When I first started drinking, I tried so hard to make sure my go-to bar orders made me look “cool.” My choice was based on the “not like other girls” syndrome that had been pushed into my brain—the toxic villainization of femininity that made me think that while other girls might order fruity cocktails, I’ll take a whiskey on the rocks, please, because I’m not like them, and I don’t care if I don’t enjoy even a second of drinking it.
It’s the same backwards logic that caused rosé wine to be unfairly maligned as “basic” and “girly.” For many years, I was under that spell and made a point to avoid rosé. And it was so many years wasted, now that I know the truth—rosé is delicious and everyone should drink it.
There’s a reason the phrase “rosé all day” has become a cliché—rosé is an anytime drink. Light and fruity, it goes down easy. The menu at Lush Wine & Spirits, a Chicago wine bar, playfully refers to one varietal of rosé as “Adult Kool-Aid,” and it’s an apt description. Don’t we deserve something as refreshing and ubiquitous in our lives now as Kool-Aid was when we were kids?
And in the years since the first rosé boom, the varieties available are becoming countless not just in wine style, but appearance too. Decrying typical wine packaging, rosé comes in bottles of all shapes and sizes showing off a range of attractive pink hues, and even when the bottle’s empty you’re left with something beautiful to marvel at, more so than most other varieties of wine. And you can easily enjoy your rosé still or sparkling. It’s no longer just a summer sipper—these days, there’s a rosé for everything.
Before I became an avid rosé drinker, I assumed that every bottle of the stuff would taste like Sunset Blush Franzia—that’s to say, alarmingly sweet with little depth. If that’s a flavor you enjoy, there’s certainly a rosé out there for you, but if not, don’t be turned off by thinking that’s the only option. Wine Insiders describes the four main categories of rosé and what they pair best with:
- Light rosé: The palest pink is also the most versatile, with flavors of grapefruit and strawberry, and can be paired with just about anything. Try my favorite, La Vieille Ferme Rosé.
- Light, medium, floral rosé: A more herbaceous wine, this flavor goes great with grilled meats. Go for the Miraval Rosé.
- Medium, full, and round rosé: This rosé is going to be a slightly darker pink, with a stronger berry taste. Pour yourself a glass to go with chicken, pork, veggies, or salads. Bodini’s Rosé of Malbec should do the trick.
- Full, rich, and savory rosé: Here’s where the wine gets closest to red with a more savory flavor, and therefore is perfect for your red meats, barbecue-sauced foods, and pizza. Pour a glass of the Domaine Pelaquie Tavel Rosé.
Like other wines, rosés also vary in taste based on region (France’s Rhone Valley, for example, is focused entirely on dry wines) and grape style. With so many possibilities, it’s time to get to tasting to find the perfect one for you. Leave your preconceived notions of rosé behind—it’s time for everyone to embrace this pink drink.