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For a classic Provençal rosé wine that checks all of the boxes for a refreshing and elegant sipper, try Chateau d'Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé. For an affordable option that is also a great introduction to rosé wines, try Le Grand Noir Rosé. These are both perfect choices to pair with food, as they are bursting with fresh fruit and with a nice balance of acid.
Pretty in pink, rosé wine is an exciting and diverse category. While it's often associated with the sweetness of inexpensive White Zinfandel, this style of wine is no one-trick-pony, and there is so much more to discover.
Rosé wines are made all over the world from a plethora of different grape varieties. The most common styles of rosé are generally dry, though sweet expressions do exist. The specific color of a given rosé is based on the amount of time that the skins have spent with the juice—though contrary to popular belief, darker-hued rosés are not always sweeter. Rosé wines are also produced in both still and sparkling formats. Due to their low tannins, high acid, and fruit-forward nature, rosé—whether still or sparkling—is one of the most versatile, food-friendly wine styles on the planet.
From sparkling bubbles to dry French Provençal rosés, here are some of the best rosé wine bottles that you'll want to have chilled and ready to drink.
Best Overall: Chateau d'Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé
Backed by the esteem of France’s Provence de Côtes appellation, Chateau d’Esclans often receives credit for the renewed interest in rosé wines worldwide. While it enjoys top-of-its-class status, it’s not overpriced and is surprisingly easy to find.
The most common word used to describe Whispering Angel is “delicious” and that comes from both red and white wine enthusiasts and the toughest wine critics. It is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Carignan, and Vermentino grapes sourced from local vineyards and handled with the utmost care. The wine has a classic dry and crisp profile indicative of the French region, with bright citrus, peach, and orange blossom notes. It’s an excellent wine pairing for any meal and offers an amazing experience when enjoyed on its own.
Region: Provence, France | Variety: Grenache, Cinsault, Rolle (Vermentino) | Tasting notes: Bright citrus, peach, orange blossom
"I can't say enough good things about this rosé—it's simply the best. It's perfectly dry but still strikes the right balance of refreshing and fruity and, for me, that tastes like summer in a glass. It was honestly love at first sip and has become my go-to for summer happy hours." — Mary Kate Hoban, Senior Editor
Best Cheap: Le Grand Noir Rosé
Le Grand Noir Rosé is a beautiful and affordable introduction to rosé wines. Made primarily of Grenache grapes and backed by Shiraz, it comes from Minervois in southern France, a region better known for its red wines. Encompassing the tastes of summer and with a price tag that hovers around $10, this is a bottle to keep around for hot days and patio soirées.
This rosé’s profile is a nice balance of sweet and dry, so it’s enjoyable for nearly any palate. The aroma holds bold raspberries and strawberries while the taste emphasizes the red fruits with nice acidity and a hint of spice. Overall, it’s simply a refreshing, crisp wine that will set any summer dinner off in style. Pair it with grilled salmon or a fresh summer salad.
Region: Languedoc, France | Variety: Chardonnay (85%), Viognier (15%) | Tasting notes: Currant, berry, oak, mango, ginger
If there is a wine that offers fuss-free food pairings, it is rosé. These pink wines will go with almost anything, from red meat to poultry to seafood, and salads, sides, and all sorts of desserts. Some of the best pairings are light foods, or those commonly thought of as summer fare.
Rosé can handle barbecue foods, too, and offers a nice, refreshing contrast to all those bold flavors of the grill. For desserts, enhance the rosé’s strawberry notes with bright, fresh, and fruity desserts like tarts. The drier sparkling rosés are also fabulous with luscious chocolate treats. When a summer snack on the patio is in order, pair rosé with goat or feta cheese.
Best Sweet: Castello del Poggio Sweet Rosé
When you're looking for a sweet, budget-friendly rosé, turn to Castello del Poggio Sweet Rosé. It comes from an Italian winery that specializes in sweet wines, including some nice Moscatos, so you know they do it right.
This lovely rosé is sweet, but it's also invigorating and delicately approachable. You’ll enjoy an array of light fruits like cantaloupe, white peach, and pomegranate, and an acidity that complements its sweetness. It's nice with any summer cuisine and makes an excellent dessert wine, especially with strawberries or ice cream. This rosé is also ideal for wine cocktails; try it in a rosé berry bliss to instantly brighten up any party.
Region: Piedmont, Italy | Variety: Moscato Bianco (51%), Pinot Noir (49%) | Tasting notes: Floral, berry, apricot, tropical fruit
Best Dry: Argyle Pinot Noir Rose 2020
Although Oregon’s Willamette Valley is regarded as one of the best wine-producing areas in the United States today, such wasn’t always the case. However, forward-thinking vintner Rollin Soles saw immense potential in this cool-climate region and founded Argyle back in 1987. Over the past 35 years, Argyle has become one of the leading producers of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Oregon, both in still and sparkling formats.
