Rosé around the world: Which country does it best?
By Laura Fagan Published April 2023
Here in Florida, we are feeling summer's hot breath inching closer and closer. While that may bring unfortunate situations like boob sweat and dads that wear socks with sandals, it also brings a reason to pop a few cold and crisp bottles of rosé.
We're giving the rundown on which countries do it best when it comes to rosé wine, and more importantly - which bottles to try. Grab a glass as we taste our way around the world of expert-selected rosés that will quench your thirst and cool down a hot day.
A Brief Rundown on Rosé
Before we country hop, let's clarify what rosé wine is. Contrary to popular belief, it's not a blend of red and white wine (shocking, we know). Rather, rosé is made by allowing red grapes to ferment with the skins for a shorter period than red wine. Less contact with grape skins means they impact less color to the wine. The result is a wine with a beautiful pink hue and a lighter, more refreshing flavor profile. Rosé wines are made around the world and can be vinified from almost any grape. France, Italy, Spain and the United States are the top rosé producing countries with unique sub-regions or appellations being known for distinct flavor profiles. To be entirely honest, however, there's no country that does it best or least when it comes to rosé. We recommend exploring different styles and producers to discover the perfect pink for your palate. Just remember, it is best to enjoy the delicate and refreshing flavors of rosé wines while they're fresh and young. These wines are not suitable for aging, so you totally have the green light to purchase, pour and enjoy!
When you find yourself reaching for a rosé, you can’t go wrong with a label from France – the mother country of the traditional, dry rosé. France is known for producing some of the best rosé wines globally, and it's not hard to see why when you consider the country’s history with winemaking. It is typically made from red grape varieties like grenache, syrah and mourvèdre and expresses as a pale pink color with a dry profile. They typically have a crisp and refreshing flavor with notes of strawberry, raspberry and sometimes even a hint of citrus. And the designer bottles, beautiful palette of pinks and elegant labels only add to allure. Provence, located in the South of France, is particularly famed for its rosé wines with their sun-soaked vineyards producing some of the best rosés in the world in the Côtes de Provence, Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence, Bandol, Cassis and Coteaux Varoi appellations.
As the French say, la vie est trop courte pour boire du mauvais vin, meaning life is too short to drink bad wine - so check out our wine expert, Nathan Dale’s, favorite French rosé picks.
Chateau Trians Provence Rosé is made on a property dating back to the 18th century in the North of Toulon, France and is fully organic, with every grape carefully harvested by hand. This labor of love is vinified from 60% grenache, 30% sinsault and 10% syrah grapes and boasts a beautiful aroma of lilacs, grapefruit and pomegranate. On the palate, it offers an impeccably balanced blend of white pepper, iodine, peach, raspberry and saline passionfruit flavors. Chateau Trians Provence Rosé is an excellent choice for those who appreciate complex and vibrant flavors to sip into summer.
This wine transports you to the beautiful and serene coast of Corsica, France. Crafted by the Barcelo family who acquired the Vetriccie estate in 1966, this wine is a blend of indigenous varietals (50% sciaccarelly, 40% grenache and 10% niellucciu) from vines averaging 25 years, all hand-harvested and sustainably grown. This beautiful rosé presents a spicy nose of peach, cherry and red currant which gives way to a well-balanced palate and a refreshing acidity. It's a perfect choice as a food-friendly wine, making it the ideal accompaniment to a cheeseboard with your girls or a seafood spread for two.
L'Orangerie De Carignan Bordeaux Rosé is an excellent choice for those seeking a beautiful wine made with eco-friendly methods. This 50-50 blend of merlot and cabernet sauvignon offers a delightful floral bouquet featuring hints of white berries, lime and strawberry. Chateau Carignan employs sustainable farming techniques to produce this wine in the enchanting town of Carignan de Bordeaux. The town has a rich history dating back to 1452 when the original castle was built and L’Orangerie certainly embodies its charm and delicate nature. This option won’t drink like your typical rose, it leans more into its earthy flavor components, but trust us on this one – it is worth the try.
Unlike French rosé, which tends to be lighter, Italian rosato wines generally are fuller-bodied and boast more structure. These wines express with a luscious, dark pink hue and fruity flavor that pairs perfectly with your favorite summertime dishes and activities. Produced from a unique blend of indigenous and international grape varieties, including the sangiovese and nebbiolo grape, these wines are made in celebrated regions such as Puglia, Tuscany, Abruzzo, Veneto and Sicily. Each region’s rosé offers a different drinking experience as winemakers use different grape blends and fermentation methods.
Our wine expert, Nathan, recommends trying a bottle of Costarosa Rosado for an outstanding sweet rosé option. This wine is produced by Giorgi, a prestigious winery with a rich history dating back to 1870, and is crafted from a blend of moscato, malvasia and croatina grapes. Its delicate aromas of freshly picked strawberries and ripe cherries lead into a peach-forward palate making it a true delight. Nathan suggests pairing it with desserts, sweet pastries, dry fruits and cheeses to truly experience the magic of this Italian rosé.
With a rising reputation for producing some of the most intriguing and delicious rosé wines, Spanish rosados are quickly becoming the talk of the wine world. This established wine country boasts a wide range of growing regions, each producing its own unique rosado style. From the crisp and fruity rosés of Rioja to the light and floral wines of Navarra, these wines manage to capture the essence of summer with their refreshing notes of strawberry and watermelon. Spanish rosé wines are typically made from grape varieties such as garnacha, tempranillo and monastrell which gives them their distinct fruity and aromatic characteristics.
For a sparkling Spanish rosé, Nathan encourages you to pop a Cune Cava Brut Rosé. The Cune Winery, established in 1879, has a long-standing commitment to crafting and aging high-quality wines, including this effervescent rosé. With a blend of 70% garnacha and 30% pinot noir grapes, Cune’s rosé is dry, approachable and captivating. The wine’s nose is fresh and intense with red strawberry, peach and cherry delivered through fine bubbles.
United States Rosé
The sunny state of California is home to some of the most sought-after rosé wines in the world. These wines come in a range of tastes and you're sure to find one that's perfect for any summer event, outing or dinner party. From crisp and dry rosés crafted from zinfandel and grenache grapes to the delicate and fruity pinot noir rosés - California is showing up big in the rosé game. With these New World wines, you’ll be treated to a burst of flavors including strawberry, raspberry, watermelon and citrus, making these wines the ideal choice for hot days or pairing with light meals.
For a final recommendation, Hayes Ranch Rosé is a must-try. This wine is grown in select vineyards in the Golden State and made from a blend of grenache and mourvèdre grapes, classic European grape varietals. Hayes Ranch Rosé is the perfect summer sipper with a nose of pink flowers, strawberry and white peach. With a ripe and round palate of fresh fruits, this rosé can be easily paired with soft cheeses, salads, fish or as an aperitif.
Rosé wines have truly taken the world by storm and have become the go-to varietal for warm weather months. They are ridiculously versatile - pairing perfectly with everything from salads to seafood to grilled meats. Plus, with a lower alcohol content than their red and white cousins, rosés are a smart choice for daytime drinking or for those who prefer a lighter option. So, feel free to rosé all day and all summer long!