WWBG: Wonderful Bargain Rosés

Editor’s Note: This weekly column is sponsored by Georgetown Square Wine and Beer (10400 Old Georgetown Road).

Rosé wine sales in the United States are beginning to increase. After a decade or so of Americans categorizing any pink colored wine with the sweet White Zinfandel variety, the U.S. wine consumer has finally discovered the light, crisp, versatile, and perfectly fruity rosé wine.

What makes rosés pink? A true rosé is not a blend of white and red wine. Instead, like red wine, rosé wine is made from red wine grapes. But instead of leaving the wine in contact with the pressed grape skin to ferment with the juice for an extensive period, rosé producers keep the skins in contact with the juice only briefly. Then the pinkish juice is drained from the skins, resulting in a color ranging from a pale pink to a deep salmon or coral. Winemakers make rosé from the red grape varieties traditionally grown in their particular region that are best suited to the local soil and climate.

Rosés vary widely in color, texture, and flavor. Yet all rosés have some common characteristics: they tend to be bright, fresh, crisp, and dry. The most popular rosé producing region in the world is Provence, France. There, rosé is a part of everyday life, widely embraced as the best lunchtime, seaside, and all-occasion wine. This spirit of Provence lifestyle has started to catch on. Wine makers from around the world are making more rosés than ever before. Amazing dry style rosés are also being made from California to Virginia, and all at an affordable price. With the spring weather hopefully approaching soon, this is a great time to come in and try a dry rosé for any occasion. Here are a few rosés that we are offering below $15.

MontaudChateau Montaud Cotes du Provence Rosé 2012, Provence, France: $11.99

I always appreciate great wine at a fair price and this wine is a perfect example. This rosé has all the great characteristics of a Provence rosé. It is dry, crisp, bright, and fruity and exhibits beautiful floral notes with great acidity on the palate.

Grand CassangeChateau Grande Cassagne Rose 2012, Rhone, France: $10.99

From one of my favorite importers, Robert Kacher is a local D.C. importer that continuously brings in incredible value rosés from France. Grande Cassagne is a perfect example. Readily available at most French bistros throughout our region, this vibrant, neon pink colored rosé expresses slight tannins and delicious fruit.

PigmentumPigmentum Malbec Rose 2012, Cahors, France: $14.99

A rare 100% Malbec rosé, this is a great wine to share with friends making the transition from red wine to rosé wine. It has a clear, brilliant pink color with vibrant nuances and an intense red fruit bouquet. It is fruity on the palate with a long, nice finish.

La Petit CabocheLe Petit Caboche Rose 2012, Rhone, France: $11.99

Our best selling rosé year after year, this full-bodied wine is full of fresh strawberry and raspberry flavors. It has a refreshing acidity with a hint of lemon and a touch of spice on the finish. The grapes used for this great value wine are grown right next to the famed area of Chateauneuf du Pape.

Vin GrisSaintsbury Vincent Vin Gris 2012, Carneros, California: $19.99

While this wine is slightly over $15 dollars, I could not resist adding a great example of a California rosé. Made from 100% Carneros Pinot Noir grapes, this wine matches the delicate style of rosés that are found in the famed region of Burgundy, France. With subtle and complex flavors of stone fruits, wild strawberry, and blood orange, this rosé is the perfect summer wine for any occasion.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of BethesdaNow.com.

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