Wine Lover: Summertime is time for rosé wine
by Austin Twohig
May 19, 2011 | 2343 views | 5 5 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Summer is fast approaching, and its time to stock up on your rosé.

“Rosé?” you might ask. “I thought rosé was a cheap sweet wine best known for its popularity in the ’70s?”

On the contrary, rosé is the perfect summertime wine. It is usually a simple dry wine (the cheap bottles are sometimes sweet) that is best when chilled and easy to indulge in. It’s not a wine you would have at the dinner table, but it’s certainly a wine you would sip while sitting in a lawn chair.

Rosé is always made from red grapes, and you can make rosé from just about any red grape, although it is rarely made from the heavier varietals, because it is meant to be a simple, light-bodied wine. When a red wine is made, the juice is left on the grape skins for up to two weeks so that it can absorb all the color, flavor and tannin possible during fermentation. When a rosé is made, the juice is left on the skins for a limited period of time, maybe only a couple of hours. Then, the juice is pumped off the skins and left to ferment on its own. Those couple of hours with the skins are enough time to make the wine pink; however, the rosé doesn’t exude the tannin or complexity that a red wine would.

Most decent rosés will be almost complete dry and in the $15 to $25 price range. They are always light-bodied and can have varying characteristics, like cotton-candy, mint, strawberry, herbs and cherries. The good ones will have light acidity to help balance them. If rosé were an actress, she would be Tara Reid.

Some local rosé producers include Hunter Hill, Poetic Cellars, Hallcrest Vineyards and Bonny Doon.

Also, if you ever come across a rosé from a French producer named Bandol, buy it immediately. It’s the best rosé I have ever had — and, quite frankly, one of the most balanced wines I’ve ever tasted. Cheers!

Austin Twohig is a certified sommelier and partner in The Santa Cruz Experience, which conducts winery tours in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Contact him at

Comments-icon Post a Comment
Police suck Educatio
May 23, 2011
n money. Plain and simple. Exponential pay. Retire decades earlier. Pay should be just like military service. Less demanding, less education, less moves to undesirable places. Should be like the draft. Serve long enough to get education benefits. Think not, just look at the names on the list, and what they cost the taxpayers. No where else would they qualify for 1/2 what they get. Not even in boom times. Now automated robotic computerized plate readers eliminated 1/2 their job, lets eliminate the other 1/2. Just like teachers, pink slip, eliminate, delete positions.
Grammar Martha
May 23, 2011
Grammar people! Please!
Word Police
May 22, 2011
If you knew who I was, I'd say the same thing to you. Polite intimidation is just as acrimonious and minor impoliteness, worse actually. This means, they yes, your wrong! Imagine that? Actual Wine Guy is welcome to his opinion, just the way it is.
Bill Dunn
May 20, 2011
I just can't help but wonder that if you were using your real name, you might find a way to express your thoughts in a more polite manner.
an actual wine guy
May 20, 2011
Austin, a "certified sommelier" should know that Bandol is a French AOC region in Provence, not a producer.

You are probably referring to the producer Domaine Tempier.

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