You will be a better Rosé Lover after you read this five minute article.
Yes, a better Rosé Lover. Allow me to explain.
Read most lists of wine recommendations, say it’s called “10 Top Rosés for Summer” in a national lifestyle magazine, and you’re left hanging. No guidance on how to buy them or way to figure out if it’s a Rosé that YOU will like. My Rosé list addresses both matters to help you drink Rosé like the star you are. This is how:
- I advise on the best places to find and buy the wine.
- I’ve made Rosé wine tasting questionnaire to help you understand what Rosé style YOU like.
- My 36 Rosé Reviews can be separated into four styles. If you know what style you like, you can’t go wrong with my Rosé picks.
- I give you 4 Rosé wine recommendations with free access to each rating and review on Dan Dawson’s Wine Advisor.
With my Rosé Report you’ll feel more comfortable to locate, buy and enjoy Rosé wines you know you will love. In my questionnaire I share my key smells, flavors, textures and sensations. Check off what you taste and feel, with each check decide if you like it, and use what you’ve learned to buy on your own. Finally, enjoy the 4 Rosé recommendations below. If you’d like to see, read and soak in all 36 Rose reviews, please become a DDWA MEMBER.
Free wine advice from a former Napa wine shop owner & sommelier
All this, and I only have 4 minutes left. Oh boy. Let’s go.
Good question. I know, because a lot of my readers smarter than me have asked. First of all, let me say all of my current wine recommendations are available for retail purchase in California! I make sure of this. Since I’m not selling wine, my ONLY interest is to pick wines you will love. With that in your back pocket, let me help you with a few tips on how to find any of the wines I recommend on Dan Dawson’s Wine Advisor.
- California wines – buy directly from the winery and let them know you read my review. The winery will probably be aware as I let them know they made my list. Buy at least 2 bottles because it makes more sense to ship multiple bottles and it’s Rosé – you know you’ll want more. Ask if there is a better price for buying a certain number of bottles – there may be a 6 or 12 bottle discount. My reviews usually link to the winery’s website if they’re in California.
- Use Wine-Searcher.com. This is a valuable, powerful tool for consumers to find particular wines near them or far away. While wineries will sometimes list their wines on wine-searcher, it’s best to find wine shops and online retailers who have the wine you want. Keep an eye out for low-cost shipping as a lot of retailers are discounting their shipping to stay competitive. And look for volume discounts.
- Ask your local wine merchant. If you frequent a quality wine shop, maybe you’ll get lucky and find it there. If not, ask if they can get it for you. You’ll probably need to get a full case for this to work, though. If you want less than a case, use Wine-Searcher to find a shop with your wine and have it shipped to you. It’s much, much easier and less expensive for all parties involved.
I REALLY LIKE ROSÉ, BUT I DON’T KNOW WHICH ONES TO BUY. CAN YOU HELP?
You bet I can! It takes a little effort on your part, but the best kind…the kind that requires drinking Rosé, so not so bad.
Pour yourself a glass of Rose. After drinking half a glass, answer the following questions and accompany the answers with a LIKE or NO LIKE (Y/N or +/- will do). Once you’ve put around 5 wines through the questions, look for a pattern. You’ll probably find one. Assuming so, put your likes into a one sentence description. For example, “I like light bodied, tangy, soft Rosés that taste like strawberry, watermelon, black pepper and mint.” Tell a good wine merchant or Sommelier this and let the fun begin. I’ll assume you like your Rosé wines dry (if you’re reading this, you probably do).
And to make the exercise super-easy, use this Rosé Questionnaire
Your answers will be emailed back to you.
ROSÉ SMELLS & FLAVORS. Check off the ones you smell and/or taste. No limit.
Fruit: strawberry, raspberry, cranberry, plum, pomegranate, watermelon, grapefruit, lemon, Meyer lemon, lime, blood orange, apple, peach.
Flowers: lavender, rose, jasmine, violets, citrus blossoms.
Spice: Black pepper, white pepper, coriander, cardamom, anise.
Herbs: Mint, thyme, tarragon, tea leaves, verbena (think lemon scented cleaner).
TEXTURE (Yes/No questions)
Light (almost like water)?
Heavy (like a cocktail)?
Somewhere in the middle?
Is it soft (like silk on your skin)?
Rough (like fine sandpaper)?
Creamy (2% milk? Whole milk?)
Does the texture remind you more of white wine or red wine?
ACID (highest to lowest descriptors. Choose one.)
Sour (super-high…too high)
Tart (very high – makes you wince a little)
Tangy (high – makes your mouth water)
Medium acid (I usually call this “bright.”)
Low acid (soft, fruity. Often associated with darker colored Rosé wines)
I’M THIRSTY, DAN. WHAT SHOULD I DRINK?
First, a plug for Membership to Dan Dawson’s Wine Advisor.
I tasted around 250 Rosé wines and found 36 that I really like for quality and value…36 that I think you should buy and enjoy.
Each recommendation comes with
- My score and Value Rating, my way of quantifying HOW GOOD A VALUE each wine is.
- My tasting notes and, on most wines, context to explain why I highly recommend the wine.
- Retail price and a “Where To Buy” link.
- By using the filters, you can see what style of Rosé it is. I’ve identified four styles: REAL Dry and Tart, Spicy/Earth/Fruit, Fruit/Herbs/Floral and Darker/Stronger. In My list of 36 Rosé wines, you can separate the wines by these four styles.
Finally, what you’ve been waiting for. Here’s a Rosé recommendation from each style category. Link over to the review page to see the ratings and to access each winery’s website to purchase. And remember: tell them Dan Dawson’s Wine Advisor sent you!
VILLA RAGAZZI Rosato di Sangiovese, Napa Valley 2017 $28
REAL dry! “Purposeful” Rosato: Sangiovese picked early, pressed off. High acid, low alcohol. Real crisp…lemons, citron, tart cherry, ruby grapefruit. Undertones of thyme and white pepper. Every sip makes me smile from the brilliant acidity. This is really well done for the crispest style of Rosé wine. 42 cases made. A Very Good Value.
SKINNER Rosé, El Dorado 2017 $18
Spice/Earth/Fruit. 47% Grenache, 23% Mourvedre, 16% Counoise, 14% Cinsault. A Rhone-style “purposeful” Rosé from El Dorado/Sierra Foothills. I like the subtle yet obvious smells and flavors of fresh peaches, strawberries, black pepper, orange fleshed melon and orange zest. Very pleasing. What truly sets this Rosé apart from the masses is its round texture, ideal acidity and delicious, apparent Rosé flavors. Bright and refreshing without being severe. Awesome Value (one of my very best value picks).
VIVIER Rosé of Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast 2017 $24
Fruit/herbs/floral. Pinot Noir’s wild cherry and violet/rose jump out on the nose along with some talc and blood orange. The taste is pure pleasure…a smack of melon, plum and red berry/cherry and bright acidity that lifts the fruitiness up a couple of notches. Has a lightness and tang that appeals to those that seek the driest style of Rosé, and the fruit to remind you what wine is made from. Great Value.
BELHARRA Rosé of Syrah, Los Carneros 2017 $23
Darker/stronger. Ripe raspberry, black pepper, pomegranate and dried lavender hit the nose quick. Taste more of the same along with some dark strawberry and candied orange peel. Medium-bodied for Rosé, freshness from cool-climate acidity, robust enough to pair with grilled, full-flavored meats and vegis (as expected from Syrah Rosé). If you’re having a Rose themed dinner party, start with something lighter (like the Vivier) and then move to Belharra. Great Value.