Written by Willa Van Nostrand and Kat Cummings. Photographs by Angel Tucker.
If you’re anything like us, you’ve been sipping your way through a rainbow of rosés since early spring, imbibing pure joy with each taste. Lucky then, that the recent fervor for rosé has lead many winemakers to begin experimenting with new cuvées, and, in some cases, dedicating entire vineyards to rosé production. But if you’re tired of sipping the same old stuff, there’s good news: The bottles below are perfect for refreshing your palate in the dog days of summer. Priced between $12 and $35, they’re great for entertaining, pairing with a meal, or just guzzling at the beach. Now go get your paws on a bottle of pink, and continue to celebrate the season!
1. Matthiasson Rosé, Northern California, 2016
Tasting Notes: Delicate white blossoms, Rainier cherries, night jasmine. Fresh herbs and blood orange zest.
Texture: Clean, white marble, a sunrise on a glassy lake.
Pairing: Late afternoon, frittata with summer squash and young pecorino garnished with chive blossoms because you just finished working in the garden and you’re sitting outside next to the raspberry patch, toasting that good work.
Matthiasson rosé is a certified organic blend of grenache, syrah, mourvèdre, sauvignon blanc, and counoise made by husband and wife team Steve and Jill Klein Matthiasson. These farmers turned winemakers make beautiful, precise wines with very little manipulation. Steve literally wrote the manual on California’s sustainable agriculture practices and Jill studied botany, ancient farming methods, and traditional techniques for soil health. The Matthiassons are farmers first and they firmly believe that healthy soil and vines make the best wines. We love the large format magnum for summertime entertaining, but a traditional 750 ml bottle gets the job done, too.
Find it by the glass: Fortnight Cooperative & Wine Bar
2. Kruger Rumpf Rosé, Münster-Sarmsheim, Germany, 2016
Tasting Notes: Brut, charming rose hips, alpine strawberry.
Texture: Vibrant, light sparkle on the tongue.
Pairing: Whole grilled fish, fresh garden greens tossed in good olive oil, lemon, and salt. Pour another glass and savor with a chocolate torte with fresh berries.
This is a delectably elegant wine. No herbicides or chemical fertilizers are used in farming, where cover crops are used to add nutrients to the soil in a permaculture farming tradition. This rosé is made with pinot noir grapes, using 80 percent assemblage and 20 percent saignée methods.
3. Isa, Le Chemins de Bassac, Languedoc, France, 2016
Tasting Notes: You just bit into the juiciest peach, fresh off of the tree in the backyard. Rich minerality, lively acidity.
Texture: Unctuous, slammin’ curves – lots of body, that is.
Pairing: Take this wine on a picnic! Sip it with a bowl of ripe red cherries as well as fresh peas, goat cheese, and basil on toast.
Isabel and Rémy Ducellier make Isa rosé, a certified organic blend of grenache noir, mourvèdre, and syrah. Each variety is vinified separately, using the saignée method, which makes it darker and more savory than other types of rosé. We refer to Isa as the ultimate crowd pleaser.
Buy it by the bottle: Newport Wine Cellar & Gourmet, Campus Fine Wines
Buy it by the glass: Loie Fuller’s
4. Ameztoi Rubentis, Spain, 2016
Tasting Notes: Sunshine and sea spray; a flower in an oyster shell. Beach rose. Tart and fruity.
Texture: Wavy and light; light sparkle.
Pairing: Fresh oysters. (We’re currently loving Walrus & Carpenter’s Afternoon Delights.) Follow with a crunchy salad made with shaved fennel, parmesan, and orange topped with Zeke’s Creek famous smoked salmon.
The Ameztoi family has been making wines for five generations in Getaria, a coastal town in northern Spain. This wine is made with a 50-50 blend of a couple of funny grape varieties, “Hondarrabi Zuri” and “Hondarrabi Beltza,” tiny golden grapes that are picked by hand at peak ripeness. This wine is limited, so get it while you can!
Drink a glass: Oberlin, Broadway Bistro
5. Domaine Rolet, Cotes du Jura “Aquarelle,” France, 2016
Tasting Notes: Mineral, tightly wound fruit that spirals into a bouquet of lightly scented poppies.
Texture: Taught, linear minerality. Delicate hazelnut on the nose.
Pairing: Perfect to ease into the dinner hour and sip while prepping meats and veggies for the grill. We also love this with a lemony grilled chicken Caesar salad with garlicky croutons and toasted pine nuts.
Made from the poulsard grape – a specialty of the region – this is the wine nerd’s favorite rosé, sustainably farmed and harvested by hand in Jura, a steep mountainous region east of Burgundy. Domaine Rolet is run by the four fabulous Rolet siblings, each playing their part: Bernard and Guy take care of the vines and vinification while Pierre and Eliane are in charge of marketing. The yields are small, but breathtaking.
6. Meinklang, Frizzante Rosé, Österreich, Austria, 2016
Tasting notes: Ebullient fresh fruit, ripe nectarine, wildflowers with a lick of honey.
Texture: Vibrant, teensy bubbles.
Pairing: We love any thing raw alongside this wine – be it crudo, steak tartar, or just a really fresh seared tuna. Pop a bottle on a special occasion, or make a weeknight glimmer with this bubbly.
Meinklang Frizzante Rosé is a certified biodynamic dry sparkling rosé made in Burgenland on the shores of Lake Neusiedl on the border of Austria and Hungary. The grapes are grown on an Angus farm, and the cows are a beautiful and essential part of the thriving, fertile landscape. This wine is so playful, you might even have to put on your favorite romper to sip it. You’ll rarely find us entertaining summer guests without a case of this on hand.
Buy a bottle: Newport Wine Cellar & Gourmet, Campus Fine Wines, Bottles
Drink a glass: North
Are you picking up what we’re pouring down? Join Willa and Kat to taste these and more delicious natural wines at Raw Wine at the Steelyard in Providence on Saturday, September 16. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.; the tasting starts at 6 p.m.
Thanks to Angel Tucker, the Wagner Family, Pheobe at Weatherlow Florals, and the most beautiful and charming Lulu Cummings.