- 1. Gruet Brut Rosé NV, New Mexico; $17
- 2. Louis de Grenelle Corail Brut Rosé NV, Saumur, France; $19
- 3. Mata i Coloma Cupada No. 18 Cava Brut Nature Reserva 2014, Penedès, Spain; $19
- 4. Jané Ventura Reserva de la Música Brut Rosé 2015, Tarragona, Spain; $17
- 5. Anne Amie Vineyards Cuvée A Amrita 2016, Willamette Valley, Oregon; $16
- 6. Bisol Crede Prosecco Superiore Brut 2016, Valdobbiadene, Italy; $19
- 7. InterSekt Rosé Cuvée NV, Extra Dry, Rheingau, Germany; $16
- 8. Del Rio Vineyard Estate Rosé Jolee 2016, Southern Oregon; $12
- 9. Aphros Pan Sparkling Rosé 2013, Minho, Portugal, $19
- 20 Best Rosé Wines Under $20
- 1. Château Garamache Rose, $24, Liquorland
- 2. La Mule Rosé, $10.99, Aldi
- 3. Choosy Beggars Rose, $16, Liquorland
- 4. Jolie Sophia de la Rosé 2018, $9.99, Aldi
- 5. Lavendette Provence Rosé 2018, $9.99, Aldi
- 6. Portone Pinot Grigio Rose, $12, Liquorland
- 7. Jim Barry ‘Barry & Sons’ Rose, $25, Liquorland
- Want to know more about rosé?
- The Best Rosé Wines – The 2020 Reverse Wine Snob Picks!
- Best $15-and-Under Rosé Wines
- 2017 Marqués de Cáceres Rioja Rosé ($9)
- 2017 Goats do Roam Western Cape Rosé ($9)
- 2017 La Vieille Ferme Rosé ($8)
- 2017 Villa des Anges Old Vines Rose ($11)
- 2017 Capçanes Mas Donís Montsant Rosat de Garnacha ($12)
- 2017 Château Guiot Costières de Nîmes ($13)
- NV Freixenet Cordon Brut Cava Rosado ($12)
- 2017 Planeta Rosé ($15)
- Rosé: what is it and why is it so popular?
- Rosé recipes…
- More reviews…
- Flowers Under $20
- Cheap Flowers
1. Gruet Brut Rosé NV, New Mexico; $17
Recommended by Mats Weissenberg, wine sales associate at Argonaut Wine & Liquor; Denver
Weissenberg consistently recommends Gruet Brut Rosé. It’s made from 100 percent Pinot Noir and produced in the méthode Champenoise style. “The wine hails from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and represents the western United States beautifully,” he says. “It’s full bodied and elegant, strawberry mousse, watermelon puree, and a touch of vanilla, and has a dry, crisp, aromatic finish. Nicely priced at $17—we can’t keep this on the shelf.”
2. Louis de Grenelle Corail Brut Rosé NV, Saumur, France; $19
Recommended by Tanya Gentile, owner of Printer’s Row Wine Shop; Chicago
Gentile’s go-to drink is a glass of bubbles, so having something under $20 on hand is as good for her as it is for her customers. “My favorite bottle under $20 is the delicious Louis de Grenelle Corail Brut Rosé,” she says. The wine is made from 100 percent Cabernet Franc and produced in the traditional Champagne method. It shows a deep pink hue in the glass and yields bright, crisp flavors of raspberry and wild strawberry. Says Gentile, “What I love most about Louis de Grenelle is that, like us at Printer’s Row Wine Shop, is family owned.”
3. Mata i Coloma Cupada No. 18 Cava Brut Nature Reserva 2014, Penedès, Spain; $19
Recommended by Clara Dalzell, general manager of Flatiron Wines & Spirits; New York City
“It’s harder to find really delicious sparkling wines under $20 than wine in any other category,” says Dalzell. Mata i Coloma’s Cupada No. 18 is a great option that’s produced from organically farmed grapes. “It’s bursting with fresh, precise citrus and stone-fruit notes,” says Dalzell, who also praises this wine for its powerful minerality.
