We often talk about white wine and red wine, but what about rosé? I often refer to rosé as “the forgotten wine style,” but it is not to be overlooked. Rosés suffer from a bad reputation for being overly sweet, and an outdated and incorrect perception that they are only for women—not true! Many of today’s rosé wines are being made in a dry style that appeals to all sexes.
Fruit flavours can be focussed and beautiful. Texture can be crisp and refreshing. And with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, why not share a bottle of pink with your special someone this year? Please find here just a few of my picks for great rosé wines being produced in Niagara’s wine country.
13th Street Winery’s 2017 Pink Palette – $15.95
13th Street Winery’s 2017 Pink Palette is light in body and showcases flavours of strawberry and cherry. It is dry, coming in at 4.6 grams of sugar per litre of wine (a level 0 on the LCBO sweetness scale), and it is high in acidity, making it very refreshing. 2017 Pink Palette is made from 100% Cabernet Franc grapes, a varietal that grows especially well in Niagara’s cooler climate as it is naturally an early ripener. This rosé is a great choice for anyone who enjoys wines that are dry, fruit-forward, and refreshing.
Di Profio Estate Wines’ 2017 Gamay Rosé – $18.95
In recent years, Niagara has begun to be recognized as a region capable of producing great wines from Gamay Noir. Not familiar with Gamay Noir? If you have ever enjoyed Beaujolais, then you have been drinking Gamay Noir from France. This grape is known for making wines that are very light in body with flavours of strawberry and earth. Di Profio Estate Wines’ 2017 Gamay Rosé is one of the best examples of Gamay Noir I have ever enjoyed. Very light in body and very dry, it boasts flavours of juicy red raspberry and finishes with a significant amount of black pepper. In spite of its light body, the flavours are layered and complex, making this a meaty rosé to be enjoyed slowly so that you may savour all that it has to say. This wine is the proof that not all rosés are sweet, fruity, and one-dimensional. Do not waste this wine on any old visitor who comes by your house. Save it to be shared with someone who will appreciate it.
Vieni Estate’s Momenti Sparkling Rosé – $16.95
Vieni Estate’s Momenti Sparkling Rosé is light to medium in body with a crisp texture and flavour of ripe strawberries and a tad of honey. It is off-dry in sweetness, coming in at 18 grams of sugar per litre of wine, or a level 1 on the LCBO sweetness scale. The bubbles are made using the Charmat method, which means that the bubbles are created under pressure in a large tank before bottling, as opposed to the Traditional method which is when the bubbles are created in each individual bottle of wine. The Charmat method is less laborious and is therefore a more cost effective way to produce sparkling wine. The bubbles will be slightly larger and the wine will taste fresher and fruitier without the bready or yeasty characteristics that are the hallmark of Champagne. This sparkling rosé is sure to please anyone with a taste for sweeter, fruitier wines, and at only 11.3% alcohol by volume, you can afford to enjoy that extra glass.
As you can see, rosés come in a wide variety of styles, just like white and red wines. Whether it be something fresh and fruity, something bubbly, or something earthy with spice, there is a rosé wine to suit all tastes.
Keep the romance going after Valentine’s Day this winter by visiting the wineries of Niagara with your special someone. Join a tour with Niagara Vintage Wine Tours and let us do the driving! You will taste many great wines from the region and learn about Niagara’s wine industry from one of our Wine Smart Guides. Contact our guest services agents today at 1-866-628-5428.
Michael Twyman – Sommelier and Niagara Wine Country Guide for Niagara Vintage Wine Tours and Bootleggers
* The opinions and recommendations in this article are solely those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect Niagara Vintage Wine Tours.