Lighter, lovely wines for summer.
At a time when wine sales are falling off in the 25-34 age category, as younger drinkers opt for cocktails both classic and craft, sales of rosé remain noticeably strong — particularly in warmer months. In the past 15 years, the number of rosé options in Oklahoma has increased from a small handful in the mid-’00s to hundreds of SKUs today. Increased options come with increased choice paralysis as consumers try to make sense of labels, varietals, color variations and regions.
For the summer months, rosé makes an excellent choice because it keeps some of the character of a red wine — especially in terms of dryness and tannins — in a chillable, quaffable alternative to heavy California, French and Italian reds. We’ve compiled a list of some excellent, affordable options in some of your favorite red (and red-ish) varietal categories. The list is French-heavy because while Greece originated the concept, France perfected the art of making rosé and continues to offer the best wines available.
Chateau Thivin Beaujolais. The best word to describe this Gamay rosé is lovely. It’s heavy on fruit and long on balance, so it’s easy to drink and easy to love.
Domaine de Fonsainte Gris de Gris. This Corbieres winery also makes one of the best reds to introduce people to French wines, and the rosé is equally approachable. Year to year, it remains one of the most popular choices thanks to its juicy fruit profile.
Domaine de Pallus Messanges. This Loire Valley rosé of Cabernet Franc is the most bracing on the list, with all the grippiness of the varietal mixed with tons of floral notes and zippy acidity.
Peyrassol Cuvee des Commandeurs. The Provence rosés are usually instantly recognizable due to their pale pink color. They tend to be lighter with less obvious fruit, but they’re also easy to enjoy. The Peyrassol is right down the middle of Provence style with a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah.
Château de Trinquevedel. If there is such a thing as an OG in the rosé category, this is that wine, at least by Oklahoma standards in that it was one of the first bottles in the state. It comes from the Tavel region, famous for producing only rosé wines, and this one is a Grenache-heavy blend of five varietals.
Lorenza Rosé. Produced by a mother-daughter team, Lorenza bears a California appellation, but the grapes are sourced from excellent old vines from well-known vineyards. The wine itself is Mourvedre dominant, but has three other Rhone varietals, including Carignan to add juiciness.
Scarpetta Frico. Sangiovese makes a light, drinkable rosé, and its character is obvious in this very affordable, light wine produced by the chef-sommelier team of Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson and Bobby Stuckey (M.S.).
Wine shops that carry a good French rosé selection aren’t common, but Edmond Wine Shop, Coffee Creek Wine Shop, Freeman’s Liquor Mart, George’s and Spirit Shop in Norman all carry a good selection, or you can have your favorite wine shop order for you.