran has spent the past 10 years immersed in the exciting and delicious world of food and drink. She has honed her cooking skills as a baker, a caterer, and a personal chef, and currently spends a good deal of her time training the next generation of young chefs. Her work as a wine steward has helped her to develop a discerning palate and a love of excellent wines from all over the world. Over the years, she has had the good fortune to visit wineries in Northern California, Tanzania, France, and Italy. In her spare time, she brews beer and invents delectable dishes to share with friends, family, and students.
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