The estate’s varietal Rosé of Pinot Noir is sourced from two sites, the Knudsen and Spirit Hill vineyards, located within the Dundee Hills and Eola-Amity Hills, respectively. Flavors of red fruits, wildflowers, and earth jump from this textured and complex wine, which promises to have even the most skeptic of rosé drinkers thinking twice. Pair with a variety of foods, from seafood and salads to heartier appetizers, grilled poultry, cured meats, and more.
Region: Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA | Variety: Pinot Noir | Tasting notes: Red fruits, wildflowers, earth
Best Sparkling: Lini 910 Labrusca Lambrusco Rose
Sparkling rosé is produced all over the world, and some of the most interesting expressions come from areas you may least expect it—enter Emilia-Romagna, home to Italy’s famed Lambrusco production. While best known for its red-hued expressions, well-made rosé examples offer some of the most pleasurable drinking experiences on the planet.
Crafted from a 50/50 blend of two local clones of the Lambrusco grape, Lini’s pink expression jumps with flavors of strawberry, white cherry, watermelon, and sweet spice. This bubbly wine is vinified using the Charmat method—otherwise known as the tank method—which is the same process used to create Prosecco. Fresh and vibrant, these bright, fruit-driven wines are best enjoyed in their youth.
Region: Emilia-Romagna, Italy | Variety: Lambrusco Salamino (50%), Lambrusco Sorbara (50%) | Tasting Notes: Strawberry, white cherry, watermelon, sweet spice
Best French: Domaine Montrose Solis Lumen Rose 2021
Based in the sunny south of France, Domaine Montrose is one of the region’s most beloved producers of sustainable, budget-friendly wines. Solis Lumen is an organic and carbon-neutral cuvée that was crafted with both flavor and respect for the environment in mind—even the wine’s label, which boasts the Mediterranean Sea and bright sunshine, pays homage to the fundamental elements that make up this highly underrated region.
On the palate, flavors of cranberry, strawberry skin, blood orange, and grapefruit lead to a long and refreshing finish. The wine is available in both lightweight glass bottles and recyclable can options, meaning that enjoying it on the go (and with an environmentally-friendly outlook) has never been easier. Pop chilled by the pool or at your next picnic for a seriously refreshing drinking experience.
Region: Languedoc, France | Variety: Grenache (80%), Cinsault (20%) | Tasting notes: Cranberry, strawberry skin, blood orange, grapefruit
Best Californian: A Tribute to Grace Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard Rose of Grenache 2021
A Tribute to Grace is the brainchild of New Zealand-born Angela Osborne, a former film student with a serious passion for wine. After working in wine retail to pay her bills during college, Osborne decided to try her hand at working harvest in California. Not only did she fall in love with the Golden State, but she also became fully bit by the winemaking bug while there! Osborne’s love for the vine—particularly high-altitude Grenache—ultimately led her to abandon her dreams of filmmaking and take to the vineyard instead.
After officially moving to California, Osborne began working with some of the most interesting, high-altitude vineyard sites in the state, located in Santa Barbara County to the Sierra Foothills and beyond. Fruit for this refreshing rosé of Grenache comes from soaring altitudes of 3,200 feet, sourced from a sustainably-farmed vineyard owned by Laetitia Vineyard and Winery (Osborne leases three rows). This SIP-certified sustainable wine sees 24 hours of skin contact and ferments for approximately 50 days prior to aging for 13 weeks sur-lie in stainless steel. Expect flavors of red currants, watermelon rind, red apple skin, and wet stones to pop from this pale-hued, easy-drinking wine.
Region: Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California | Variety: Grenache | Tasting notes: Red currants, watermelon rind, red apple skin, wet stones
Best Spanish: Gaintza Txakolina Rosé 2021
Never heard of Txakolina Rosé before? If you love spritzy, easy-drinking pinks that promise to mentally transport you to the sun-drenched shores of northern Spain, then these wines need to be on your radar. Produced in the Getaria area of the Basque Country, these refreshing, slightly effervescent wines are beloved by industry folk and consumers alike—and upon first taste, there’s a good chance you’ll be hooked, too.
Founded in 1923, Gaintza is a family-owned estate now operated by fourth-generation Joseba. The property comprises 25 hectares of sustainably-farmed vines planted in limestone and clay-loam soils, from which fruit for this tasty wine hails. On the palate, flavors of tart red berries, chalk, and saline lead to a zingy, pleasantly prickly finish. Fair warning, this could be your new go-to summer wine.
Region: Getaria (Basque Country), Spain | Variety: Hondarrabi Beltza (60%), Hondarrabi Zuri (40%) | Tasting notes: Tart red berries, chalk, saline
Rosé wines are known as rosado in Spanish and Portuguese, and rosato in Italian. If you see some variation of “ros” on a wine bottle label, and the wine’s pink, it’s a rosé.
Best Boxed: Bota Box Dry Rosé
Today’s boxed wine is not what it was a few decades ago, and there are some rather impressive finds. In the rosé category, Bota Box is a top choice. It’s available in a 3-liter box (equivalent to four standard wine bottles), a 1.5-liter “brick” (two bottles), and adorable mini boxes for those who are curious or simply want a few glasses of wine. The sustainable packaging keeps the wine fresh for up to 30 days once open.
