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Rosé Wines: What You Need to Know



Rosé wines have become increasingly popular in recent years. But what are they exactly? And most importantly, which ones offer the greatest bang for your buck and taste delicious? Here’s what our expert sommeliers told us:

What is rosé?

A rosé (from French rosé; also known as rosado in Portugal and Spanish-speaking countries and rosato in Italy) is a type of wine that incorporates some of the color from the grape skins, but not enough to qualify it as a red wine. The pink color can range from a pale, onion skin orange to a vivid near purple, depending on the grape varieties used and winemaking techniques.

Types of rosé

Further, rosé encompasses the following off-shoots, such as:

Semi-sweet rosé

Including Blush Wine, Garnacha Rosado, Rosé d’Anjou, Vin Gris, White Zinfandel, and White Merlot.

Dry rosé

Savory/ meaty

Including Loire Rosé, Bandol Rosé, Cabernet Franc Rosé, Syrah Rosé, and Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé.

Fruity/ floral

Including Pinot Noir Rosé, Grenache Rosé, Provence Rosé, Sangiovese Rosé, ‘Rosado’, and Tavel.

Now that we have our bearings on the various types of rosé, here’s a sampling of some of our favorite brands:

Top rosé wine brands



Miraval Rosé (France)

The finest rosé yet from this estate. This light-pink colored Côtes de Provence sports a fresh and lively bouquet of wild strawberries, raspberries, and white flowers to go with a supple, lightly textured, silky and seamless feel on the palate. From the Chateau Miraval estate of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, it’s about as gulp-able and hard to resist as they come. It’s a killer rosé to drink. (Miraval Website)


Wölffer Estate Rosé (Long Island)

A classic Wölffer Rosé from one of Long Island’s best years (2014), this vintage is the first to have a screwcap closure. Bright shiny light copper in color. Vibrant aromas of crisp apples, kiwi, cantaloupe and fresh mint fill the glass. The mouth-feel is refreshing, with mouthwatering fruit and playful acidity. The wine has a long, vibrant and dry finish with great minerality and a fine natural CO2 mousse. This is a classic Wölffer Rose, capturing the sun and the cool sea breeze of summer in the Hamptons. (Wolffer Wines Website)

Los-Vascos-RoseLos Vascos Rosé (Chile)

Los Vascos traces its roots to approximately 1750 and to the original vineyard of Miguel Echenique. The vineyard passed down through the family throughout the succeeding centuries.

The acquisition of 50% of Los Vascos by Rothschild (Lafite) in 1988 was the result of a careful search among more than one hundred Chilean wines for one that could meet their criteria for excellence. A team of winemakers from Domaine Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) control the viticulture, harvest, maceration, fermentation and aging of the wines at Los Vascos. Strict control of yields from the estate and adherence to the winemaking techniques of Chateau Lafite result in wines of high quality, whose characteristics do not escape connoisseurs. All production is estate bottled. (Los Vascos Website)


Mulderbosch Rosé of Cab (South Africa)

Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards are managed specifically with the idea of rosé production in mind. Early picking dates result in naturally high levels of acidity and a bright spectrum of fruit aromas ideal in rosé style wines. Once pressed, the juice is handled as per Sauvignon Blanc, i.e. cool fermentation with aromatic yeasts to heighten the vibrant, zesty aromas and fresh mineral palate. Crucial to this style of rosé is early bottling in order to preserve the wine’s inherent freshness.

Serve well chilled. An excellent aperitif or picnic wine. Serve with fresh, seared tuna steaks; veal limone; poached salmon; cold crayfish salad; sushi. (Mulderbosch Website)


Whispering Angel (France)

This rosé is a peachy pink or light salmon color. The nose is fresh with pure, sweet notes of raspberry and strawberry. The wine is completely dry with a slight glycerol roundness married to a serious acid backbone. Those same pure fruit aromas are mirrored on the palate. The wine is fresh and bright; it’s expansive on the mid-palate, and has long, clean, fresh finish. (Chateau D’Escalans Website)


Gobelsburg Zwiegelt Rosé (Austria)

For the Cistercien Rosé, the Zweigelt and St. Laurent grape varieties grown in the cooler sites of Gobelburg and Langenlois are used. After the harvest, the grapes – still with their stems – are softly pressed and then fermented. This type of rosé is somewhat similar to a white wine because no acid reduction is used to emphasise the fine fruity character with a streamlined elegance. Its fragrance and fruit nuances of wild cherry and fresh berries make this Rosé an optimal universal food companion. (Gobelsburg Zwiegelt Website)

Domaine-Ott-RoseDomaines Ott Rosé (France)

Domaines Ott was founded in 1912 by Marcel Ott, an agricultural engineer from Alsace who dreamed of establishing a great wine estate near the Mediterranean. Today, the wineries are owned and managed by Champagne Louis Roederer and produce some of the world’s most prestigious wines. Delicate aromas of sliced peaches and light strawberries follow through to a full body, with good acidity and a round soft texture. A joy to drink.

Visit a Fairway Wines & Spirits store near you and enjoy the wines of the season.

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