4. Jané Ventura Reserva de la Música Brut Rosé 2015, Tarragona, Spain; $17
Recommended by Pat McCarthy, owner of DeLaurenti Specialty Food & Wine; Seattle
McCarthy says he can’t get enough of Jané Ventura Reserva de la Música Brut Rosé. “It’s pure, sparkling wine,” he says. “Nothing complicated.” Made from 100 percent Grenache, this sparkler is crisp and mineral forward, with notes of cherry and Granny Smith apple. This wine is “simply ideal,” McCarthy says, “for whatever you’re eating—it’s very often the first thing we open when we get home and start thinking of dinner.”
5. Anne Amie Vineyards Cuvée A Amrita 2016, Willamette Valley, Oregon; $16
Recommended by Otto Han, program & category manager at New Seasons Market; Portland, Oregon
“I’m really loving the 2016 Anne Amie Amrita,” says Han. “It’s a blend of six less widely planted white varieties in the Willamette Valley”—35 percent Riesling, 28 percent Pinot Blanc, and smaller portions of Müller-Thurgau, Viognier, Gewürtztraminer, and Chardonnay. Han describes the wine as “aromatic and scintillatingly effervescent, with hints of elderflower and tropical fruits on the nose, leading to a tart palate highlighted with citrus notes.” The wine is also versatile, he says. When asked by customers what to pair it with, he says it goes just as well with a bowl of fresh berries or grilled Maryhill peaches with whipped cream as it does with a plate of Pad Kee Mao.
6. Bisol Crede Prosecco Superiore Brut 2016, Valdobbiadene, Italy; $19
Recommended by Sean Gachter, wine buyer at Quality House Wines; New York City
Crede is one of Gachter’s favorite value-oriented sparkling wines on the market. “This top-line Prosecco from Bisol,” he says, “is a 100 percent estate-grown blend of 85 percent Glera, 10 percent Pinot Bianco, and 5 percent Verdiso from the Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG.” It offers deep aromatic complexity, says Gachter, with compact fresh fruit and floral blossom on the nose and “tropical citrus and tangy apple flavors tangled together” on the palate. He also appreciates this Prosecco’s bright acidity, freshness, focus, and dry, lingering finish. “It’s as pleasurable,” he says, “as any Brut NV Champagne at a fraction of the price.”
7. InterSekt Rosé Cuvée NV, Extra Dry, Rheingau, Germany; $16
Recommended by Molly Brooks at Truly Fine Wine; San Diego
“InterSekt Rosé is one of our best-selling wines, hands down,” says Brooks, who notes that this blend of Pinot Noir and “a few other native German grapes” boasts bright, refreshing acidity that’s balanced by a touch of sweetness. “Produced using the Charmat method,” she says, “this Sekt is all about fresh cherries and cream, with a rosy floral note and perky persistence.” Brooks says she enjoys the wine on its own but that it also makes a great base for cocktails. “The naturally bright acidity of cool-climate grapes works well with its slight sweetness to balance a mixture of ingredients,” she says. “It has just enough sugar to please Prosecco lovers but enough crispness to satisfy those with a palate for drier wines as well.”
8. Del Rio Vineyard Estate Rosé Jolee 2016, Southern Oregon; $12
Recommended by Erin Palmer, owner of The Wine Cellar; Portland, Oregon
“The Rosé Jolee from Del Rio is a fantastic Oregon wine,” says Erin Palmer. It has a “subtle, cheerful sweetness with a wonderfully refreshing frizzante-style bubble,” she says, noting that Jolee is an atypical blend of Muscat, Riesling, and Cabernet Franc. “The Muscat and Riesling give the wine its vibrant burst of fruit, and the Cab Franc helps to keep it from seeming too sticky sweet.”
9. Aphros Pan Sparkling Rosé 2013, Minho, Portugal, $19
Recommended by Paul Tilch, owner and wine buyer for Stockton Fine Wines & Spirits; Stockton, New Jersey
“This summer,” says Tilch, “my recycle bin has seen its fair share of Aphros Pan Sparkling Rosé .” Aphros Pan is made from 100 percent Vinhão. The grapes are biodynamically farmed, and the wine is produced in the méthode Champenoise style. It has tart cherry and cranberry flavors, with “just the right amount of acidity,” says Tilch. “For such a great price point, this super-versatile sparkling wine works as a starter or pairs with grilled fish, shellfish, or BBQ.”
