There’s an old saying that April showers bring May flowers. In the case of this spring, the persisting rains have brought a collection of delightful dry rosé wines that rival any bouquet of flowers you could cull together from the field. If you ask me, dry rosé is something Texans should be drinking regularly during the warmer months of the year.
Red wines are lovely, but when the temperatures rise, they can be a little heavy to enjoy on the back patio. Instead, rosé, made from the runoff juice of red grapes that has been in contact with the skin for a short period of time to inherit the rosy color, is the perfect bridge wine for red wine lovers that want something a little less heavy, but don’t want to switch to white wine. Unlike many of the cloyingly sweet white Zinfandels that were all the rage in the 1980s, dry rosé is an entirely different enjoyment with classic examples hailing from the Southern regions of France and parts of Italy and Spain where rosado and rosatto wines are heralded as warm weather sippers.
In Italy, you often find them made with anything from Sangiovese to Montepulciano. In Spain, Tempranillo is a common find. In other parts of France and the U.S., Pinot Noir is a widely used grape, and in Southern France, Grenache, Cinsaut, and Mourvèdre are the grapes of choice. Not surprisingly, Texas winemakers have followed suit in their grape selection. And the results in a handful of cases have been remarkable.
Below are nine Texas dry rosé wines worth seeking out. Starting now, it’s time to drink pink!
$20, Winery Only
With a rich salmon tone, and a rush of floral and red berry aromatics, this Brennan rosé is as refreshing as it is structured. A pretty round palate with hints of tart raspberry and summer lemonade is rounded out with a pleasing finish. Try this with grilled salmon and salsa verde.
$16, Whip In and Austin Wine Merchant
This small production wine is a show stopper. Elegant and classy with notes of watermelon and lush canteloupe along with pretty notes of red strawberries and cherries, this wine prompted the pleasured cry, “Hello Gorgeous!” at first taste. Made by novice winemaker Rae Wilson, a certified sommelier and wine consultant in Austin, this little pink gem is a dandy, indeed, and proof of why there should be more sommeliers in winemaking.
$18, Winery Only
Redolent with concentrated aromas of ripe summer cherries and a hint of Luxardo Maraschino liqueur, this wine carries these fruit-forward notes broadly across the palate with a hint of tannin and a crisp, bone-dry finish. Made with Montepulciano grapes from Oswald Vineyards in the High Plains, this is what some might call a full-bodied rosé, perfect for fajitas or a summer steak.
$25, Winery Only
Made mainly of Cinsaut with a hint of Mourvèdre, this bashfully pink wine offers aromatic hints of silken rose petals and macerated strawberries. The palate is rushed with an intensity of tart lemon that settles into a refreshing, fruity finish. Try this with grilled salmon or peppery shrimp kabobs.
~$25, Select restaurants across the state
For those diving into a spicy dish, or who prefer something with a hint of sweetness, this rosé of Grenache from Llano Estacado is a treat. Flush with pink floral notes and a swirl of cherries and cream, this wine has a zesty lemon palate that lifts the broad fruity tones. While a touch of sugar is detected, the balance of this wine makes for a pleasant experience and a welcome addition to spicy Thai or grilled fish with a piquant jalapeño chimmichurri.
$24, Winery only
Leading with notes of strawberries and cream, followed by a touch of lemon zest and pale pink field flowers, this wine is a delightful patio sipper with notable fruity characters as well as zippy acidity. Pair with lemon and herb-grilled chicken and roasted potatoes.
$11, Winery as well as Spec’s, Central Market and Whole Foods
There’s a lot to be said for consistency. And when it comes to dry rosé, Kim McPherson is as solid as an oak in his vision for this classic style of wine. Brimming with notes of ripe summer watermelon, delicate rose petals and candied lemon rind, this wine is fresh, fruity, and just a tad tart. A perfect warm weather sipper that will leave you wanting more.
$24, Winery Only
Made from an Italian grape often referred to as the “little sweet one,” this wine is anything but sweet, yet opulent in fruit and refreshing appeal. Just bottled by the San Saba winery, this rosé offers lush notes of strawberries in whipped cream zested with lemon rind.
$28, Winery Only
Rich in color, almost like Tavel wines from the Côtes du Rhône, this wine was made from whole clusters of Syrah grapes, rather than grapes that have been destemmed and crushed. The result is a slightly more delicate wine that in this case reveals a much richer concentration of red berry characteristics along with a pretty perfumed roses. This is a prim and proper wine with a palate that is as manicured as it is meticulous showing beautiful fruit, balanced acidity and a hint of salinity that makes a perfect wine for pairing.