The Dozen Vol. 26 No. 08

The Dozen – Rosés Place at the Table

Its subdued fruitiness, accentuated acidity, and relative lack of complexity makes rosé a great food wine.


Usually, by the time a trendy wine gets accepted, interest in it falls off proportionately. So after several seasons of gee-whiz publicity and sales growth, rosé is no longer big news but just another stat to be charted. And is anyone even paying attention to whether Brad or Angelina gets final control of Miraval, their Provencal love child, or whether Brad will be accused of bottle abuse?

But what I am interested in is how rosés, as well as Champagnes and other sparklers, are still considered to be primarily summer sipping wines or as a checklist item served at grand events. Yet rosés, again like Champagnes, are ideal table wines because their acidity is accented while fruitiness is diminished. The structure of most rosés, especially those made from the tarter grapes of the Mediterranean, allows them to be perfect food companions because (a) they balance the richness of food and (b) their subdued fruitiness doesn’t detract us from the food. We often pay them little mind at the table because they blend in well.

Here are a dozen from an array of different grapes, one of them having the advantage of being both a rosé and a Champagne.

2020 de Negoce Alexander Valley Rosé of Sangiovese ($13). Enjoyable – dark in color with robust cherry flavor and good minerality.

2021 Garofoli “Kómaros” Marche Rosato ($14). From Montepulciano grapes, it has rich strawberry and fresh cherry fruitiness with a bit of mint and a fresh finish.

2021 La Valentina Cerasuolo D’Abruzzo ($14). Fairly full-bodied with strawberry and citrus flavors and a crisp finish.

2021 Masseria Li Veli “Torrerose” Negroamaro Rosato Salento ($15).  Smooth, clean, and a touch of creaminess with good acidity.

2021 Sant’Antonio “Scaia” Veneto Rosato ($15). Lightish, lean, orangish with a bit of a flavor hole in the middle as it crosses the palate.

2021 Chateau des Sarrins Côtes de Provence Rosé ($22). Crisp flavors of wood strawberries and orange peel, light in body but with good impact.

2021 Masseria Li Veli “Askos” Susumaniello Rosato Salento ($23). A mellow pink with good candied-fruit flavors.

2021 Evening Land “Seven Springs” Eola-Amity Hills Rosé of Pinot Noir ($30). Lots of refreshing acidity to go along with its citrus flavors.

2021 Epoch Paso Robles Rosé ($32). A Rhone blend, very well made, with vibrant citrus and strawberry flavors and a good structure and finishing acidity.

2021 Alma Rosa Sta. Rita Hills Vin Gris of Pinot Noir ($35). A vin “gris” is one of many shades of rosé – gris-ish – and this one is a tightly structured gris with green apple and herbal flavors. Although light-bodied, its structure nevertheless allows it to pair with substantial foods.  

2021 Brecon Estate Paso Robles Rosé ($40). Piquant strawberry marries light orange citrus with a long finish.

NV Lanson “Le Rosé” Champagne Brut Rosé ($66). Well-balanced, medium-weight, with red berry and citrus flavors, a hint of whey and tart acidity.

Prices listed are generally SRP or from As more wineries are now shipping direct-to-consumer, check the winery website if you can’t find a bottle in your retail store.

Feature photo is courtesy of Chateau des Sarrins.

Roger Morris writes about wine, food and travel for The World of Fine Wine, Drinks Business, Meininger's Wine Business International, Wine Enthusiast and other publications in the U.S. and Europe.

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