In the ongoing search for the best Champagnes and sparkling wines under the $20 mark, there is good news and bad news. Unless you are shooting for a small 187 ml, single serve bottle of Champagne, finding a true blue Champagne under $20 can be tough to do. For starters, Champagne is only Champagne if the grapes are grown and bottled in Champagne, France and that is never cheap. However, if you just want a sip of the real deal, you can snag small 187 ml bottles in the under $20 price range. Look for some of the bigger Champagne houses like Nicolas Feuillatte or Perrier Jouet in the small serving size bottles. However if you are going for full bottles of French bubbly, take heart. France dazzles with regionally-inspired sparkling wines, known as Crémants (for “creamy”) produced in regions outside of Champagne’s strict regional borders and made in the same traditional method as Champagne. Crémant d’Alsace is a sparkling wine with roots in Alsace or Crémant de Bourgogne represents a snazzy sparkler from Burgundy.
On to more good news, delicious sparkling wine at unbelievable price points is available from all over the wine world. One of the very best budget values in sparkling wines comes from Spain’s northeast Penedes region, carrying the label codename of Cava. Cava wows with fantastic pricing, delicious bubbles and extremely food-friendly leanings. America’s sparkling wine scene brings some serious diversity and palate appeal to the festive flavors and bubble-driven traditions of California, Washington, Oregon and New York. Prosecco, Italy’s fun budget-friendly bubbly, continues to welcome consumers to the wide world of sparkling wine with easy-going style and solid distribution.
Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava (Spain) $9
Spain has got it going on when it comes to budget-friendly bubbly and the Segura Viudas Brut Cava does its best to give buyers the most bang for the buck. This is a rich textured, creamy sparkling wine running initial floral aromas alongside toasted almond, green apple and d’Anjou pear-driven components that debut again on the palate amid the clean, crisp lines of distinct acidity and a fresh finish.
Charles de Fere Cuvee Jean-Louis Blanc de Blancs Brut (France) $11
An engaging blend of white wine grapes (Chenin Blanc dominates) from the Loire Valley, this Charles de Fere Cuvee communicates clear fruit aromas on the nose with green apple, ripe peach and a smidge of candied pear. The palate expression is dry, crisp and balanced with citrus notes lingering well into the finish.
Lucien Albrecht Cremant Brut Rose (France) $20 A top producer of “non-Champagne” sparkling wine, Lucien Albrecht is known for producing stellar Alsatian Cremants at equally appealing price points. This wine is no exception. Made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes, expect plenty of strawberry swirls to pop on the nose followed by intriguing mineral-driven notes, the palate profile shows a lively marriage of citrus and raspberry components, richly textured with a well-woven finish.
La Marca Prosecco (Italy) $13 Prosecco, Italy’s sparkling white wine delight from Veneto, is a fun and festive burst of bubbles that carries an equally attractive price tag. La Marca’s Prosecco lives up to the lively expectations with full throttle bubbles, bright citrus aromas wrapped in a swirl of honey, and the fresh fruit profiles of sweet apple and tangy grapefruit on the dry, crisp palate. The finish maintains a charming minerality, with remnants of citrus in the mix.
Toad Hollow Risque (France) $15 This is a low alcohol (only 6%), light-hearted sparkler made from the Mauzac Blanc grape, a regional varietal found in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southwest France. Easy-going apple-driven fruit highlights the nose and echoes again on the refreshing, zippy palate. Truly a unique sparkling wine experience, Toad Hollow Risque is always a crowd-pleaser thanks to its lighter style, fresh flavor and touch of sweet on the finish.
