Some call it "housewife" wine; others call it "gulping wine." No matter how you shake it, a great rosé is as tasty as it is pretty, thirst-quenching, satisfying, and easy-drinking- and sometimes even packed with personality. (Perhaps that's why the category is one of the fastest-growing in the U.S. wine industry.)
And the world's most iconic rosé-producing region is Provence, France -- a region that consistently produces rosés that are pale pink/salmon-colored in nature, often with notes of stone fruit (nectarines, peaches) and wild strawberry, and somehow wet stone in the mix. You can always count on Cinsault, Grenache, and Syrah as the dominant grape varieties that comprise these rosés.
As such, here are three delicious Provençal rosés to enjoy in the three weeks of summer before Labor Day.
1) The Obvious Choice: Chateau D'Esclans, Côtes de Provence Rose "Whispering Angel" 2015 ($24.95) Find it here.
Most things that invoke a whispering angel inspire feelings of being tickled or romanced. Whispering Angel achieves both.
Chateau D'Esclans now produces its signature, pale-pink, pretty, lively, and delicious rosés from the region, which is both delicate and delicious. Hints of pink grapefruit pair beautifully with signature strawberry flavors.
2) Celebrity Pick: Chateau Miraval 2015 Côtes de Provence Rosé "Pitt-Jolie Perrin" ($26.95). Find it here.
The world watched on as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie purchased the estate known as Miraval as their summer residence, and estate they assert to be dedicated to the arts--music, cinema, theatre, local food and fine wine. Since 2012, Pitt-Jolie's have partnered with well-established winemakers of "Famille Perrin" on all things viticulture, winemaking and wine distribution.
Like most Provençal rosés, Chateau Miraval's is primarily a blend of Cinsault, Grenache, and Syrah. Atypically, it arrives in a distinctive, square-ish bottle that is bottle pretty and somehow daring. This classic rosé will pair beautifully with almost anything grilled or any summer salad on an upcoming afternoon or evening.
3) The Value Choice: MiMi en Provence 2015 Grande Reserve Rosé ($14.95). Find it here.
"Les Vins Bréban" (the wines of the Bréban family) count over 7 million bottles a year, many to export markets such as Great Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Japan, and the United States. So these are not boutique and estate selections.
That being said, with the MiMi rosé, the Brébans deliver. Pretty rose petal aromatics on the nose, and class wild strawberry notes throughout, the MiMi rosé is tasty, and a perfect pairing for grilled fish, roast chicken, and almost all salads. Sip up!