After years of intensive therapy, all indications suggest that Americans have finally overcome their severe rosé phobia. Fact: France drinks more of the pink stuff than the white. Fact: Rosé is now assuming its rightful place at the table and bar as a year-round drink option in the U.S. Once stereotyped as just a déclassé seasonal thirst quencher, the wine is now known for its versatility with food. As with any other style, category or color of wine though, there are the good ones, the bad ones and the vast sea of boring ones in the middle. These three are among the seriously good.
Caves d’Esclans “Whispering Angel,” Côtes de Provence Rosé, 2013
Celebrity winemaker Sacha Lichine has quite a pedigree, having grown up at Margaux’s famed Chateau Prieure-Lichine. He’s enlisted Patrick Leon, longtime oenologist at Mouton-Rothschild, to craft this pale, fuller bodied rosé from grenache and other Provencal grapes. An elegant wine, it shows tangerine and cherry notes, with hints of rose petal, white pepper and anise. This bolder rosé is an ideal match for grilled salmon.
($24, Brix Wine Shop, Boston)
Artazuri Garnacha Rosado, Navarra, 2013
From grapes grown 1,500 feet up in the Pyrenees foothills of northern Spain, this wine is made by renowned Rioja producer Juan Carlos Lopez de Lacalle of Vina Artadi. Made with 100 percent garnacha grapes, it has a vibrant coral hue, with engaging strawberry-like flavor, floral scents and crisp acids. Charming, fresh and very bright, this is a super choice to serve before dinner or with a seafood salad.
($13, The Wine Emporium, Boston)
M. Chapoutier “Belleruche” Côtes du Rhône Rosé, 2013
Quality fanatic Michel Chapoutier rarely misfires, and this classic blend of grenache, syrah and cinsault squarely hits the bull’s-eye. Dry as a bone, it delivers earthy, herb-accented flavors with a hint of pepper. It’s a great complement to a caprese salad, especially right now with the last of the season’s tomatoes.
($12, Bauer Wine & Spirits, Boston)