I’ll admit that before living in Europe the site of pink wine automatically made me think of a sweet White Zinfandel. And needless to say, I’m not a fan. Now I see pink wine and I think Rosé, a lovely refreshing wine made from red grape varieties. The ‘pink’ comes from leaving the red grape skins in the grape juice during fermentation for only a few days to add color and characteristic.

I had tried a few Côtes-de-Provence French Rosé in the past which made me realize all pink wine is not White Zin. Then we moved to Amsterdam in Summer 2006 and Rosé was everywhere. It is the Dutch summer wine of choice so I had to take part. And being in Europe, there was plenty of good Rosé (or Italian Rosato or Spanish Rosado) to enjoy.

This summer Rosé is my favorite and it seems to be everywhere I turn… from Italy to Vancouver to Washington to Virginia.

Here are the top on my list if you’d like to seek one out.

  • Tenute Rubino Saturnino, Rosé, IGT Salento (Puglia, Italy): From Italy’s largest wine producing area and the ‘heel of the boot,’ this Rosé won the gold medal at Consours Mondial de Bruxelles international wine competition in May 2011 in Luxembourg. This gorgeous deep pink wine is made of 100% Negroamaro grapes, native of Puglia. The scent is lovely raspberry and violet while taste is round, crisp and refreshing, helped by its fermentation in stainless steel tanks. My favorite wine of my trip to Puglia in June!
  • Blenheim Vineyards Rosé 2010 (Virginia, U.S.): I’ve enjoyed many glasses of Kirsty Harmon’s fabulous Rosé most recently at their gorgeous winery outside Charlottesville. It’s 100% Merlot, bright pink in color, fragrance of banana and rose with a light, crisp taste.
  • Kiona Vineyards First Crush Rosé 2010 (Washington, U.S.): Just discovered this fruity refreshing Rosé at Urban Enoteca in Seattle. Crushed grapes were left on the skin for two days then pressed and fermented cold to preserve their pure fruit character.
  • 8th Generation Confidence Frizzante 2010 (Summerland, BC, Canada): This sparkling Rosé was the perfect sip for a sunny Vancouver day on Chill Winston‘s patio. Crisp, fresh field berries with a hint of grapefruit and cranberry.

Two others I’ve enjoyed are 2010 Stepping Stone by Cornerstone Corallina Napa Valley Syrah Rosé from California and Crios de Susana Balbo Rosé of Malbec 2010 from Argentina.

So don’t be afraid of the pink! :) It’s perfect for the last month of summer.