Everything’s coming up rosés – here are some great summer wines to try

As Billy Joel advises, “perhaps a bottle of rosé instead.” Or maybe “the pink champagne on ice” from “Hotel California.”  Even the Guess Who sang about how the “pink wine sparkles in the glass.” Turns out rock stars dig rosé as much as Jack Daniels. My guess is you will too.

So ditch the whiskey and frosé, forget the bottle of red and the bottle of white, it’s rosé season. And we have wonderful offerings for newbies and devotees.

2020 Maddalena Rosé, $15

This is the perfect starter rosé. For those looking to graduate from chablis and chardonnay (or Miller High Lifes) to something lighter, cleaner and crisper, this rosé is a delight. Named for the Riboli Family matriarch and produced in Paso Robles, the wine shows off a balanced body and fruit-flirty aroma (a term I just invented because fruit-forward is too pushy for such a gentle and genteel vintage). Pair it with cheese, pasta, apples, tater tots, the beach, sunshine, dappled shade and conversations about lost loves.

Anchor & Hope 2021 Rosé (Photo courtesy Anchor & Hope)
Anchor & Hope 2021 Rosé, $18 bottle, $11 for two cans

Another nice place to start for those worried rosés have too little or too much flavor (two complaints I’ve heard). Anchor & Hope is floral but not cloying and utterly refreshing. And if you’re looking to stay local but know New England isn’t exactly Napa, this craft winery is in Rumford, R.I. How do they make a range of great wines? They use local grapes and import others from small family farms in California, Oregon and Germany. Every offering is from a single vineyard, farmed sustainably, and made using minimal intervention practices.

Mumm Napa Brut Rosé (Photo courtesy Mumm)
Mumm Napa Brut Rosé, $24

Class up summer with a sparkling wine. Mumm Napa blends its chardonnay with a dash of pinot noir for a wine that pulls its flavors from both grapes — this one is creamy and fruity, a hard balance to pull off, especially with all those bubbles. It’s pricey but not absurd so you can buy one for a seaside picnic and one to christen your new yacht (new dingy? boogie board?).

The Pale by Sacha Lichine (Photo courtesy Sacha Lichine)
The Pale, $17

From Provence but not provincial, this French wine gets its name from its faint pink hue. If you want to skip the starters, the Pale has a dynamic taste, feel and finish. How dynamic? One set of tasting notes from an expert reads, “Pink grapefruit is washed by a meringue sweetness and tempered by cherry pith (with a) streak of crushed stone races across the palate, with melon and lilac on the finish.” The notes aren’t wrong, and also, it’s sooo drinkable.

Etna Doc Rosato 2020 Travaglianti (Photo courtesy Travaglianti )
Etna Doc Rosato 2020 Travaglianti, $50

If you like to make a once-a-year-splurge on a bottle of booze, this is the rosé to pick. First of all, you can pop it open and correct your friends who call it a rosé with, “Actually, in Italian it’s rosato with grapes crafted on the slopes of Sicily’s Mt. Etna, an active volcano where Hephaestus forged the thrones of Olympus.” Then you can drink it: Echoes of spices, fruit, and a mineral warmth with a welcome dash of acidity. Un capolavoro!