The 9 Best Rosé Wines for the Summer
With summer now upon us, it is time to find those cool, refreshing wines that make the perfect complement to a summer day.
Most people might instantly reach for the white shelf on their wine rack, maybe a Vinho Verde or some other type of green wine.
But in this article, we are going to make the case for rosé wine. Read on and learn why.
Ask any really experienced wine drinker which wine is best for a particular occasion, and they will all say, “whichever one you like best”.
This is the real trick to appreciating wine. Drinking what tastes good to you, at that moment.
So when summer comes around, people naturally start thinking about those light, sometimes slightly sparkling white wines that are refreshing without being too heavy.
And whilst there is nothing wrong with this, these kinds of wines can often lack body and flavour.
Unfortunately, if you want something a little more challenging in the taste department, this means going for a red doesn’t it?
Well no, actually it doesn’t! We could pop the cork on a bottle of rosé wine, and get the benefits of both worlds.
A rosé wine, is a wine that retains some of the coloration from grape skins, yet nowhere near as much as a red wine.
This means that it will often carry some of the bouquet and flavour of a red wine. Yet it also shares the lighter, less challenging body of a white wine.
The colour can vary from just a slightly pink tint, to a very vibrant, almost magenta hue.
As a rule of thumb, the darker the tint, the more body the wine will have. However, there are exceptions.
Alberto Medici Lambrusco Rosato€3.78 Find merchant
Centelleo – Rosado Tempranillo 2013-14 75cl Bottle€7.71 Find merchant
Arpeggio – Rosato 2011-14 75cl Bottle€9.96 Find merchant
Chene Bleu Rosé€24.01 Find merchant
Bodegas Castano – Monastrell Rosado DO Yecla 2013 6x 75cl Bottles€40.01 Find merchant
Chateau de Pampelonne – Provence Rose 2013 Magnum 1.5lt€41.98 Find merchant
Chakana – Rose 2014 6x 75cl Bottles€65.34 Find merchant
Bodegas Tobia – Alma de Tobia Rosado 2012 6x 75cl Bottles€82.28 Find merchant
A Mano – Spumante Rosato NV 6x 75cl Bottles€92.43 Find merchant
Rosé wine is made in three ways
Using direct skin contact, by blending red wine with white wine, and by a saignée process.
They can be still, sparkling or semi-sparkling, and vary from very dry, to incredibly sweet.
So in reality, there is probably a rosé wine to suit everyone’s taste somewhere. And this is the reason for this article, to try and introduce some of these to you.
We have split the selection of the 9 best rosé wines for the summer, into three categories.
Budget wines, with a price tag of less than 10 Euros per bottle. Midrange wines, with a price tag less than 50 Euros a bottle, and fine wines, above 50 Euro a bottle.
The 3 Best Budget Rosé Wines
The three wines in this category, all share some similar traits. They are all less than 10 Euros a bottle, they are all generally available from a number of retail outlets, and they are all, of course, perfect on a summers day.
Alberto Medici Lambrusco Rosato
– This is a rosé wine from the Waitrose Cellar selection. Two things may turn people away from this wine at first glance.
Firstly, the fact it is a Lambrusco, with the stigma that brings. Also, the fact it comes as a cheaper, screw topped product.
But remember here, we are not trying to impress the neighbours with this bottle. We are looking for a refreshing summer drink.
Quite frankly, at this price point, for pure refreshment and ease of drinking, this wine is hard to beat. It has a very slight sparkle to it, and has a medium-sweet taste.
A very fruity, berry type of flavour that makes it a great summer dessert wine.
– This is a rosé wine from TheDrinkShop. We selected this as our second budget summer rosé for a very specific reason. It is very full bodied.
As rosé wines go, this has a very dark tint. This gives it plenty of character. Why do we like this as a summer wine? Simply because the summer also usually means plenty of BBQ food.
Red wine tastes great with a meaty BBQ. This rosé, offers some of the flavours of red, to complement BBQ perfectly, without being too heavy.
Flavour wise, we are talking a nose full of summer berries, but with a very floral undernote. Once it hits the tongue, the red roots of this wine really come forward.
So we have a perfect combination of summer smells, and a strong but not overpowering taste, that really does make it one of the most perfect summer BBQ wines.
Centelleo Rosado Tempranillo
– We chose this rosé wine, for the exact opposite reasons as the previous wine.
This is once again from TheDrinkShop. In this case, we have a very light tint. And as we might expect, this makes for a far less challenging wine.