Roederer Estate Brut (California) $20 The name “Roederer” may ring a wine bell. It’s the name of one of the most successful Champagne Houses in France, Champagne Louis Roederer. They crossed the pond and began making sparkling wine in California in 1988. Since then, Roederer Estate has become one of California’s most well-reputed sparkling wine producers in the country. The Estate Brut illustrates why. All 600 acres of vineyards are family-owned and each Brut is a blend of multiple vintages, including the elegant addition of oak-aged reserve wines. Expect a 60/40 split of Chardonnay to Pinot Noir in the cuvee with characteristic focus, toasted, nutty aromas, baked apple nuances, solid acidity and a remarkable richness that carries the finish. This Brut is a go-to gig for those looking for Champagne-style on a slightly better than beer budget.
Mumm Napa Brut Prestige (California) $17 – Keeping with California’s top sparkling wine themes, Mumm Napa’s Brut Prestige rolls with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir as its base grapes. Granny smith apple, toasted notes of fresh baked bread and a hint of spice form the delicate aromatic on this sparkling wine. Dry with a medium-body and well-handled acidity, the fruit components rely largely on citrus-leaning flavors with a touch of melon and fresh ginger-like spice.
Gruet Blanc de Noirs (New Mexico) $15 Guaranteed to get the wine conversation rolling, when you share this wine with friends, they fall in love, and then you tell them it’s from New Mexico, south of Albuquerque. This particular sparkling wine gem is produced by French expats, a brother and sister team from Champagne. In the mid-1980s they moved to New Mexico to plant an “experimental” vineyard with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the main grapes of Champagne. The arid climate keeps rot at bay, while simultaneously eliminating the need for pesticides, and the dramatic temperature swings between hot days and cool nights slows the grapes ripening down and adds to the bright acidity found in Gruet wines.
Made in the same traditional method of Champagne (with the second fermentation taking place in the bottle to produce the prestigious bubbles), this smoked salmon colored sparkler dazzles with lively raspberry aromas, apple pie undertones, rich creamy textures and fresh acidity. A delight from start to finish.
*Quick Tip: Gruet (the “t” is silent, making the pronunciation Groo-ay)
Freixenet Sparkling Cordon Negro Brut Cava (Spain) $9 Cava, Spain’s sparkling wine, is made in the same method as Champagne (meaning the second fermentation takes place in the bottle not in a tank). Representing one of the wine world’s best deals, Cava is typically built on three indigenous grapes: Macabeo, Xarel-lo and Parellada. Expect some serious fresh factors to kick in here, with apple-themed aromas, a slice of orange and a bit of spice all bolstered by vibrant acidity and solid bubble beading.
Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut Rosé Cava (Spain) $9 Based on Pinot Noir and the local red grape, Trepat, it may be no surprise that ripe, red fruit dominates both the nose and the palate. Expect raspberry and strawberry components to sneak in and steal the aromatic show, followed by dried ginger spice and toasted vanilla notes. This is budget bubbly at its best!
Urge to Splurge? Check out Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label (France) $45
This is a popular, go-to wine for those looking to buy well-made, true blue non-vintage Champagne at a relatively reasonable price point, in the under $50 category. Built on the back of 50% Pinot Noir, close to 30% Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier taking 20% of the blend, you can expect a delicate balance of fruit and structure. Lively apple-driven fruit is bolstered by the yeast-filled aromas of fresh baked bread. The palate profile is rich and creamy with bright glints of mouth-watering acidity and a consistent fresh-factor that charms from first sip to full finish. Not ready to part with a full $45? Then check out half-bottle options that can run closer to $25.
20 Best Rosé Wines Under $20
Credit: Frederick Wildman
Everyone’s climbing on the rosé bandwagon.
And I don’t mean just drinkers – a couple of years behind consumers discovering the pleasures of summer pink, the producers are piling on too, and it’s not always a pretty sight.
American winemakers seem to be thinking: “I want some of this action. How hard can it be to make rosé?” Well, it’s a lot harder than you’d imagine. Rosé might be a simple wine but it’s not simple to make, and there’s an awful lot of third rate stuff hitting the shelves this spring, labels that didn’t exist a couple of years ago.
Then Provence, spiritual home of the current rosé boom, is not immune to the problems of sudden fame either.
