By David Stansfield
Drink more rosé. Just do it. Rosé is Gatorade for sommeliers. It keeps me hydrated and makes me better at my job. I can’t get enough. And I’m not the only one.
Rosé is having something of a breakthrough moment right now. We’ve finally learned in Canada what the French have known for hundreds of years: rosé may be the world’s most perfect wine. As long as it’s dry. Forget “Blush” (sounds like the great lost Prince album) and “White Zinfandel” (neither White, nor Zinfandel), today’s rosés are elegant, refreshing, and above all, sugar-free.
While I wholeheartedly endorse year-round, near-constant rosé consumption, its combination of white wine crushability and red wine complexity makes it perfect for in-between spring/summer weather.
Here are five of the best rosés currently available at BC Liquor Stores to keep you in the pink:
Domaine Lafond AOC Tavel Roc Épine – $24.99 (France)
Admittedly it’s a little pricey for a pink wine, but this is the real deal. Tavel is a small chunk of the Rhone wine region in the south of France where rosé is taken very seriously. In fact, it’s all they produce. And it’s delicious. The Lafond is a bit of a brute, made mostly from Grenache with a murderer’s row of Southern Rhone varieties. It’s full of rich strawberry and cherry fruit with a hit of herbes de Provence. Hemingway drank Tavel by the bucket. You should too.
L’Ostal Cazes Rosé – $14.99 (France)
Another winner from the south of France made in the classic Provence style from equal parts Grenache and Syrah. L’Ostal Cazes is beautifully pale with delicate notes of pomegranate, nectarine, and spring blossoms. Enjoy it al fresco, at the beach (in a brown paper bag) with a spread of fresh fruit, soft cheese, and warm bread.
JoieFarm Rosé – $18.99 (BC)
This wine started the Canadian rosé revolution, and bless them for it! At a time when BC thought of rosé only as neon cougar juice, Joie flipped the script. They recognized rosé’s incredible versatility with food and built a wine from Pinot Noir and Gamay specifically for pairing. A decade later it remains the gold standard.
Quails’ Gate Rosé – $16.49 (BC)
This venerable BC brand keeps things classy with their Provence-inspired rosé. Like Joie, they employ the natural elegance and freshness of Gamay and Pinot Noir, but also add a small hit of Pinot Gris for sheer drinkability. It’s cheap enough to stock by the case and classy enough to serve at any table. Win/win.
Marqués de Caceres Rosado – $14.99 (Spain)
Spanish wine is the Jannik Hansen of wines: under paid / over delivers. I submit this beauty from the famous Rioja region as proof. Made from Tempranillo with a splash of Grenache, it’s a lovely starburst of fresh raspberry and strawberry with a bit of something like fennel for complexity. Bring a bottle (or six) to your next backyard BBQ party.
David Stansfield began his wine career as a teenage cellar hand twenty years ago. Today, he’s an independent sommelier, the Wine Director at Vancouver Urban Winery, and co-host of the popular Sunday School wine school.