Updated November 2021
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Buying guide for best rosé wine

When you’re in the mood for a relaxing adult beverage but can’t choose between red wine and white, why not compromise and enjoy a bit of both? Rosé is a pink wine made around the world from any number of grape varietals and blends, resulting in a delicious drink that may be sweet, savory, fruity, or dry. Just like red and white wines, there are many different varieties of rosé, meaning that whatever your palate preferences you’re likely to find a rosé for you.

There are a few different ways to make rosé, although the pink color is always achieved by allowing red grape skins to macerate with their juices. The winemaker can control how long this process takes, resulting in lighter shades of pink or deeper hues that trend toward red. Rosés are served chilled like white wines and are perfect for al fresco drinking in warm weather.

Our buying guide goes in-depth on the versatility of rosé and all its various fruity, floral, and spicy flavors. For our five favorite bottles of this favorite summer drink, see the matrix above.

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Rosé is typically more popular in the spring and summer months as a light, refreshing drink. However, some rosés are savory and bolder, ideal for enjoying during meals.

Key considerations

There are many varieties of rosé made from a single type of grape, called varietals. While the following are the most popular rosé varietals, there are many more options available, including rosé blends of multiple grapes.


Often grown in Spain, southern France, and other warm climates, grenache rosé has flavors of crunchy, watery fruits and vegetables, like watermelon, cucumber, strawberries, and raspberries. You’ll usually find some notes of lemony zest, too, perfect for a hot day. Rosé from grenache grapes is among the lightest rosés. It pairs well with tomatoes, eggplant, and spicy cuisines.

Pinot noir

As pinot noir is grown in cooler climates and can be a somewhat difficult grape to maintain throughout the season, it’s often used for rosé. Relatively light, pinot noir rosé features orange and lemon zest as well as watermelon and celery. It’s often dry and aromatic and pairs well with dishes made with green herbs.


Big on red fruit flavors, sangiovese is a popular Italian grape and makes for a quality rosé that’s a little bit rosier and darker than others. Sangiovese rosé also includes notes of spices like cumin and cloves. Relatively bold and fuller in body than most rosés, it pairs well with Italian dishes as well as curries and rice dishes.


Among the fullest and darkest of rosés, syrah has a savory taste, with white pepper, red pepper flakes, and cherry among its prominent flavors. Syrah rosé is untraditional and bucks many tendencies of rosé. It pairs well with meals, including fish as well as pasta and vegetable dishes.



Rosé features a combination of flavors that you can find in both red wines and white wines. It is composed of red fruits, especially notes of strawberry, but also has notes of green, crunchy vegetables, such as celery and rhubarb. Melon and citrus are also common flavors, giving rosé a light and springy feel, as are rose petals and other floral notes. Because rosé is made in stainless steel vats and not aged in oak barrels, you won’t find creamy, buttery, or woodsy notes like you do in red wine and some full-bodied whites.


While rosés feature a variety of different tastes and aromas, they mostly share the same key properties.

  • Tannins: Rosé wines have little to no tannins, depending on the types of grapes used, so they almost never have a bitter taste.
  • Sweetness: Rosé can vary from quite dry to especially sweet, depending on the region and the process. European rosés tend to be dry, while American rosés are often on the sweeter side.
  • Acidity: Most rosés range from medium to high acidity. However, because some rosés are particularly sweet, you may not notice how acidic they are.
  • Alcohol: Some rosés have an alcohol content that’s slightly below average for wine, around 11%. This will depend, however, on the grapes used.
  • Body: Most rosés are relatively light-bodied, making them easy to drink by themselves, especially during the day in the sun. Depending on the grape, though, some rosés are fuller bodied and best enjoyed with meals.
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Did you know?
Though they probably tasted differently, the earliest wines were rosés, diluted blends of red and white grapes.


Rosé is made around the world, and the region determines its flavors and notes. Rosés from Spain and warmer climates tend to be light and zesty, while those from cooler climates like northern France and Italy may be more savory. White zinfandel rosés from California tend to be sweeter than most other rosés.

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Did you know?
In recent decades, rosé has seen a resurgence as the perfect summertime drink.


Wine openers: HiCoup Kitchenware Professional Waiter’s CorkscrewWhile many bottles of rosé have screw caps, you’ll still encounter those with corks. Make opening any corked wine bottle quick and easy with this handy corkscrew from HiCoup Kitchenware.

Wine chillers: Vacu Vin Rapid Ice Elegant Wine Cooler
Rosé is best served chilled. Make sure you’re enjoying a glass to its fullest with this tabletop wine cooler from Vacu Vin that is sleek, chills in five minutes, and stays cool for hours.

Wine totes: OPUX Insulated 2-Bottle Wine Carrier
Rosé doesn’t travel that well – unless you have an insulated tote to keep it cool on the journey. Pick up this two-bottle wine carrier from OPUX that’s inexpensive and convenient.

Wine growlers: Picnic Time Vacuum-Insulated Stainless Steel Wine Growler
Because rosé is such a perfect summertime drink at the park or beach, it’s important to be able to keep it chilled outdoors. Grab an insulated growler like this one from Picnic Time to keep your rosé cool and refreshing.

Rosé prices

Rosé is cheaper than red wine and white wine because it takes less time and energy to make. You can find plenty of decent bottles of rosé for $10 or less.

Most rosés cost between $10 and $40. They are of good quality from everywhere around the world. You’re sure to find what you’re looking for in this price range.

For over $40 and up to $75, you’ll find high-end bottles of rosé that are likely from renowned regions, such as Champagne. Bottles in this range are best purchased by connoisseurs or for special occasions.

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Did you know?
In Spain and Portugal, rosé is called “rosado,” while in Italy it is referred to as “rosato.”


  • Go with the grape. If you’re unfamiliar with different types of rosé, find one made from a grape you enjoy in red wine.
  • Don’t wait. Rosé is most often made to be enjoyed immediately, fermented in steel vats instead of aged in oak barrels. As a result, rosé doesn’t get better with age like other wines.
  • Make cocktails. Rosé is a delight by itself but works as a great cocktail base, too. Liquors, fruits, liqueurs, and mixers can be added to make refreshing and innovative cocktails.
  • When in doubt, enjoy Provence. If you’re unsure where to start with rosé, find one from the Provence area of France. These rosés are consistently of high quality.
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Pinot noir is one of the most diverse wine grapes. It can be used to make red, white, and rosé wines.


Q. How should I serve rosé?
Rosé is best served chilled, anywhere between 50°F and 60°F. Leaving a bottle in the freezer for 10 or 20 minutes or the fridge for a few hours will do the trick. Alternatively, a wine cooler is useful to own. Rosé can be served in any standard wine glass with a stem. Stemless glasses are not recommended because the warmth of your hands will warm up the cool wine. If it’s a particularly aromatic rosé, then a wide-rimmed glass will help you enjoy the notes.

Q. How long does a bottle of rosé last once it’s opened?
Once opened, a bottle of rosé will usually last up to five or six days. For fuller bodied rosés, that lifespan may go down to three or four days. While a wine preserver will help extend this window, rosé is usually best enjoyed in one or two sittings. Always store opened rosés in the refrigerator.

Q. Does the shade of pink correlate with the taste of the rosé?
The color of rosé is a result of the red grapes used and how long the juice is in contact with the grape skins. There isn’t a direct correlation between color and taste, acidity, or sweetness. However, if you notice a bluish hue around the rim, that usually indicates a rosé with a lower acidity.

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