Bota Box Dry Rosé has affordability and freshness on its side, but the quality is a big hurdle with any boxed wine. This California winery does not sacrifice taste for convenience. This is a drier rosé with a nice amount of sweetness. It’s crisp and easy to drink, with tempting raspberry and strawberry flavors. Many wine drinkers who typically don’t prefer rosé or boxed wine (or both) find it notably pleasant.
Region: California, USA | Variety: Field Blend | Tasting notes: Strawberry cake, grapefruit zest
Best Canned: Underwood Rosé Bubbles
Don't knock canned wines until you've tried the newest crop available, especially if it has the name Underwood on the label! The brand does both the rosé and canned wine trends justice. When it comes to sipping on the go, you will be hard-pressed to beat Rosé Bubbles.
No matter where your adventures take you, this rosé can keep you enjoying life with a glass (er, can) of bubbly. It's light, refreshing, and has a beautiful fruit bouquet that's perfect with any barbecue foods. Available in four packs, it’s important to remember that each can is equal to half a bottle of wine. Drink it slowly and enjoy each sparkling sip.
Region: Oregon, USA | Variety: Pinot Gris-dominant with Pinot Noir, Muscat, & Riesling | Tasting notes: Pink grapefruit, strawberry, watermelon
For a taste of rosé as it is meant to be, Chateau d’Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé is a wine that everyone should try. If you’re on a budget, Le Grand Noir Rosé will not let you down, either. Tasting the rosados of Spain should definitely be in your rosé adventures and the recommendation from Bodegas Muga is a great wine to begin that journey.
What to Look for in Rosé Wines
Dry or Sweet
All rosés have a floral, strawberry-like taste and generally have low tannins, but they range from rather dry to very sweet. Unlike red and white wines, you can’t rely on a grape varietal to indicate the wine’s taste, and it’s not always clearly marked on the label. This definitely makes selecting a rosé that fits your palate tricky.
Always read the winemaker’s notes for a taste profile, and look for familiar grapes (some rosés are single grapes and others are blends). The driest rosé wines come from the driest red wine grapes—Grenache, Cinsault, and Shiraz, for instance—and these should dominate in blended rosés. French Provençal wines are among the driest available. For sweet wines, White Zinfandel will never let you down, and the rosados of Portugal are known for their sweetness.
When selecting sparkling wines, keep in mind that frizzante means it has a gentle sparkle, and brut means “dry.”
Rosé is always pink. As you explore these wines, you’ll quickly notice that some are very pale pink while others are deep pink, almost the color of red wine. The color is determined by the way the wine is made and the grapes that are used. Wines from Provence are the lightest, followed by Pinot Noir rosés, then Spain’s Tempranillo rosés, and White Zinfandel falls in the middle. On the dark side, there are rosés made from Merlot, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Shiraz (respectively in color). France’s Tavel region is known for producing the darkest rosés that are especially appealing to red wine drinkers.
What is rosé wine?
If white wine comes from white grapes and red wine from red grapes, rosé must come from pink grapes, right? Nature doesn’t make pink grapes, and rosé wines are actually made from red grapes. This style of wine is more about the winemaker’s method than grape varietals.
There are four different methods to producing rosé wine. One leaves the grape skins in the juice for a short time. Another creates a lighter color by pressing the juice and skins and removing the skins right away. For the saingée process, a little red wine juice is bled off and used for red wine, while the remainder becomes a lighter-colored rosé. In contrast, some wines, including many Rosé Champagnes, are actually a blend of red and white wines.
Is rosé wine sweet?
White Zinfandel is responsible for the misconception that all pink wine is sweet. That is definitely not the case and you will find that many rosé wines are as dry as any Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir.
How many calories are in rosé wine?
Rosé wines typically have fewer calories than red or white wines. The average is around 140 calories for a six-ounce glass of rosé wine. A good rule of thumb is that the lower the alcohol content in a wine, the fewer the calories. On the other side, sweeter wines have more residual sugars, and therefore, more calories.
Should rosé wine be chilled?
It is preferred to serve rosé wines chilled. Most do well at around 50 degrees Fahrenheit, which requires about 30 minutes in the refrigerator. For sparkling rosés, give the bottle at least 40 minutes so it reaches at least 45 degrees Fahrenheit, or serve them ice-cold.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Colleen Graham is a food and beverage writer with over a decade of experience writing about cocktails, beer, and wine. She is the author of two books, including “Rosé Made Me Do It,” which profiles the pink wine and explores fun cocktail recipes that feature it.
Vicki Denig is a wine, spirits, and travel journalist based between New York and Paris. Her writing regularly appears in major industry publications, including Liquor.com, WineSearcher, Decanter, and beyond. Vicki also works with a prestigious Rolodex of monthly clients, including Paris Wine Company, Becky Wasserman & Co, Corkbuzz, Provignage, and beyond. She is a Certified Specialist of Wine. When not writing, Vicki enjoys indoor cycling classes and scoping out dogs to pet in her local parks.