Rosé is a dry wine made from red grapes, best served chilled. The winemaker only lets the juice ferment with the skins long enough to pick up a little pink tinge. The juice is then separated and fermentation is completed. Rosé is more like red wine than white, with all the components and complexities of red, but less color and age-ability. These should not be confused with their sweet pink counterparts—white zinfandel and white shiraz.
Selections available at Solo Vino, 517 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 651-602-9515
Saintsbury Vincent Vin Gris 2004 (Carneros, CA), $13.99
This dry rosé has a lot going on. Pale and complex, with a touch of oak, a little tannin, a big California chardonnay mouthfeel, nice fruit, and dry full finish. Try with kebabs off the grill.
Artazuri 2003 (Navarra, Spain), $9.49
This wine smells like strawberries, with a touch of smoke. Lush fruit with a little earthiness on the tongue. It’s crisp and clean, with a dry finish. Pair with a selection of cheeses, cold sausages, or maybe a great gazpacho.
Domaine de la Mordoree Tavel 2004 (Rhone Valley, France), $22.99
Tavel is a rosé-only district. This beautiful, mostly grenache, wine is deep pink in color with bright red berry fruit and lots of guts. Perfect with gazpacho or barbecue.
Dampierre Chenay NV (Champagne, France), $51.99
This pinot noir and chardonnay blend has fantastic body. You need to taste rosé Champagne to understand what the big deal is. A great example of a complex and delicious Champagne that can take you through an entire meal and complement each dish along the way.
Bill Coy runs Vintage U, which organizes wine tastings, classes, and events for corporate groups, wine enthusiasts, and the general public. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.