Twelve Tasty Sips
Our Mixed Case series serves up an eclectic mix of recent ‘adult beverage’ discoveries by the dozen.
Whether you’re perusing a bar menu while traveling or stirring up a cocktail at home, let our guide lead to new taste destinations.
By Hope S. Philbrick
Ready or not, 2017 is coming. What will the new year bring? The saying goes that rose-colored glasses promote optimism.
It’s easy to be positive about a stemmed glass filled with rosé from Provence, France: We’ve sampled dozens without disappointment.
Think pink is always sweet? Think again. French rosés are typically dry, well-balanced and supremely food-friendly. Our picks are a good value and ready to drink now.
Because these wines are so versatile, a bottle or two of French rosé makes a great dinner party host(ess) gift: They’re sure to pair with whatever’s on the menu. Really, it’s the perfect gift for all the foodies on your list. Treat yourself to a few bottles, too. They are sure to be a welcome treat in the coming months.
AIX Rosé 2015 – This blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 20% Cinsault is a liquid equivalent of a great party conversation. Crisp notes of apple, lemon and honeydew are light and pleasing, a splash of spice adds interest, and acidity is bright. Retails for approx. $17.
Chateau d’Esclans Rock Angel Rose 2015 – Full and lively, this rosé impresses with notes of citrus, fresh berries, tart orange, green melon and white lilac. Acidity is balanced by minerality, ensuring a well-choreographed dance of flavors across the palate. Retails for approx. $25.
Chateau Sainte Marguerite Symphony Rosé 2015 – Made of 40% Grenache, 40% Cinsault and 20% Syrah, this pink wine offers delicate aromas and flavors of peach, blood orange, lychee, hibiscus and a hint of elderflower. Retails for approx. $25.
Domaines Pierre Chavin 2015 Pierre & Paul Rosé – Made with organic grapes, we discovered this blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Cinsault and 20% Syrah at Costco and, after enjoying one bottle, ran back to stock up on more. Crisp yet soft, its red fruity flavors are balanced by lemony bright acidity. Retails for approx. $10.
Domaine de la Sanglière la Riviera Côtes De Provence Rosé 2015 – Minerality and a kick of acidity give this salmon-hued wine backbone. Fresh and lean, it offers notes of cantaloupe, apricot, grapefruit and parsley. Retails for approx. $16.
Hecht & Bannier Côtes de Provence Rosé 2015 – As charming and dry as a well-told joke, this wine tickles the nose and palate with notes of raspberry, tangerine, lemon cake and dried lavender. Retails for approx. $18.
Mas de Cadenet 2015 Arbaude Rosé – Fragrantly fruity, this rosy wine has light notes of raspberry, cherry, red currant and licorice. Bright acidity shines through. Retails for approx. $18.
Mas de Cadenet 2015 Sainte Victoire Rosé – This pink-hued rosé is soft and dry, fruity and floral, smooth and balanced. Made of 50% Grenache, 40% Cinsault and 10% Syrah, it offers fresh notes of orange blossom, papaya, pear, strawberries and dragonfruit. Retails for approx. $16.
Mas de Cadenet 2015 Mas Negrel Cadenet Rosé Sainte-Victoire – Named for the Negrel family that owns the estate, this blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah is aged in wood for added complexity. Round and intense, it offers notes of honey, citrus, Bartlett pears, golden apples and hints of nutmeg and allspice. Retails for approx. $40.
Of course, France doesn’t have a monopoly on the production of pink wine. To round out our Mixed Case, here are three delicious options made in U.S.A.
Angeline Vineyards 2016 California Rosé of Pinot Noir – As pleasing as a good kiss, this wine smacks of watermelon, red grapefruit, candied strawberry, peach and orchids. A lick of acidity tingles the tongue. Retails for approx. $14.
Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noir – This blush sparkler from Sonoma County offers notes of fresh strawberry, juicy plum, cherry cola, soft caramel, Meyer lemon, rose petals and dinner rolls. Around our house, we don’t wait for a special occasion to pop this cork: We keep a bottle in the ‘frig so it’s ready to enjoy whenever we feel like it. Retails for approx. $22.
Gloria Ferrer Brut Rosé – Delicate and pale, this salmon-hued bubbly is a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. Vibrant and festive, it offers notes of strawberry, raspberry, cranberry, grapefruit, lemon and yeast. True yum. Retails for approx. $50.
Unless otherwise noted, all suggested retail prices are for a 750ml bottle.
Be a responsible grownup: Never drink and drive.
Product samples afford the research opportunity but do not sway opinion.