The supply of grapes is inflexible, at least in the short term, so, as demand has risen, producers have scrambled to find grapes, any grapes, to fill all those bottles the public is suddenly clamoring for.
Small producers who own their vineyards are all set, but larger brands that buy grapes from growers, especially those new to the region, find themselves paying more for less.
The winemaker for a famous rosé name told me, somewhat indiscreetly, that his biggest problem was finding enough grapes. Note he didn’t say “enough good grapes” just “enough grapes.” Telling.
Preparing for this article I tasted dozens of indifferent rosés from Provence. Not bad rosés, not undrinkable rosés, but uninteresting rosés, rosés lacking any sense of fruit, of liveliness. This an indication of inferior grapes.
And the less said about some California versions, the better.
The good news is you really don’t have to pay a fortune to drink good rosé, there are dozens of really enjoyable vins at under $20, and here are my picks.
Angeline Vineyards Rose of Pinot Noir 2016
Pure, crisp and bone dry but plumped up with bountiful soft red fruits.
Bila-Haute Rose 2016
Pays d’Oc, France, $15
Cinsault & Grenache
Bursting with the sort of tangerine, strawberry and peach bliss you’d pay twice as much for if it originated a few K’s to the east in an appellation with Provence in its name.
Baron de Funes Rosé Garnacha 2015
Baron de Funes
Credit: Nick Passmore
Carinena, Spain, $11
Pale salmon color belied by its mouth-filling richness due, at least in part, to the extra year in the bottle. Not all rosés last this long, especially those at the ridiculously low price. A party favorite.
Campuget 1753 Rosé 2016
Costières de Nîmes, France, $19
90% Syrah, 10% Vermentino
I’ve never before encountered this unusual combination of grapes in a rosé, but it works. Richly rambunctious, a strawberries-and-cream rosé with a whisper of citrus grapefruit on the finish.
Chateau Lastours Rosé 2016
Credit: Nick Passmore
Gaillac, France, $12
Duras 60%, Syrah 40%
Earthy, substantial and mildly aromatic, as befits a wine from France’s hot, rugged south-west near Toulouse.
Chateau Laulerie Rosé 2016
Credit: Chateau Lauerie
Bergerac, France, $12
70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot
From Bergerac, the overlooked appellation just east of Bordeaux. Nothing wimpy about this scarlet hued beauty. It’s brimming with ripe strawberries and tangy yellow cherries, and enough punchy flavor for chicken or ribs off the grill, and all for $12.
Domaine de la Royer L’Oppidum Rosé 2016
Domaine de la Royer
Credit: Domaine de la Royer
Luberon, France, $10
70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10 % Cinsault.
A beguiling fusion of soft minerality and ripe June Provence peaches.
Domaine de Cala Rosé 2016
Domaine de Cala
Credit: Nick Passmore
Coteaux Varois, France, $15
50% Cinsault, 25% Grenache, 18% Syrah, 7% Rolle
The appellation might be Coteaux Varois — I imagine this means no more to the average Frenchman than to the American drinker — but this is simple, easy-drinking Provence rosé at its best. A recent project of Joachim Splichal of the Patina Restaurant Group where I assume copious quantities are poured by the glass to wide appreciation.
El Coto de Rioja Rosé 2016
Credit: Frederick Wildman
Rioja, Spain, $12
50% Garnacha, 50% Tempranillo
Bone dry, and an unpretentious bargain. Darker and punchier than the ubiquitous Provence versions thanks to the Tempranillo, so a perfect version for guys who think rosé too girly to drink with barbecue.
Il Poggione, Brancato Rosato 2016
Credit: Nick Passmore
Tuscany, Italy, $19
A cornucopia of luscious summer fruits, intensely rich while retaining an air of poise and polished elegance.
Lavignone Rosato 2016
Piedmont, Italy $15
Dry, and packed to the brim with Piedmontese Alpine minerality. Take a sip after a mouthful of shrimp: heaven!
Les Copains Rosé, McPherson, 2016
Credit: Nick Passmore
89% Cinsault, 11% Rolle
Deep scarlet color tinged with orange. Dry, but ripe strawberries abound, touched with aromatic hints. And from Texas. What more could you ask to go with a steak off the barbie on a sizzling summer evening?
