Rosé may be an emblem of summer, but you shouldn’t stop drinking pink wine when sweater weather rolls around. Maryse Chevriere, certified sommelier and author of “Grasping the Grape” will tell you why you should drink rosé all fall.
Is a chilled bottle of rosé perfect for summer picnics or as a beat-the-heat apéritif on the patio? Of course. But so is most white wine, and you don’t see people balking at the idea of drinking that in the fall and winter just because it’s served cold. Or maybe it’s the pink thing that’s a hurdle, in which case, I just…I can’t (*shakes head*).
For years now, sommeliers and wine professionals have been championing rosé’s many merits and defending its proficiency as a year-round wine. It comes in a wide range of styles! It’s great on its own but also super food-friendly! Most of it is relatively inexpensive! And so on, and so on. Rosé is more than just a seasonal frivolity (*cough, cough* pumpkin spice) so please, don’t blow through your stash of pink just because summer has come to a close. Here are five good reasons why rosé is the perfect wine to help you transition into the fall season.
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It seems only fitting that this category, which shares qualities with both red and white wine, is an appropriate choice for the in-between, not-quite-hot-not-quite-cold weather season. Generally speaking, rosés will offer bright freshness and fruit like a white, but because they are made from red grapes and the juice has spent time on the skins (hence the color), the wines can also have more structure and tannin, like a red.
Yes, the classic, pale Provençal rosé tends to be quite lean and light-bodied, easy for (judgement-free) gulping. But that’s not to say there aren’t fuller bodied expressions of rosé to be enjoyed. Tavel rosé, for example, from the Côtes du Rhône region of southern France, is a very dry style known for its mellow acidity and a rich, fuller texture. Made primarily from Grenache and Cinsault grapes, it has a weight that satisfies that cool weather craving for a hug-you-from-the-inside big red, but still feels vibrant and fresh.
It’s no secret that rosé comes in a wide spread of shades of pink. But the rumor that somehow still persists, despite lots of evidence and effort to persuade people to the contrary, is that the darker the hue, the sweeter the wine. Not true.
Most rosés are made in a dry style, and while there are some that are sweeter, of course, don’t use color as a code to determine whether or not that is the case. The color of the wine is simply an indication of how much time the juice spent fermenting on the grape skins and how concentrated the pigments in those grape skins are.
In fact, a number of the darker styles of rosé, rosatos from central Italy’s Abruzzo region, or those made in the saignée method from grapes like Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, tend to actually look like light red wines and are usually quite savory in flavor.
As far as your bank account is concerned, the fall is that little cushion period of time you need to recuperate from shelling out for that late-summer beach rental and also gear up for the approaching gift-giving season. So why wouldn’t this be the time of year you’re shopping for more wallet-friendly wines?
Rosés, as a category, already live in a much more reasonable price-point; most hang around the $15-$30 range, and even the top, most prestigious bottlings only go up to about $50 retail.
You can also factor in that by fall, because most rosés are generally not designed for aging, a lot of shops and restaurants are looking to unload inventory. Translation: It’s a good time to look for deals.
That being said, there is a growing movement for ageable rosés—Champagne, Sancerre, Bandol, and Spain’s Tempranillo-based rosados are good places to look—which tend to be more savory and nuanced, and come at a much better price than most other great aged wine on the market.
Have you ever ordered a tiki drink or a margarita in the middle of a snow storm? You should. It’s delightful. Sure, an Old Fashioned or a Hot Toddy might be more “seasonally appropriate,” but if you can’t physically be at the beach, why the heck not drink something that reminds you of it? The same philosophy applies to rosé. It’s a wonderful, delicious reminder of warmer days both past and to come.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy rosé in the fall? Let us know in the comments.