12 reasons to rosé all day ... for under $20

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If you think rosé is just the sweet White Zinfandel, Lancers or Mateus rosés that many baby-boomers cut their teeth on as a gateway to drier wines, you're missing out on what is quickly becoming a summer staple.

This explosion of interest, fascination and love of brilliantly colored "pink" wine is amazing. Starting about five or six years ago, wine-lovers began realizing that rosé was a delicious "real" wine. The rosé boom today is led by bone-dry Provence-styled rosés that are the ubiquitous wine of summer in the south of France.

Made from red-skinned grapes with white inner fruit, these wines are pressed with just a small amount of skin contact to extract notes of color and delicious grape skin flavor and complexity. Most are delicately hued, with very light color, beautiful aromatics and elegant flavors and a dry finish that lingers, refreshes and begs for another cool sip.

Provence, in southern France, is the heartland of rosé . In Provence, they are made primarily from grapes native to the region, such as Grenache, Syrah and Mourv dre.

rosé produced in other countries is made from a variety of noble and indigenous grapes, depending on the region they come from. Virtually every region making great red wines are now producing dry rosés that are strikingly delicious.

These are all meant to be served chilled and make spectacular welcoming aperitifs, as well as perfect pairings to elegant appetizers, crudit or fresh seafood, chicken or grilled marinated fresh veggies.

As a very general rule, lighter styles of rosé will pair better with more delicate food, such as fresh salads or charcuterie.

Fuller-bodied rosé wines, with riper fruit and more structure, will match better to barbecued meats or foods with a bit of spice.



How much should a good
rosé cost?

From the sea of summer rosé , there are a great number that are just OK wines.

We've tasted hundreds and found that the best rosés range from as little as $10 up to $25 per bottle. Sure, there are $40 bottles that are great, but most are nominally better than the $20 top wines. The largest selling rosé now is the "Whispering Angel." However, we want to highlight to you those less well-known, fantastic rosés that are under $20 per bottle.

These wines are guaranteed to enhance your wine-drinking experiences this summer, and throughout the year.

SPIRITED'S TOP DOZEN OF rosés OF 2018

1. Terre Sante rosé "Ile de Beaute" 2017, Corsica, France

$9.99 sale ($12 suggested retail)

This wine is from the beautiful island of Corsica. Corsican rosé is a new benchmark for pink. This wine is made from 100 percent Sciaccerellu, which is a grape native to the island. Pale pink with crisp berry notes of white raspberry and strawberry. Very refreshing and dry, this is an amazing value.

2. Beau de France rosé 2017, Languedoc, France

$10.99 sale ($14 suggested retail)

Fantastic, unconventional bottle with the swing-cap stopper more familiar on Imported Grolsch beer bottles. Simple open, re-usable for olive oil, waters, etc. Thing is, this rosé is so delicious that you won't want to re-close the bottle. Made from 100 percent Syrah grapes, which make this rosé powerful with notes of red berries, floral and hints of spice on the supple middle. Fresh, dry, long finish. Awesome value and lots of fun.



3. Marisco Vyds "Ned" rosé of Pinot Noir 2017, New Zealand

$15.99 sale ($20 suggested retail)

The blend of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris grapes produces "Ned" rosé from New Zealand. It is a vibrant, pale rosé-colored pink. Wonderfully scented, with pure fruit aromatics and notes of red berry compote and refreshing watermelon notes. The mid-palate has a subtle richness and texture that make it uniquely, beautifully delicious. Great as an afternoon sipper and alongside a broad range of diverse foods.

4. Valdinera "Chiaro di Luna' rosé 2017, Piedmont, Italy

$16.99 sale ($20 suggested retail)

Located in the heart of Piedmont, near the city of Alba, the Valdinera Estate has been in the Careglio family for four generations. This beauty is made from 100 percent Nebbiolo grapes, which are the grape of great Barolo and Barbaresco. This pressing of short time on the skins produces a wine with a delicate bouquet, flavors of ripe black cherries and the spice notes of Nebbiolo. The finish is dry, clean and wonderfully elegant. Enjoy with hearty appetizers. This wine will continue to drink beautifully through 2020.