Domaine de la Solitude, Famille Lancon 2016
Domaine de la Solitude
Credit: Domaine de la Solitude
Côtes du Rhône, France, $18
60% Grenache, 40% Syrah
Dry, crisp and more structured, more weight than its Provence cousins.
Mas de La Dame, Rosé du Mas 2015
Mas de la Dame
Credit: Nick Passmore
Les Baux du Provence, France $16
60% Grenache, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre
Not the most subtle Provence rose, but dry, bursting with red-cherry crispness, a big, punchy wine eminently welcoming to steak.
Mas Carlot Rosé 2016
Credit: Mas Carlot
Costières de Nimes. France, $10
50% Grenache, 40% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre
Look no further for reasons not to spend beaucoup de l’argent on any rosé, especially the Provencal version. Here you’ll encounter an explosion of June strawberries tinged with rocky crispness at half the qualifying price for this article.
M de Minuty Rosé 2016
Côtes de Provence, $19
Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah
Pure Provencal peaches and sunny pleasure, delicate but with substance.
Masi, Rosa dei Masi 2016
Masi Rosa di Masi
Vento, Italy, $15
Creamy and decadently sensual. The succulent peach extravagance is shot through with vital ribbons of flinty minerality.
Mirabeau Classic 2016
Cotes de Provence, France, $18
60% Syrah, 35% Grenache, 5% Cinsault
A divine duet of precise, mineral-infused intensity and sensual, summer, Brideshead-inspired languor.
TrumpeTer Rosé de Malbec 2016
Mendoza, Argentina $13
Fruity and flinty fleshed out with grapefruit and tangerine. Dry yet fruity – a clever trick that enhances its food-friendly nature – I’m thinking grilled chicken or roast port – and a great apéro. A delight.
Wither Hill Rosé of Pinot Noir 2015
Credit: Wither Hill
Marlborough, NZ, $14
Full-bodied and rich (that’s the Pinot) without in any way being lumpen (that’s fine winemaking). Definitely food friendly thanks to a good dose of crispness, it even works with grilled New Zealand lamb.
1. Château Garamache Rose, $24, Liquorland
A great value rosé from Provence, this light, smooth, and elegant wine has juicy strawberry and lemon notes. Perfect for an alfresco meal on a warm evening.
2. La Mule Rosé, $10.99, Aldi
A recent addition to Aldi’s everyday range, it’s fresh, dry and full of light, wild red fruits.
3. Choosy Beggars Rose, $16, Liquorland
Super pale, refined and ready to drink. Produced largely from old vine Merlot grown in the Pemberton region of Western Australia, it has great poise and a lightness of touch.
4. Jolie Sophia de la Rosé 2018, $9.99, Aldi
A delicate pale pink rosé with an elegant fragrance of wild strawberries, citrus and fruits, available in stores now until stocks last. If you miss out, this rosé is back on sale again on Wednesday 11th December.
5. Lavendette Provence Rosé 2018, $9.99, Aldi
Features rose petal and ripe raspberry aromas with a light spice. From the Provence region, you can enjoy a quality French rosé on race day without having to break the bank.
6. Portone Pinot Grigio Rose, $12, Liquorland
From Italy’s northern Veneto region, the small addition of Pinot Noir provides the wines coppery pink hue. Subtle floral and pear aromas lead to a gentle palate weight with an underlying acid drive.
7. Jim Barry ‘Barry & Sons’ Rose, $25, Liquorland
This great Clare Valley Rose opens up with cherry and strawberry succulent red berry fruit flavours. The wine is a great balance with ripe red fruits and a savoury, spicy edge which makes it easy on the palate and perfect for ‘al fresco’ dining
Want to know more about rosé?
We got the low-down from Jason Bowyer, the wine and sparkling buying director at Aldi Australia:
- Unlike Champagne, which must come from the Champagne region of France to be labelled “Champagne”, rosé isn’t from a specific grape or region. It’s a genre of wine, like red or white.
