Over the last decade, rosé has morphed from being considered a lesser wine—one regularly scoffed at by aficionados—to the unofficial drink of summer. In fact, it’s so popular that there have been reports of rosé shortages by the time August hits (we kid you not).
So what exactly is rosé wine? No, it’s not red and white wine mixed together, it’s actually made when red grapes are lightly crushed and left to soak with their skins for a period of time. Then the juice is strained and fermented, creating rosé.
The wine has become such a phenomenon because it pairs well with pretty much any summer food from barbecue to sushi, can be made into a cocktail (we suggest making rosé ice cubes and pouring club soda over ’em for an easy-to-make crowd pleaser), and the fact that it goes down really easy. Plus, there are plenty of inexpensive varieties that taste just as good as the better stuff.
Here, our 12 picks to get your summer started, the rosé way. Whether you’re lounging poolside, throwing a dinner party, or heading to the park for a lazy afternoon, there’s a perfect bottle for you. The best part? All of our selections are less than $25.
Over the last decade, rosé has morphed from being considered a lesser wine to being the unofficial drink of summer, so popular that there were rumors of a rosé shortage over the last few summers. Here, 12 of our top picks just in time for Memorial Day, all less than $25.
2014 Lorenza Rosé
Tasting Notes: A blend of grenache, carignane, mourvedre, and cinsault grapes, this dry and spicy wine smells and tastes like plum skins, dried citrus peels, white pepper, red currants, and strawberries. It's also one of the best Provence-style rosé's being made in California.
$19; available at Backroom Wines
2012 Chateau D'Aqueria Tavel Rosé
Tasting Note: Expect a bone-dry, full-bodied, and fruity rosé when you open up one of these bottles. A vibrant salmon-coral color, it pairs well with both shellfish and poultry.
$19.99; available at Wine.com.
2014 Domaine St. Aix ''Aix'' Rosé
Tasting Notes: A bright, pale pink wine, this rosé has a crisp acidity to it that makes it a great match for light salads and Asian food.
$16.95; available at Aix
2014 Bedell Cellars Taste Rosé
Tasting Notes: Expect a mix of aromas from this wine—a blend of merlot, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, and syrah—including peach, passion fruit, and strawberry. This is a medium-bodied wine with a citrus acidity.
$25; available at Bedell Cellars.
2014 Bieler Pere Et Fils Rosé
Tasting Notes: A blend of syrah, grenache, and cabernet, this elegant rosé is marked by strawberry and watermelon flavors.
$12.99; available at Beacon Wines and Spirits.
2014 Charles & Charles Rosé
Tasting Notes: Fruits such as strawberry, raspberry, and cherry are interwoven with earthy flavors like herbes de Provence and grass in this vibrantly salmon-colored wine.
$13.99; available at Total Wine
Club W's "Summer Water"
Tasting Notes: A deliciously light and airy rosé made from pinot noir, this is the perfect sipping wine for summer afternoons.
$18; available at Club W.
2015 Domaine de Triennes Rosé
Tasting Notes: This wine has a bouquet of strawberries and white flowers with hints of vanilla.
$14; available at Gary's Wine
2014 Château de Campuget Costières-de-Nîmes Rosé Tradition
Tasting Notes: This rosé standby is a favorite of summer for a reason. Refreshing with some earthy minerality to it, this wine comes complete with a backbone of cherry and strawberry fruits.
$15.69; available at GetWineOnline.
2014 Wölffer "Summer in a Bottle" Rosé
Tasting Notes: With a flavor profile of cantaloupe, strawberry, and peach, this wine's bright acidity and long finish has made it one of the classic rosés. It's hard to go wrong here.
$24; available at Wolffer.
2014 Les Hauts de Smith
Tasting Notes: A blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and cabernet franc, this is a crisp and aromatic wine, with cherry, raspberry, and spice character.
$17.95; available at Sherry-Lehmann.
2014 Chateau D'Esclans, Cotes de Provence Rose ''Whispering Angel''
Tasting Notes: Expect a flavor profile of ripe red fruits, with hints of minerals and flowers from this longtime summer favorite. Crisp and dry, with bright strawberries on the finish, this wine pairs well with practically anything.
$22; for more information visit Esclans.