Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.
When it comes to pink wine, there’s one basic thing to know: White Zinfandel is not the same thing as dry rosé. White Zin - and its various blush-wine brethren - is somewhat sweet; when you think of a White Zin, think of the pink hue of cotton candy, and you won’t be far off, tastewise. Dry rosé, on the other hand, is crisp, zesty and not sweet at all.
Unfortunately, the massive popularity of White Zin over the years did a number on people’s perception of rosés in general, sort of the way Jar Jar Binks corrupted the aesthetic legitimacy of the entire Star Wars universe. Thankfully, just as the doofus horror of J.J.B. has ebbed over time, so has the permeating sense that all rosés are sweet.
In fact, dry rosés are an ideal springtime wine. As far as I’m concerned, they’re meant to be drunk outdoors - whether at a picnic, al fresco at a restaurant, or simply on a porch or in a backyard. The longer, sunnier days ask for something in the glass that you can see through; and the light, berry-to-watermelon fruit notes of most rosés taste like springtime too. So, with that in mind, here are a few great bottles to look for.
2012 Librandi Cirò Rosato ($13)
2012 Domaine de Malavieille Charmille ($14)
2012 Domaine de Nizas ($14)
2012 Pink Pégau ($20)
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