Crisp like a white, with the character of a red; identity crisis? Or convenient marriage of two of our favorite things? From noble beginnings as the preferred wine of Kings, prized by the aristocracy above all others, to the not so noble halls of American sororities as the go-to entry wine, Rosé has stood the test of time and remains a favorite worldwide.  

A little-known fact is that Rosé is the oldest known variety of wine produced and enjoyed worldwide since the time of the Ancient Greeks. Even Champagne started as sparkling Rosés, becoming paler in the 17th century, as vintners became more precise at separating the skins from the must (juice). 

If variety is the spice of life, then Rosé is a perfect pairing. Rosé comes from the juice of red grapes, and its character and striking hues from the palest pinks to the darker-hued jewels depend on both the varietal and the amount of time left on the skins. Traditional European-style rosé is nearly always dry, whereas American rosé tended to be sweet until recently. A few years ago, a renaissance occurred among American winemakers, and a host of new exciting dry rosés emerged on the domestic wine scene.

Rosé is a year-round sipper, but summer is where this fabulous style shines. Who doesn’t love a little pink in the dog days of summer? White wine drinkers love to add a little color to both their cheeks and their wine glass when the sun is shining above, and red wine drinkers love the lighter, colder option that still maintains a hint of their favorite bolder reds. Rosé also pairs well with lighter fare like salads, fresh seafood, and even BBQ, all staples of summer menus. 

Ready to explore the versatile rosé? Here are our picks (literally, we picked them) available at Hazel Dean’s:

Daou Discovery Rosé 2020

Paso Robles, USA

In true Provence style, this remarkably fragrant wine offers one of the best examples of “New World” rosé in production. Aromas of peach, pear, and nectarine greet the nose, along with the more subtle notes of hyacinth and crushed rose petals. Follow that with a clean, fresh crispness that tantalizes the tongue with flavors of mango and melon and hints of cherry, vanilla, and blood orange leading to a luxurious finish leaving just a trace of strawberry and kiwi, and you have a perfect summer sipper.

Blend: 95% Grenache Noir, 5% Sauvignon Blanc 

Food Match: Goat cheese with dill, smoked salmon

Figuière Signature Magali Rosé 2020

Côtes de Provence, France

Figuière’s vineyards lie just a few hundred meters from the Mediterranean Sea, allowing their wines to express the unique terroir of coastal Provence. This medium-bodied rosé presents aromas and flavors of strawberries, orange peel, and white flowers, showcasing the bright and refreshing acidity and salty minerality for which Provence is known. Enjoy this one at the beach all year long. 

Blend: 35% Grenache, 35% Cinsault, 20% Syrah, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon

Food Match: Spicy Sushi Roll, curry dishes, nice with spice

Rotari Brut Rosé 2014

Trento, Italy

Our list would not be complete without a great sparkling rosé, and this one does not disappoint. The Rotari style (Methodo Classico) is unmistakable, producing intense, fragrant, and refined bubbles with savory aromatics. This Pinot Nero, Chardonnay blush is crisp, light-bodied, and juicy with hints of wild strawberries, yeast, and spices. Elegant and well-balanced.

Blend: Pinot Nero, Chardonnay

Food Match: Shellfish and seafood