- Rose gets its colour from the skin of red grapes, the final colour of which is determined by the amount of contact it has with these grapes and the temperature. Where some red wines ferment for weeks at a time on red grape skins, rose wines only touch the skins for a short time (a few hours). This process gives the rosé a fruity, floral flavour.
- The biggest producers of rosé include France, Spain, Italy and the United States. However, some excellent rosé’s are heralding in South America (Chile and Argentina), and Australia is also leading wonderful change.
- We continue to see growth in our rosé sales with seasonality declining and consumers drinking rosé year round, it’s even predicted to be more popular than Sauvignon Blanc in Australia within 10 years.
- Although some reds get better with age, rosé is best drunk young and fresh, for example, no more than two or three years old, and best served chilled or over ice.
- When thinking about dishes to pair your rose with this spring, think seafood, chicken or fruit salad.
WATCH: How to tell if your wine has gone bad
The Best Rosé Wines – The 2020 Reverse Wine Snob Picks!
Rosé is one of the hottest categories in wine although it hasn’t always been that way. When we started this site in 2011 getting people to drink the delightful dry examples was a bit like pulling teeth. Conditioned by the gallon jugs of pink syrupy slop on grocery store shelves most people thought rosé only existed in the impossibly sweet form. Thanks to the newfound availability of dry wines from places like Provence and beyond however that perception has changed.
Of course the flip side of this surge in popularity is that everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon which means that many of the new options just aren’t that good. We help you separate the wheat from the chaff in our giant list of The Best Rosé Wines Under $20!
Before we get to the picks; however, let’s take a quick look at how rosé is made. The color in red wine comes from dark grape skins being left in contact with the juice during fermentation. If you remove the skin or juice part way through fermentation, you end up with a light red, or pink, wine. (The skin is also what imparts much of the tannins to the wine.)
One other note about this style that many people do not recognize — they are some of the most food flexible types of wine out there. From salads to barbecue to all your Thanksgiving favorites rosé is one of the best options to pair with your meals.
Read on for our list of The Best Rosé Wines Under $20!
Photo Credit: Plateresca/.com
Best $15-and-Under Rosé Wines
© Celler de Capçanes
2017 Marqués de Cáceres Rioja Rosé ($9)
A hint of sweetness underscores this earthy, crisp rosé.
2017 Goats do Roam Western Cape Rosé ($9)
A savory undertone balances the hint of sweetness in this fruit-driven rosé made with mostly Shiraz and Grenache.
2017 La Vieille Ferme Rosé ($8)
Crafted by the Perrin family of Chateuneuf-du-Pape fame (they own Chateau Beaucastel, one of the region’s greatest properties), this French rosé is lively and full of tart red fruit flavors.
2017 Villa des Anges Old Vines Rose ($11)
Old vine fruit from southern France’s Vin de Pays d’Oc region is the heart of this delicate yet surprisingly complex (given the price) rosé.
2017 Capçanes Mas Donís Montsant Rosat de Garnacha ($12)
Made from mostly Garnacha, this is juicy and fresh, with ripe cherry flavors and a savory mix of herbs.
2017 Château Guiot Costières de Nîmes ($13)
This zesty rosé, redolent of raspberries and flowers, is a steal.
2017 Charles & Charles Rosé ($13)
This Syrah-based joint effort between Washington-based vintner Charles Smith and Charles Bieler of Three Thieves fame offers crisp, berry-accented flavors.
2017 Jean-Luc Colombo Cape Bleue Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence Rosé ($12)
Crisp and refreshing, with mouthwatering peach and strawberry tones.
NV Freixenet Cordon Brut Cava Rosado ($12)
This lively, tangy wine is made with the Garnacha and Trepat grapes and has abundant cherry, berry and dried apple notes.
2017 Château Routas Rouvière Côteaux Varois en Provence ($13)
This vivid rosé’s strawberry, tangerine and mineral notes are pure and refreshing.
2017 Planeta Rosé ($15)
A equal blend of Nero d’Avola and Syrah drives the floral, pomegranate-y flavors of this appealing Sicilian rosé.