5. Schloss Gobelsburg rosé C'est Lien 2017, Austria

$16.99 sale ($22 suggested retail)

Wine Enthusiast Magazine Best Buy rosé . Austria continues to be a leading producer of some of the world's finest rosés. Made with indigenous Zweigelt, St. Laurent and Pinot Noir grapes, this roséshows red apple, strawberry and zesty citrus notes on the nose, with a palate that is taut, fresh, dry and precise, with very appealing fruit notes and a flavorsome, lingering, dry finish. Great to enjoy with or without foods.

6. Daniel Crochet Sancerre rosé , 2017, Loire, France

$19.99 sale ($29 suggested retail)

From the magical beauty of the Loire Valley, Daniel Crochet's rosé is a beautiful fluorescent coral in color, with racy, crisp vibrancy and structure found in his renowned white Sancerre. Elegant flavors of red berries, rosé petal and subtle spice from the pressing of 100 percent Pinot Noir grapes used to produce this elegant beauty. Super with grilled salmon, seared scallops or a just a fresh summer salad.

7. Eric Kent rosé 2017, Sonoma, Calif.

$19.99 sale ($28 suggested retail)

Rated 92 points by the Wine Enthusiast Magazine, this Sonoma Coast beauty is made from 77 percent Pinot Noir, with the balance Syrah and Grenache. (Artist label by Yellena James.) This trio of great grapes meld beautifully to produce a rosé with distinct minerality, depth and complexity. Richer body and color than most rosé , this is a fantastic wine for year-round enjoyment. Enjoy with roast duck breast or grilled, spice-rubbed salmon.

8. Inman Family "Endless crush" rosé 2017, Sonoma, Calif.

$19.99 sale ($28 suggested retail)

Rated 94 points by The Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Made by the Inman Family from their organically farmed, Sonoma County, estate grapes. Pale pink, with aromas of wild strawberry, watermelon, rosé petal and ruby grapefruit notes. Flavors of ripe strawberry, blood orange and lovely minerality in the dry finish. Crisp and refreshing.

9. Julien Braud "Forty Ounce" rosé 2017, Loire, France

$16.99 sale ($22 suggested retail)

This French rosé from the Loire Valley set the Internet on fire this spring, thanks to its distinctive packaging: Screw-top bottles that resemble those more often filled with malt liquor. (Actually 33 ounce, 1.0 liter bottle.) Behind the gimmicky bottle, though, is some serious cred: Forty Ounce Wines was founded by New York sommelier Patrick Cappiello, the wine director at Rebelle and Walnut Street Cafe, who's been named "Sommelier of the Year" by Food & Wine and Eater National. In France, the wine making is handled by Julien Braud, who's known for working with organic wine in the Loire Valley. Made from 35 percent Gamay, 33 percent Merlot, 10 percent Cabernet Franc, 12 percent Grolleau, 5 percent Pineau d'Aunis, 2 percent Pinot Gris. Enjoy this pink nectar at a park picnic or fun pool party.

10. Ameztoi "Rubentis' Txakolina rosé 2017, Spain

$19.99 sale ($25 suggested retail)

From Northwest Spain's wild, beautiful Basque country comes this consistently excellent wine. Refreshingly "frizzante" and ballet pink, its nose suggests rosés and ocean breezes. Tart fruit, elegant salinity, and high acidity on the palate make it "insanely gulpable," according to one taster. Complex and fun, this is one summer crush that our clients fight over. Tiny quantities produced.

11. Pampelonne Cotes de Provence rosé 2017, France

$19.99 sale ($25 suggested retail)

One of our top Provencal rosés for elegance and delicacy. Pale pink color with fine, singing aromatics. A very fresh entry with hints of white-fleshed, ripe fruit on the palate. Dry, ethereal finish.

12. Puech-Haut Prestige rosé 2017, Languedoc, France

$19.99 sale ($25 suggested retail)

Rated 95 points "Outstanding," this 2017 is a beautifully made rosé from this renowned estate. Made from Grenache and Cinsault grapes. Spice, cherries, citrus blossom and beautiful minerality all emerge from the glass. It is rich in flavor, yet also very fresh and crisp in the dry finish. Great to enjoy with food all year long.

Jim Nejaime is the owner, importer and wine buyer at SPIRITED Wines in Lenox, who is a passionate wine merchant traveling the world to find great wines since 1979.


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