Where the previous section was our selection to accompany juicy, BBQ meat. This is our summer salad selection.
An easy to drink wine, that leaves the palate clear, and the nose full of the smells of summer. This is a very fruity wine, but it is still crisp and refreshing.
If you are looking for an entirely drinkable, everyday summer garden wine, this is the one for you.
The 3 Best Midrange Rosé Wines
Moving on to our midrange summer rosé wines, we are stepping up a notch in the taste experience.
Our budget selection are all great, drinkable wines. However, they are obviously at a lower price point for a reason. Moving up to the midrange price, we start to find much more character.
Chene Bleu Rosé
Coming from the Waitrose Cellar, this is an excellent rosé wine that doesn’t need to accompany food. Indeed, if you are enjoying mellowing out in the sunshine, and would like a tipple to keep you refreshed, this wine would be a great choice.
This wine has a very distinctive rosé tint, almost an amethyst colour. This hints at the bouquet and flavour that this wine delivers.
Where many rosé wines often have a juicy, berry like nose, this wine is much more citrus. This, combined with the crispness, make it a very refreshing rosé wine.
Chateau de Pampelonne Provence Rosé
This almost classic rosé wine comes from TheDrinkShop. It has a distinctive, almost peach coloured tint, that is typical of rosé wines from the area around Saint Tropez where this grape originates from.
This rosé has a character all of its own. And for a midrange wine this is quite rare. The grape is only grown within a small fifty-hectare area, so the taste is unique.
A very light body, and a flowery bouquet, hide the flavours of this wine until it hits the taste buds. Then a full on range of summer berry fruits are delivered.
Bodegas Castano Monastrell Rosado
Here we have a Spanish rosé that really pulls none of its punches. It is a sweeter wine, and as many sweet wines, the bouquet sets the scene for this darkly tinted rosé.
This makes it a wonderful summer dessert wine, but it might not suit general consumption as a standalone wine.
Strawberry is the order of the day here, with a nose heavy delivery, that sets the scene for the sweet, fruity taste, with a surprisingly refreshing finish.
The 3 Best Rosé Fine Wines
Now we move up to the fine wine class of rosé wines. These are more expensive vintages, and as we would expect, they are a lot more complex.
We also have a couple of unique wines sneaking in at this price point.
A Mano Spumante Rosato
We mentioned unique wines, and here is the first of them. This offering from TheDrinkShop is something a little special. A full rosé spumante, with a taste delivery that defies its rosé roots in complexity.
As an evening, sundowner summer wine, this would be a perfect choice. Think early evening cherry blossoms, with overtones of wild berries.
This is the bouquet, and it is a precursor to a surprising taste delivery. Those summer smells are complemented by a nutty, full body, with a hint of citrus lemon in the long finish.
Bodegas Tobia Alma de Tobia Rosado
Again from TheDrinkShop, this is a Spanish rosé wine that carries a body that reflects its very dark, almost red tint. The bouquet is familiar, with the rosé traits of flowery undertones, and fruity, berry-like main theme.
The taste is much different though, slightly acidic in delivery, with a distinct perfumed finish.
This wine is unique in many ways, it combines a rosé like bouquet, with a very white wine taste delivery. On a summer day, it gives taste and body, but is very refreshing.
Here we are introducing what is possibly the most unique rosé wine in this list of summer wines. The vivid raspberry tint hints at the flavours this wine may contain. The body does not disappoint this expectation.
Aromas of red berry fruits, but with surprisingly spicy undertones. A very round bodied wine, with a juicy taste that is unexpected. The finish is refreshing and long. .
If we had to pick a wine from this list, that we would drink for pure enjoyment alone, then this is it. It makes a worthy final entrant on our list of best rosé wines for the summer.
Hopefully, if you have read this far, then you will have discovered that rosé wines really do make an exceptional option for summer wine, over and above the usually whites in many ways.
You do not need to trade crispness and a refreshing finish, for lack of bouquet and body as you do when you switch from red to white.
For some reason, rosé wines continue to be underrated. This is surprising, as the oldest wines in the world were rosé wines.
As they are the easiest to produce. No need to remove all taint from grape skins to clear them like a white wine, and no reason to handle them as lightly as a red wine to keep the flavour and bouquet.
Mac is an avid traveller, who spends many months of the year wandering the world with a laptop and a suitcase. He has been a wine lover for over 30 years, and has a fondness for Italian reds, although don’t ask his opinion on the Barolo Wars. On his travels he has tasted a great many wines. Some good, some bad, and some that should never have been sold for human consumption.