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In the last five years, rosé has become a fashionable drink of choice. This blush-coloured booze is delicious when served chilled, so it’s popular in the summer months, but it can be enjoyed all year round. Most well-known varieties of rosé will derive from the Provence region – although produce from all over the world are not to be dismissed. Our wine expert, Henry Jeffreys, has been tasting a variety of bottles (in all shapes and sizes) to find some of his favourites.
Porcupine Ridge 2017
Made by one of the Cape’s best producers, Boekenhoutkloof, this rosé is South Africa meets Provence at a bargain price. A juicy wine with the taste of bright strawberry fruit, it’s impossible to refuse a second glass. Buy from Waitrose (£8.79)
Porta 6 Rosé 2017
Made in a fashionable paler style, compared to the traditional blush shade, this comes from native Portuguese grapes. It’s a spicy wine with notes of plum and pine, and has a bit more weight than you’d expect in a pink. Buy from Majestic (£6.99)
Esprit de Buganay 2016
A bottle consisting of a blend of cinsault, syrah and grenache, you can almost smell the Mediterranean with the salty, citrus and herbal flavours of this wine. Buy from Waitrose (£11.99)
Tesco Finest Sancerre Rosé 2016
Sancerre in the Loire region is best known for its white wines, but also makes some delicious reds and pinks from pinot noir. This bottle has a bright red cherry body and is perfect for superior picnic sipping. Buy from Tesco (£12)
The abbreviated name, as you might have guessed, stands for Made in Provence. It’s so pale that it’s barely pink at all, and its flavours of lemon and thyme are more white wine than rosé – so it might be best suited if you prefer white wines. Buy from Vinissimus (£11.04)
Tavel Rosé Domaine Maby La Forcadière 2016
And now for something completely different; a pink that thinks it’s actually a red wine. A deep, cherry red colour with a rich spicy nose, on the palate it’s meaty with a little tannin. This would be superb with some spicy barbecue food this summer. Buy from Yapp Brothers (£14.25)
Château de Berne 2016
If you judge how good a rosé is by how quickly the bottle disappears, this one is our clear winner. Perfect when served at a barbecue, everyone will love the fresh saline quality, peachy fruit and creamy texture that it brings. Buy from Majestic (£11.24)
Whispering Angel Château d’Esclans 2017
Although Whispering Angel is known for being a rather fashionable bottle, it’s equally suited at home at a relaxed garden party among friends. You’ll find it insanely moreish when the sun starts shining. Buy from Roberson Wine (£16.99)
Rosé: what is it and why is it so popular?
How old should rosé be?
Rosé should be enjoyed relatively young. The 2017 vintage bottles will be arriving in the shops soon, but the 2016 bottles still taste good. In fact, the best pinks actually taste better with a little time in the bottle. But largely these are not wines for keeping, and you should be aware that their clear glass bottles can leave their delicate contents susceptible to damage from sunlight – which is why you should never buy rosé that has been kept in a shop window.
How pink should rosé be?
The Provençal style of rosé wine is now used all over the world. You get that beautiful colour from very gently pressing red grapes – usually grenache, cinsault and other Mediterranean varieties – so that only a tiny bit of colour (and indeed flavour) from the skins gets into the wine, resulting in that classic blush shade.
However, this is not the only way to make rosé. Just a little north of Provence, in the villages of Tavel and Lirac at the southern foothills of the Rhone valley, you’ll find rosé that is very nearly red because they make pinks with tannin and lots of fruit. Darker styles of rosé are made all over the world, particularly in Spain and Italy. In Australia and other New World countries, rosé wine can be made simply by mixing red and white wine together.
How we tested
Our expert sampled some of the famous rosé names versus the best from the supermarkets and the high street, all ranging in price between £7 and £17. The wines were tested both in a formal tasting – one by one – and then again informally, served with food. Often, ones that didn’t impress on first tasting became the favourites after paired with foods.
Frozen raspberry sangria
Strawberries in rosé wine
Mulled rosé wine
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Over 100 tried and tested reviews
This review was last updated in May 2019. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at [email protected]
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